While Smith Westerns broke out on their last album, “Dye It Blonde,” their follow-up shows that their sound hasn’t gotten stale. Two excellent songs bookend what is otherwise a decent rock album, and its mixture of pop, rock, lo-fi, and other genres makes it an all-around enjoyable listen. -N. Cotter 8/24/13
At this point, you probably already know whether or not you like She and Him. Volume 3 is Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward at their She-and-Himmiest ever, and if you’re a fan, that’s definitely a good thing. Catchy pop hooks from Deschanel’s distinct vocals blend with Ward’s breezy guitar work to produce a sound that everyone was making 60 years ago, but nobody is now. If you’re not on the She and Him bandwagon, you’re just missing out on some good fun. -N. Cotter 8/24/13
Extremely creative/enjoyable instrumental electronic music. The first four tracks are muscular techno soundscapes, with “Breathe This Air” adding a sprinkling of piano flourishes to the mix. The back half of the album scale the abrasiveness back, starting with a minimal piano ballad in “Abandon Window.” “Form By Firelight” (a personal favorite) lays consistent piano jabs over a futuristic bass-heavy electro-groove. “Sun Harmonics” is a slow building house track that layers simple guitar picks, shakers, and ethereal voices into a quietly uplifting composition. Recommended if you like Fuck Buttons, John Talabot, Jamie xx.
Zach Shealy 8/21/2013
Our neighbors from Belmont, the Delta Saints, have created a distinctly Southern debut album. Death Letter Jubilee is a rock album soaked in moonshine and served at some dimly lit Nashville bar. The Delta Saints’ rollicking album results directly in foot tapping and head-nodding thanks to Ben Ringel’s soulful vocals and Dylan Fitch’s driving guitar. Death Letter Jubilee should be blasted out of a Mardi Gras float, especially “Death Letter Jubilee” and “Boogie.” The thumping Southern beats are cut by the haunting “Out to Sea” (think The Avett Brothers) and “River” (think a 1930s Mississippi porch front). A little swampy, a little bluesy, and definitely soulful. -Hillary Good 4/11/2013