Latest

Laucan – “Symptom”

The indie-folk of Laucan feints melancholy pastoralism that hides a post-modern agenda. With somber guitar, stately cello and falsetto vocals, Laurence Galpin, who records as Laucan (pronounced Lor-can, like Shar-day) interlaces the organic and acoustic with mechanical matter and digital methods to highlight their influence on each other and the flow of everyday life. If […]

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The Dears – “Taking It To The Grave”

For the balance of high drama and emotional verisimilitude, few bands compare to the Dears. On “Taking It To The Grave” as in many of their songs, I imagine a scene unfolding at a daytime street cafe: two lovers sit across from each other, conferring in low volumes and darting ambiguous glances at each other. […]

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What the whole world wants: Game Theory

Indie-pop progenitors Game Theory were born either too late or too early. When they came to college radio’s notice in 1985, the northern California band sounded a little passé, like a new wave unit of the power-pop variety, brandishing undistorted guitars, blurts of synth melody, and male-female harmonies. American indie groups of the time generally […]

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Male Gaze – “Tell Me How It Is”

Maybe it’s just smoke from all the fireworks they’ve been setting off in the Sound It Out offices lately, but I’m really digging the thick haze of “Tell Me How It Is,” the new single from San Francisco rockers Male Gaze. Of course, SIO has been repping Male Gaze since their stunning 2015 debut introduced […]

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Ohmme – “Fingerprints”

What happens when whiz kids turn their sights onto straight-ahead indie rock? “Fingerprints,” the new single by Ohmme, provides one answer. A deft juggling act of unfussy melody, nimble vocals, and fluid shifts of tempo and feel, the tune features a cool trick: a tumbling vocal figure, alternated rapidly between Ohmmists Sima Cunningham and Macie […]

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CAN – The Singles

I suppose it’s an arguable point, but CAN were probably the greatest of the German kosmiche (a.k.a. “krautrock”) bands. From 1968 through the entire 70s and then a worthwhile reunion in 1989, the quartet pursued an expansive scope of avant-garde improvisation, global groove, acid rock, and European classical music. Each member brought a distinctive style […]

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Agent blå – “Derogatory Embrace”

Man, you couldn’t pay me a million bucks to be a teenager again! (Have you seen “13 Reasons Why”?) But for articulating with unironic commitment the feel of a world falling apart, go straight to the source: Agent blå and their latest single “Derogatory Embrace,” all clanging guitars and passing-trains drums. The members of this […]

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Sleepy Sun – “Seaquest”

Huh, I forgot there were still bands who want to rock like this… and now I realize how much I miss them. Sleepy Sun play sweeping alt-rock that swings for the bleachers with a poetic beating heart. The San Francisco group draws on a lineage that winds through the godhead evocations of Pink Floyd and […]

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Big Thief – Capacity

Barely a year after releasing one of 2016’s best debut albums, Big Thief have a new record that gives us a clearer idea of what this band is up to. Capacity discards many of the group’s more obvious alt-rock gestures, yielding an album simultaneously mellow and feral. On  “Shark Smile,” peals of guitar reverb and […]

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H. Hawkline – “Engineers”

Summer changes everything, doesn’t it? In other seasons, the lackadaisacal indie rock of H. Hawkline could sound a bit daffy, possibly irritating to a body trying to stay warm and get shit done. Then June arrives, the days grow longer, the pressure eases, and now exploring the pointillist arrangement and pleasing bop of his latest […]

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