Stuck in Clouds (Universal)
The grey-skies guitar at the beginning is beautiful, but the real good stuff comes when Beautiful Nothing invites guest vocalist Alicia Cameron up to the plate, at which point all involved serve up modern indie rock at its sweetest.
Kids Eat Crayons
Winston Eat Shits (Independent)
Ever wonder what the Shuffle Demons would have sounded like if they’d been obsessed with Mel Tormé, ’70s blaxsploitation soundtracks, and professional weirdo Frank Zappa? Wonder no more.
PS I Love You
Limestone Radio (Paper Bag)
Now that you no longer have Wolf Parade to kick around, check out the fantastically jittery PS I Love You. “Limestone Radio” will also tide you over if you can’t wait for that upcoming collab between David Bowie and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
The Boom Booms
If My City (Independent)
Vancouver’s favourite sons have just released their latest full-length album, Love Is Overdue, and this bouncy horn-tinged offering reminds us exactly why we fell in love with the sextet in the first place.
Dearly Departed (Dualtone Music Group)
Another fresh-from-the-presses track channels the best of down-home Americana music through a modern, fuzzed-out lens. Lo-fi hand claps and lushly layered vocals will have you wishing it was summertime all over again.
Wishful Thinking (Independent)
Remember when you took all those mushrooms in high school and realized that nothing would ever be the same again? Brotherun’s chilled-out space beats offer a high that’s just as mellow and maybe even more mind-expanding.
The Auditor General
Firm Grasp at Arms Length (Independent)
There’s no denying this raw, heartfelt lament over youthful indiscretions and the vagaries of growing old is a major bummer—but damn if it isn’t the most beautiful thing we’ve heard since we realized we ain’t as young as we used to be. Goddamn kids these days.
The best thing here is that, while it doesn’t really sound like thunder, “Thunder” does sound like running along a sandy beach in the West Caribbean under the world’s most gorgeous full moon. And that’s before the wavering vocals kick in, taking things to a new level of beautiful.
Baron in the Trees (Static Clang)
Moaning cellos, haunted vocals, and an aesthetic that could be called “funeral chic” add up to a great reason to get excited about Halloween, even if the Great Pumpkin’s big day is still three weeks away.
Sun Kil Moon
War on Drugs: Suck My Cock (Independent)
Game, set, and match to Mark Kozelek, whose recent feud with Kurt Vile’s old band has yielded the finest seven-minute putdown since John Lennon asked how that “cunt” McCartney could sleep at night. At this point, WoD should just be grateful for the publicity.
My Brightest Diamond
I Am Not the Bad Guy (Paper Bag)
Singing lyrics like “I love you but won’t you please let me go?” in a voice that might be best described as “dead to the world”, Shara Worden crafts a potent anti-love letter that will resonate with anyone who wants out, even if it’s not totally over.