Merchandise - After The End
Tampa post-punk band Merchandise are set to release their new album next Tuesday with indie tastemaking label 4AD, who they signed with earlier this year. The band formed in 2008 around the talents of the loquacious Carson Cox and has peddled its DIY machine through the ups and downs of the Florida punk-rock community till it found itself with a wider audience. Their new record After The End touches on a calm nerve in the center of an otherwise wild and unpredictable rock dynamic. Requires multiple listens. Stream it on NPR First Listen here.
Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker
Of course when you’re 22 and get tapped to open for Jack White in 2014, people will talk about you, and you will deserve it. The second Tampa-born artist to make our list today, Booker’s brand is woolly, nebulous guitar rock shelled out in quick, loose strips befitting of blues halls, country jives, and rock clubs, blown free across the country by Booker’s soft howl. You can be sure Booker is crossing genre partitions to appeal to many, including those attending this weekend’s FYF Fest. You can stream his new album, out now, at NPR First Listen here.
Ty Segall - Manipulator
On the ever-present Ty Segall’s latest album, each song is a treat in itself: you’ve got your blistering guitar licks, you’ve got your pavement scraping shredding, your tightly-knit refrains, your well-crafted exam of the different reasons why Segall was born to pick up that guitar. And yet, according to NPR, the album took only a month to make (which is long by Segall’s standards). If you were wondering where the time went since his last album, you’ll see it all playing back at you in reverse - hitting each decade in backwards order just because he can and likes to do so. Manipulator is out next Tuesday, August 26. Stream it at NPR First Listen here.
Bahamas - Bahamas Is Afie
It may be tempting to call Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen a shoe-in for your local coffee shop’s morning to night playlist. And rightfully so: as inventive and exotic as Jurvanen can get, with off-kilter piano tramps, electric tuba, yelp and response, and children’s folk choirs, he invariably steers the wheel back to center each time. Its escape from monotony lies in the nuances he creates within road-rock, and its pacifying sound remains the contradictory takeaway of this album. In some ways, he recalls Eddie Vedder’s solo work for Into The Wild as well as contemporary acts like Ones To Watch band Moon Taxi. Hear it on KCRW’s Album Preview here.