Nation Of Language – “Across That Fine Line” (Indie Rock)
Brooklyn’s Nation of Language deliver an eye-opening sophomore album that has everyone at KHOL abuzz. More experience in the studio coupled with a relaxed and confident attitude serves this young band well as they put together an album rooted in Krautrock and early electronic music.
Parcels – “Theworstthing” (Pop / Soul / Disco)
We here at KHOL first heard of the Australian five-piece Parcels while attending Treefort Music Festival in Boise in September. When interviewed backstage, Gilligan Moss described them as the “best live band out right now.” Parcels ambitiously tackles all hours and moods of a single day with their second album, “Day/Night.” The record spans many styles, ideas and instrumentation, creating an enjoyable playground of different approaches.
Radiohead – “If You Say The Word” (Indie Rock / Electronic)
Recorded together but released a year apart, “Kid A” (2000) and “Amnesiac” (2001) signaled a seismic shift in not only the U.K. band’s direction but the music industry as a whole. Their original guitar-led sound expanded into glitchy electronica and free jazz, marking a fertile creative period for the band. So fertile, in fact, that they were able to release an entire extra album’s worth of songs recorded during that time as a companion piece to the new complete package. Along with the two classic albums, “Kid A Mnesia” contains new songs, including “If You Say The Word,” alternate versions of others and half-finished sketches, all of which are worth your while.
The War On Drugs – “Occasional Rain” (Indie Rock)
Philadelphia’s The War On Drugs dropped an instant classic with their new album, “I Don’t Live Here Anymore.” Their fifth full length record finds them looking inward in search of self-discovery while embracing change and the growth that comes with it. Album closer, “Occasional Rain,” with its bright synths signaling a calm after the storm, ends things on a hopeful note.
Geese – “Disco” (Indie Rock)
Members of the young Brooklyn post-punk band Geese were still in high school when recording their debut album “Projector.” The buzz-worthy album finds them combining all of their indie rock influences, including Talking Heads and The Strokes, into a fully formed statement, wise beyond its years and which provides the soundtrack to the frustration, anxiety and ecstasy of coming into your own.
Angel Olsen – “Safety Dance” (Indie Pop)
After having her world slowed down by the pandemic, Asheville, North Carolina’s Angel Olsen just wanted to have some fun in the studio. The singer-songwriter’s new “Aisles” EP features ambitious takes on five ‘80’s pop covers, including “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. The results are dark, synth-heavy and deliberate. Reinterpreting the classics in her own vision, Olsen effectively breathes new life into them from an unexpected but assuredly comfortable angle.
Gary Bartz – “Soulsea (Cut Chemist Remix)” (Jazz / Soul)
Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad, co-founders of Los Angeles’ Jazz Is Dead label, have tapped nine different artists to reinterpret their personal favorites from the JID catalog thus far. On his remix of Gary Bartz’s “Soulsea,” Cut Chemist brings the big beat and complex layering that he and his co-conspirator DJ Shadow are known for, which elevates the track to new heights.
José González – “Tjomme (DJ Koze Remix)” (Folk / Electronic)
Swedish singer-songwriter José Gonzalez’s latest album, “Local Valley,” is arguably his most energetic, incorporating the patterns and textures of electronic music into his own distinctive very-much-organic style. It’s this inherent energy in the track “Tjomme” that attracted well-known DJ/producer DJ Koze to remix the track into a dancefloor-filling celebration of the soul.
PinkPantheress – “pain” (Indie Pop / Electronic)
England’s PinkPantheress is very much a modern artist in that she got her big break on TikTok earlier this year with the infectious track, “Pain,” off of her debut mixtape, “to hell with it.” The brief 19-minute collection of tracks is supported by a large assortment of house, drum ‘n’ bass and even Linkin Park samples. After only a couple of listens, it is clear PinkPantheress has a genuine connection to her source material, using it as a springboard to lament failed relationships and celebrate promising new ones.
Mild Minds – “HAUNTED” (Synth Pop / Electronic)
After a long period of self-reflection, Australia’s Mild Minds returns with his signature sound of driving synths and contemplative lyrics on the single “Haunted.” Immediately one of his favorite tracks he’s ever written, the song breaks down all of the beauty and pain associated with losing someone too soon.