The Baptist Generals – Jackleg Devotional to the Heart (Sub Pop)

The Baptist Generals make unique indie rock with folk influences, reminiscent of the band Califone. The vocalist has a powerful, distinctive voice that sells lyrics that are nothing to rave about. Instrumentally, however, this band stands out. The compositions are full of strange instrumentation that gives the music a very untraditional sound.

-Lucas Hillard

Volcano Choir – Repave (Jagjaguwar)

Volcano Choir is a project featuring Justin Vernon from Bon Iver and the members of experimental rock group Collections of Colonies and Bees. Sonically, the album is not too much of a departure from Bon Iver’s sophomore album; however, Vernon’s vocal stylings do differ quite considerable. He frequently abandons the falsetto for a more anthemic Springsteen-esque howl. Surprisingly, it works well, and this album is a pleasure to hear.

- Lucas Hilliard

Neko Case Impresses on Stunning Return

A solo artist since the 90s and a core member of the Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, Neko Case has worn many hats throughout her career.  But while her output has always been strong, her last release—2009’s “Middle Cyclone”—didn’t do much to push the envelope of Case’s sound, and it seemed as though we might’ve seen all she had to offer.  Fortunately, 20 years into her career, Case has crafted her most innovative and engaging album yet.

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The Flower Lane – Ducktails (Domino)

Ducktails fires on all cylinders for its fourth album. Matt Mondanile (also of Real Estate) finds the perfect niche and gives indie pop its next great band. The Flower Lane starts off with two great Mark Foster-esque tracks (“Ivy Covered House”, “Under Cover”). Future Shuttle’s Jessa Farkas gives a great performance on Letter of Intent, one of the album’s best. The band’s grooves are great (Assistant Director”), and it’s incredibly hard to stop listening. This record hooks you from the start, and is a great ride from beginning to end. Ducktails seriously could be the next big thing in indie pop.

Austin Lyons 2/4/13

Speedy Ortiz – Major Arcana (Carpark Records)

Speedy Ortiz has been getting a good deal of attention lately for bringing back the kind of angsty, well-written, female rock that artists like Liz Phair pioneered.  Although I don’t think the singer’s voice is as compelling as her predecessors, fans of this genre of music can still find something to enjoy here, as this album contains hints of other female-fronted rock bands like Rilo Kiley and has enough going on to keep it interesting. -N. Cotter            8/25/13