Arcade Fire – Reflektor

I’ve been on the fence about many albums this year, but this is one of the few where I’m torn. For every great moment on the new Arcade Fire record, there’s one that falls incredibly short of whatever stylistic mark the band was shooting for. Rather than deliver another cohesive set of songs, Reflektor embarks upon a stylistic hodgepodge full of hits and misses.

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend’s latest album is a worth sequel to 2010′s Contra, presenting songs that truly stand on the merits of their memorable writing and lush instrumentation.

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The Act of Estimating as Worthless – Circadian Tremors

Since the moment I heard them, New York’s the Act of Estimating as Worthless has showcased an interesting combination of quaintly lethargic vocals and incredibly ambitious instrumentation. It’s somewhat like an emotionally raw and baroque pop-influenced version of the Moldy Peaches. That similarity might have been a little too prevalent on the band’s last full-length, but I’m enjoying hearing them grow into their own on a bit more with this new EP, Circadian Tremors. The band is reaching even higher with the horns and strings that typically surround their earnest, folky tunes. The songs themselves ain’t bad either! Enjoy!

Adam Green & Binki Shapiro – Self-Titled

On their first full-length collaborative effort, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro appear to have more in common then one would assume; however, that doesn’t always guarantee chemistry.

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Adam Green & Binki Shapiro – “Just To Make Me Feel Good”

Ex-Moldy Peaches member Adam Green and Little Joy’s Binki Shapiro has a new, self-titled collaborative album out, and “Just To Make Me Feel Good” is one of the lovelier tracks on it. It’s just received some visuals via the music video above, and it’s a cute split-screen affair that features images of Binki and Adam mirroring one another in loneliness.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street”

Oh, hey, it’s a new track from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ next album! I’m down!

A lot like the last track Nick and his band dropped from this forthcoming album, Push the Sky Away, “Jubilee Street” is somewhat subtle and restrained. However, the track still brings a uniquely dark and disturbing intensity that only a singer like Cave can lay into a track.

The baroque strings are an extremely nice touch, and they get hotter as the narrative in Cave’s lyrics does. Actually, the whole band blossoms as the track progresses, making this song really feel like somewhat of a jam. Enjoy!

Igorrr – Hallelujah

Admittedly, if I had casually heard the phrase “operatic breakcore” getting tossed around in a music conversation, I’d truly be fighting the urge to step in and shout, “GIMMICK! GIMMICK! GIMMICK!” However, that’s really the only word grouping I can conjure to describe the sounds on Igorrr’s Hallelujah. I guess it isn’t truly functional, though, because there’s an indescribable metal influence on some of these tracks, too.

Grab this album on vinyl, CD, or MP3 on Bandcamp.

While I’m not completely convinced that the music streaming in the above widget isn’t a gimmick, at least it’s detailed and impressively produced. The pairing of genres here may, on paper, look about as appetizing as a mustard and jelly sandwich, there’s some serious gourmet cooking going on here.

The Haiduks- 1968

The Haiduks is a project lead by Christian Richter, who also runs independent label Kinnta Records and is a member of the group Soft Mirage. 1968 is The Haiduks’ new album, which was released in September by way of Richter’s label. Above, stream the release via The Haiduks’ Bandcamp.

1968 is a relatively direct callback to 1960′s psychedelic pop, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting. The songwriting on the LP is developed enough to keep it from feeling like an undercooked revivalist release, and from a sonic standpoint, it is fleshed out with both lush instrumentation–check out, for example, the gorgeous flue solo on “Weeping Willow”–and a warm analog production quality. It is easy to be skeptical about music that feels so wrapped up in a long-gone era, but when it is as well-executed as this record, cynicism becomes a challenging mentality to maintain.

Rhye- “The Fall”

The mysterious and gentle pop duo known as Rhye has recently dropped a new single titled “the Fall,” and it’s a light, danceable, and string-kissed piece of soft-spoken beauty. As moving as it is delicate.

Get more music from Rhye on Innovative Leisure.

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Jens Lekman- I Know What Love Isn’t

On his third full-length album, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman returns with a more simplistic approach, toning down the extremely colorful instrumentation that coated his last LP. Thankfully, the man’s charm and wit is all this album needs to stay afloat.

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