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Review: San Cisco ‘Golden Revolver’

Perth teenage four-piece San Cisco have released their first EP, ‘Golden Revolver’, and it’s a killer debut full of singles, great pop tunes, and above all else an impressive amount of diversity. It manages the impossible task of sounding retro and modern; youthful and mature. There really is something here for pretty much anyone that appreciates indie pop music in any form.

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Album Review: Beirut ‘The Rip Tide’

So I’m just going to say it: this is Beirut’s best album. From start to finish, ‘The Rip Tide’ is a sublime listening experience. At only just over half an hour long you may think that this record might feel lacking in substance, but quite the opposite is true: there is just so much packed into these 33 minutes. There is not a single second wasted, and instead of a lack of substance we have an abundance of fantastic tracks, any one of which could easily be a single. This is beautiful music, and more importantly it has Zach Condon’s personal watermark all over it. This album could come from no-one else.

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Album Review: Givers ‘In Light’

You could be forgiven for dismissing Louisiana band Givers’ debut album as just another 2k-something indie pop effort that imitates and falls well short of the likes of Vampire Weekend and Passion Pit. After all it mostly consists of upbeat songs driven by a combination of electronic elements, handclaps, and glockenspiels, infused with a healthy dose of tropical beats and absurdly catchy hooks. But the real strength of this record and indeed this band is in their ability to rise above their influences and craft a sound all of their own.

Sure ‘In Light’ sounds a bit like Vampire Weekend at times, but it also sounds a bit like Animal Collective, a bit like Local Natives, and a bit like Ra Ra Riot. It’s unmistakably a result of the hyper-diluted indie market of the last five years, but it also transcends its context to become an amazing album all in its own right.

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Album Review: Kaiser Chiefs ‘The Future Is Medieval’

While the way the Kaiser Chiefs released their latest album ‘The Future Is Medieval’ was almost certainly aimed to thwart music pirates, it has also inadvertently thwarted music critics.

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Album Review: Patrick Wolf ‘Lupercalia’

‘Lupercalia’ is a pretty great album, it just doesn’t really feel like a Patrick Wolf album. It’s the antithesis to 2009’s ‘The Bachelor’, which is ironic seeing as they were both originally intended to be part of a double-album with this new disc entitled ‘The Conquerer’, until Wolf’s songwriting took him in a different direction. One can only assume that in the time between 2009 and now he has found God or Love or something in between, because this is easily the happiest and most unreservedly hopeful we’ve ever seen Patrick Wolf.

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Album Review: Bon Iver ‘Bon Iver’

‘For Emma’ was so 2008. Welcome to the newer, meaner, denser Bon Iver. A year ago it seemed alien to imagine a Bon Iver song that required more than a couple of instruments, but in reality this new, more complex sound is a direction that Justin Vernon has been hinting at in his live shows for the better part of three years. The fact that he never tried to transcribe the sparseness and desolation of ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ into a live show, but instead insisted on using a full band and plenty of instrumentation, was perhaps an indicator that he thought the album was impossible to recreate. And the fact that he hasn’t tried to recreate ‘For Emma’ in Bon Iver’s latest self-titled album turns out to be nothing short of a stroke of genius.

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