King Crimson- In the Court of the Crimson King

CLASSICS WEEK: Decades after its release, In the Court of the Crimson King still stands tall as one of the greatest and most relevant progressive rock albums ever.

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Kendrick Lamar- good kid, m.A.A.d. city

With good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar drops what’s easily hip hop’s most cinematic album of 2012.

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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Animal Collective- Centipede Hz

With Centipede Hz, experimental music outfit Animal Collective is following its poppiest album, 2009′s Merriweather Post Pavilion, with one of its most hectic.

Stream Jens Lekman’s I Know What Love Isn’t

Stream: Jens Lekman- I Know What Love Isn’t

On September 3, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman will be releasing his third LP, titled I Know What Love Isn’t, via Secretly Canadian. The folks over at The Quietus have made it available to stream now; just follow the link above to give it a listen.

It’s been about five years since Jens won the hearts of many independent music fans with his last album, Night Falls Over Kortedala. His sweet, engaging lyricism, captivating melodies, and disarming voice made him a personality with whom it was difficult not to fall in love, especially when coupled with the warm and welcoming aesthetic of his precisely chosen instrumentation. Fortunately, I Know What Love Isn’t exhibits Jens retaining such qualities and the charm they lent him, though also exploring his songwriting enough to save it from feeling like an unneeded regurgitation of ideas previously established in his discography. Aspiring indie pop artists, take note: this is how you make a record that is infectious on the surface and bears emotional depth at its core.

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Metric- Synthetica

Album after album, Ontario band Metric hones an incredibly polished approach to rock music.

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Torche- “Reverse Inverted”

Although it’s probably safe to say that sludge metal quartet Torche has been heading in a progressively more pop-inflected direction throughout the past few years, that’s not to say that they have sacrificed ambition as a result. On “Reverse Inverted,” the second track to drop from the band’s upcoming LP, the band proves this by combining frontman Steve Brooks’ catchy vocal approach with riffs that experiment with unconventional time signatures. One of the track’s strongest moments comes with the closing riff, which sees the band lock into a relentlessly engaging groove, then introduce a particularly euphoric guitar melody that carries the song to a close.

You heard “Kicking,” and now we have “Reverse Inverted,” which you can hear above. Look forward to an April 24 release date for Torche’s third album, Harmonicraft, via Volcom.

Fidlar- DIYDUI

Coming out in April on White Iris, here’s the new Fidlar 7″, DIYDUI. These guys are a LA band looking for some bottles to break and weed to smoke. Maybe a couch to lay on for a while, too. Definitely something to help Black Lips or Natural Child fans kick spring into high gear. Be on the lookout for some surf rock reverb, pounding guitars, and a load of attitude.

The Magnetic Fields- Love at the Bottom of the Sea

The latest Magnetic Fields album sees the band returning to form a bit with the incorporation of synthesizers, but it just doesn’t feel like the old days, to me.

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Papercuts- Fading Parade

If y’all remember, Papercuts’ last album, You Can Have What You Want, sat proudly on my top-15 albums of ’09 list. So it’s no surprise that I’m stoked for this upcoming album–which is titled Fading Parade. Before the LP’s release on Sub Pop on 3/1, a single for the track “Do What You Will” is gonna drop on 2/1. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting.
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