Although theyre probably best known as a British band, Gomez bandmates are actually scattered across a couple of countries, with its members now living in the UK, L.A., and NY. Fortunately for them, they had a common production ground in producer Sam Farrar, who helped them bring together this, their latest album. Recorded primarily in a remote studio locale in Virginia, this is both a smoother and more experimental set than previous efforts, with new in-band approaches taken to horns and guitars (Options), synth/strings (Our Goodbye), and electronica (Song in my Heart.) Its fresh, eclectic, and interesting.
Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven - Yep Roc
After Alvin departed his long-time work with The Blasters in the late 70s, he found folk music to be his newest calling, and it ended up being one that snagged him several Grammy nods and a secondary round of new respect for his earthy and emotional songwriting. There are several surprises here for fans of Alvins music, including the more subtle, thoughtful approaches on such songs as No Worries Mija and the catchy Harlan County Line; Alvin also duets for the first time on a recording with his fellow Blaster and brother Phil. Its another solid step in Alvins ongoing - and artistically growing - roots rock career.
Bon Iver - Bon Iver - Jagjaguwar
With songs named after towns, reverb courtesy of an old swimming pools acoustics, and Auto-Tune used not to actually tune, but to add quirky, fragile vocal effects, Bon Ivers latest showcases a willingness to push his songs through new challenges as well as a strength in the unusual songwriting itself. More traditional-sounding pianos and strings appear on Wash, while the Americana-seasoned Towers is both emotive and simply pretty; Minnesota, WI somehow fuses banjos and horns into an effective musical base, and Hinnom, TX throws in scratchy, amped-up FX like the most seasoned guitarist-slash-DJ.
Matt Nathanson - Modern Love - Vanguard
Matt Nathanson may be one of the busiest performers that hardly anyone knows about. You may have heard his songs on VH1, American Idol, 90210, Good Morning America, and Vampire Diaries - but you may not know that the Bay Area singer-songwriter is already on his 8th album. Modern Love, which will hit stores on June 21st, offers more of the hearty pop that makes Nathansons music so palatable to the average TV-watching American - unfortunately, hes going down a road similar to that of Diane Warren: carefully-crafted tunes that end up being too sterile to transcend anything past commercial impact.