1. Son Lux – Lanterns
Elaborately composed chamber pop with an equal amount of winds, strings and electronics. The songs are very rich and dense, ripe with oozing emotion and fervor. Sounds a bit like Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens.
2. Ducktails – Wish Hotel EP
Lead guitarist of Real Estate’s side project takes it easy once again by crafting a short EP of bright, sun-soaked tunes that are super easygoing. Synthesizer is featured more on this EP, but it’s still chilled out and ready to relax.
3. Juana Molina – Wed 21
Molina has created an experimental pop album with inventive layers of vocals, minimal percussion, and muted guitar and synth lines. It sounds like a fantasyland at night, where giant mushrooms are chairs and fireflies light the midnight parties.
4. Russian Circles – Memorial
The fifth album by this atmospheric instrumental metal outfit, this album can pummel the heck out of the listener, but also lift them up and help them soar. Moments of intense clarity and beauty are paired with times of crushing grief and heaviness, which makes this album a thrill ride not worth missing, metal fan or not.
5. M.I.A. – Matangi
Female hip-hop/internet politics icon has returned with a return to form after her mixed bag album MAYA in 2010. This album is full of glitchy, hook-filled, electro-leaning hip-hop tunes that deal with politics and M.I.A.’s background.