Every Local Release

Alex’s Hand, An Albatross Around the Neck (June 1, self-released, alexshand.bandcamp.com): Talk about sensory overload. This Steve Fisk–mixed, Rick Fisher–mastered offering, the latest from the jazz/rock collective, is chock-full of genre-hopping songs, some more melodic than others, with multiple voices making their presence known through monologues, conversations, distorted singing, and yelps. Is that a cat walking across a piano on album-opener “PunctuationAfterthought”? (Sat., June 1, The Wherehouse)

*HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Ever So Android, Ever So Android EP (out now, self-released, eversoandroid.bandcamp.com): However implausible a self-description like “the illegitimate love child of the Black Keys and Deadmau5” may sound, it’s apt. The music is heavy, smothered in grit with distorted guitars and unnerving synth lines driving the melodies forward. Singer Hope Simpson’s vocals are still fully capable of cutting through the mix and shining at the forefront, and the track “40 Seconds” stands out for its dynamic juxtaposition of singer and music. A compact but alarmingly well-put-together self-titled debut. (Sat., June 1, Neumos)

GreenhornBluehorn, GreenhornBluehorn EP (out now, self-released, greenhornbluehorn.com/songs.html): The debut EP from this quartet of city-dwelling brothers and friends is heavy on pretty acoustic tunes in the tradition of Jeff Tweedy. Think lush harmonies, warm melodies, and ’60s-esque folk sure to bring out your campfire-singing romantic side. (Fri., May 31, Conor Byrne)

Ian McFeron, Time Will Take You (out now, self-released, ianmcferon.com): McFeron’s saving grace is his lyrical ability: “Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout jaw lines/And hard times/Well it’s enough to get you blue,” he sings on “Down the Road,” a tune as serviceable as his run-of-the-mill-strumming/piano-tickling/twang-heavy accompaniment. Recorded in Nashville, TWTY sounds as if its only ambition is to sound like just that.

Logan Mohr, Transitions (out now, self-released, loganmohr.bandcamp.com): Mohr’s intricate finger-picking is showcased throughout each track. From the melodic ambience woven in “Phosphor” to the strumming fury of “Slow Dance,” this album is perfect for relaxing.

Solar Amaranth, Casting No Shadow (out now, self-released, solaramaranth.com): When Greg Weber and Michael Padilla aren’t working as a banker and lawyer, respectively, they’re combining dream pop and psychedelic grooves, with just a touch of Britpop, as Solar Amaranth. On their latest album, the duo gets a little help from Sunnie Larsen (Bone Poets Orchestra, Gaia Consort).

Still Corners, Strange Pleasures (out now, Sub Pop Records, stillcorners.tumblr.com): On its sophomore record, this duo maps the languid dream-pop of its debut onto more-straightforward electro fare. It’s probably a conscious move (there’s a song called “Beatcity,” for Christ’s sake), and the faster tempos and preponderance of hooks make for a more varied listen, even if their sonic evolution isn’t particularly distinctive.

Suntonio Bandanaz, American Gangster Nerd (out now, Fresh Chopped Beats/MADK Productions, samsquad.com/american-gangster-nerd.html): Bandanaz’s years as a lyricist, performer, and co-host of Seattle’s popular b-boy night, “Stop Biting,” are evident as soon as the title track begins to play. His rapping cadence has a bit of Snoop to it—with a smooth-’n’-lazy quality—but these 16 tracks are smart, polished, and often hilarious. Check the lyrics to “We Come in Peace”: “You probably know that it rains here/We got gangs here/Kurt Cobain and his brain here/Graff kids and b-boys is the same here/A lot of women and their pimps do their thing here.”

Verbal Tip, Stiffed (out now, Testerqua Records, facebook.com/verbaltip): This catchy five-song EP’s simple pleasures of keyboard beats and synthy melodies are somewhat effective, though the lyrics and vocal delivery occasionally take on a cheesed-up B-52s flavor that wears on your patience.

 
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