Parkay Quarts – “Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth”

New York’s Parquet Courts–or Parkay Quarts as it is stylized here–have a somewhat spotty past with me. While I really dug 2012′s Light Up Gold, I felt left out in the cold on their last record, Sunbathing Animal. But because I’m a fan of Andrew Savage, the band’s deep-voiced frontman, I’m still interested in seeing if the Parkay can top its previous material.

With “Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth,” they’re off to a good start. It’s a long, dreary slow-burner, which there were a few of on Sunbathing Animal, but Savage has obviously upped his lyrical game here. He indulges in some Dylan-esque poetic abstractions while delivering them in a Lou Reed-style apathy. It actually keeps the track engaging as the band performs a simple, downtrodden instrumental that fuses lo-fi indie rock with alt-country.

Look for Parkay Quarts next album, Content Nausea, to be released via What’s Your Rupture? on November 11th.

Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World

DFA 1979 returns with a likable followup to their debut full-length.

Death From Above 1979 – “Government Trash”

Few musical comebacks have been as hotly anticipated as Death From Above 1979′s. A few years after the Ontario duo’s electrifying debut album dropped, they splintered and began working on other projects instead. I vividly remember being disappointed upon first hearing this news, because You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine left such a strong impression on me–and most of the independent rock world, too.

To hear that Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler were getting the band back together a few months ago was exciting, and it’s tracks like “Government Trash” that make it feel like the hiatus never happened. The track’s riffs are the sonic equivalent to an adrenaline shot, and the vocals could be more on point, too!

Look for The Physical World on September 9th via Last Gang Records.

Alt-J – “Every Other Freckle”

Previously loved UK art pop outfit Alt-J drops yet another song from their forthcoming LP, This Is All Yours. The release date: September 22nd via Infectious.

Unlike the previously released songs off this new album, “Every Other Freckle” seems to be more in line with Alt-J’s previous output. There’s a heavy bassline matched with some equally lumbering drum beats, and atop that are the odd, soulful vocals of guitarist-vocalist Joe Newman.

The hook is great, and as the song progresses, the band manages to build the intensity up with more percussive and melodic layers. Alt-J writes catchy, upfront tracks, but their refined approach to arranging their instrumentation is what continues to keep them interesting.

Spoon – They Want My Soul

Once again, Spoon comes through with a solid, catchy, enjoyable rock record.

Wild Birds & Peacedrums – “The Offbeat”

Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums drops a new track titled “The Offbeat,” which looks like it’s going to be landing on the duo’s next full-length album, Rhythm. Not a surprising title from this band considering much of their past material has featured nothing but vocals and drums, and that’s exactly how this new track feels. Aside from a few spare “plinks” and glitches hanging in the background, Mariam Wallentin’s voice passionately rides the building drum work of Andreas Werliin.

Despite the lack of accompaniment, once again, Mariam and Andreas sound great. Mariam’s vocals continue to be a powerhouse of passion, and the Andreas’ grooves really keep the tension up.

It’s nice to hear W&P get back into the swing of things after the release of Mariam’s debut solo album, which I loved last year.

Look for Rhythm on November 3rd via the Leaf Label.

Crabe – Anti-Vague

Québec band Crabe has a new record up on Bandcamp that lives up to its title: Anti-Vague. There’s nothing faint or subtle about this duo’s rough and eccentric approach to indie rock. They create a serious ruckus for just two dudes, and their songs are sung in French as well–I dunno, I figured that’d be something that interests you.

If you’re into the sounds of colorful, aggressive noiseniks like No Age, then give this thing a try.

Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten tests patience with a slow burner of a new record.

Sharon Van Etten – “Your Love Is Killing Me”

Singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten and her band hammer out a loud but patient ballad on “Your Love Is Killing Me.” Without doing it intentionally–I don’t think–the instrumentation on this one works more like a drone than it does indie or folk rock.

Sharon kicks things off with a distant drum beat, twang-y guitar leads, and some somber keys. Everything just builds, builds, and builds from there. The movement of the song is subtle, but it continues to grow more and more intense as it draws to a close, slowing the progression down a bit on occasion.

“Burn my skin so I can feel you,” Sharon calls out, lining that lyric up with a series of other contradictions that point out just how flawed this “love” she’s speaking of is. Sharon’s voice, like usual, is incredibly powerful, beautiful, and delivered with an immense amount of conviction.

Look for Sharon’s next album, Are We There, via Jagjaguwar on May 27th.

Parquet Courts – “Black and White”

After dropping the rigid, rollicking title track from their sophomore album Sunbathing Animal last month; Parquet Courts are now offering a second glimpse of the project via the considerably wilder “Black and White.” The song features the band’s trademark snarky vocals, but throws a couple of great guitar and electronic freak-outs into the mix. Check it out above and enjoy!

Sunbathing Animal is due out June 3 via What’s Your Rupture? and Mom + Pop. A gentle reminder their debut album was pretty sick.