Wye Oak – “Shriek”
The Baltimore duo has released one of the most anticipated albums of the year, a follow-up to their 2011 album “Civilian.” It seems that they have taken a note from singer Jenn Wasner’s pop-synth side project Dungeonesse, as the album strays from their usual sound. Wasner has even switched from guitar to exclusively play bass, while bandmate Andy Stack backs up on keyboard. Wasner’s throaty vocals remain an essential part of their sound.
Deleted Scenes – “Lithium Burn”
The group’s third full-length release is one of perfectly solid experimental post/math rock. As expected, the instrumentation and overall tone of the album is aggressively expansive. There are some really well-planned moments of dissonance, as well as frenzied distortion and unexpected key changes that keep the listener interested without going too far overboard to sound grating.
Seahaven – “Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only”
Seahaven has redefined their tone with this album, their most laid-back release to date. As more of an exploration of the band’s abilities both lyrically and instrumentally, the album has taken a more minimalist approach than fans would expect. The whole thing is compositionally stunning and cohesively plaintive, and a clear sign that they have taken a step in the right direction.