It looks like we’re off to a great start for 2018! The releases are always a little sparse at the end of any year, so we’ve been eager to hear some new music and share some of our favorites.

Disclaimer: Some of these albums may not be out yet. We will include a release date for those albums.

Suuns – Felt (Secretly Canadian : Release Date 3/2)

We’ve been waiting since 2016 to hear some new music from the Montreal-based band. It is clear now that their short sabbatical was not spent on the couch. Felt seems to be the product of hard work and creative exploration. This has all the intensity and dissonance that I loved from 2016’s Hold/Still, but the range of emotion and dynamics is much greater with just as many new ideas expressed through synthesized sound, as they are with the conventional rock instruments. Some songs have a sunnier vibe about them, that eluded their previous album’s more dark tones. But they still maintain that sense of unease that I can’t get enough of.

The Men – Drift [Sacred Bones] (Release Date 3/2)

Drift seems to be the quintessential Sacred Bones album. The label, although clearly coming from a place of stellar taste and direction, is sometimes difficult to pin down. Their bands will range from dark folk, to electronic, to hardcore, to straight-ahead rock. There is a sort of elusive glue that holds them all together, but I can’t for the life of me pin down exactly what it is. The Men seem to be delivering this same kind of ambiguous art with their newest album. It’s all over the place and it’s all great.

Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo [Dead Oceans] (Out Now)

Being a band from Texas named after the Thai word for “Engine Fly,” an album title that translates from Spanish to “With All The World,” it’s hard to guess what you might expect from this album. After hearing it, it’s not much easier to describe. The band pulls from 60s & 70s soul, R&B, psychedelic rock and maybe a little kitchy lounge. Without directly quoting any sort of “international” music, they manage to have a very worldly sound, without ever leaving their home country. There is a dreamy haze throughout the entire album that gives it a 60s cinematic quality, as if it might be heard in a cafe scene in a Jean-Luc Godard film. At other times, it makes for the perfect music to roller skate to. With the growing craze of throwback funk and soul, it’s nice to hear a band taking some artistic liberties with the genre while keeping true to their influences.

U.S. Girls – A Poem Unlimited [4AD] (Release Date 2/16)

U.S. Girls is a master class in playing with the pop format. Their songs are catchy and engaging, ranging from Yeah Yeah Yeah’s style powerhouse pop rock to 70s Disco, but they are never unoriginal or dated. Much of this comes from the vocal stylings and lyrics of Meg Remy. She is fearless with her rhythms and melodies, often skewing the line between familiarity and abstract expression. These ideas are very subtle and maybe not immediately recognizable, but once you hear what she’s going for, it is recognizable through all of her songs. This album is great for the clubs or for more intimate listening.

Marie/Lepanto – Tenkiller [Big Legal Mess Records]

Disclaimer: This album has a release date of 1/26, but is delayed till Saturday 1/27. Call the shop with your name and number, if you would like for us to call you as soon as it comes in.

“Marie/Lepanto” refers to a road sign directing you to two small towns that lie between the hometowns of collaborators Will Johnson (Centromatic, Monsters of Folk, South San Gabriel) and Justin Peter Kinkek-Schuster (Water Liars). The music speaks to their south/midwest geography, with its nods to folk, southern rock and the power pop of Big Star. The music on Tenkiller has that working class, “living off the land” sound that has made for countless, thoughtful recordings and bands.