Tullycraft – Lost in Light Rotation (Magic Marker)

PURE SUGARY TWEE POP BEAUTY. 1990s Seattle birthed one of the world’s greatest pop bands, and almost 20 years later they’re still (tully)crafting some of the best stuff out there.  Light, fun, undeniably cool, retro and youthful at the same time, LILR may even surpass Disenchanted Hearts Unite as their best yet.  Everything is ultra-catchy and pure radio.  So I would ask you to politely put down whatever wannabe’s tape is in your hand and spin anything from the true DIY mother of indie pop, please. Don’t lose this is light rotation (ha).

-Kate Koschewa

Bastille – Haunt EP (Virgin)

Damn, Bastille rocks! Giving a unique British soul twist on a rather familiar electronic-alt-rock format, frontman Dan Smith and company blow the doors down with a set of songs from their Spring 2013 debut album. k1 became a bit of a hit over the summer, and deservedly so; it’s the best on this release, closely followed by the new track, “Haunt.” Bastille shows impressive production reminiscent of Viva-era Coldplay, but simultaneously showcase raw talent in Mumfordesque harmonies. This EP has everything you want from a British electronic band. It’s got the big sound, the fantastic musicianship, and the catchiness of a great summer album.

-Austin Lyons

Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp)

Boards of Canada is a legendary Scottish electronic duo. Tomorrow’s Harvest is their long-awaited return, and it does not disappoint. This is an album of brooding, minimal instrumentals of the sort that only this pair seems capable of creating.

-Lucas Hillard

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

Torres – Torres (Self-Released)

Mackenzie Scott is an exemplar of the Nashville music scene. Her voice warbles with the sincerest emotion–verging on despair–and her lyricism is an incredible force with which to be reckoned. The first two tracks (“Mother Earth, Father God” and “Honey”) are beautiful and, while it is a tad lengthy, “November Baby” serves to showcase her vocal range and songwriting abilities. Overall, Scott is a formidable musician and would pair very well with Austra, Beach House, and Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. -H. McKee, 28. Aug, 13

Austra – Olympia (Domino)

Austra absolutely kills it on this album. As a long time fan, perhaps I am biased in favor of Katie Stelmanis’s ethereal vocals and the almost unintelligible lyrics, but this album has a transcendent quality that is nearly intoxicating. “Painful Like” and “Sleep” are gorgeous wails of abstraction, while “Home” soars with searing catharsis. The entire album is an overwhelming crescendo of emotion–perfectly tempered by Stelmanis’s incredible vocal range. Literally any track would be perfectly paired with most tracks from The xx’s Coexist or The Knife’s Deep Cuts. -H. McKee, 28. Aug, 2013

Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart (Interscope)

Frank Turner’s fifth album is a thing of raw, pathetic beauty stemming from a devastating heartbreak and a harrowing descent into addiction. The tracks have a bit of a formulaic feel to them–each beginning with soft, self-deprecation and then crescendoing into unadulterated rage. Turner captured the anger and bitterness of the punk genre and has produced a very listenable album. My favorite track (“Plain Sailing Weather”) is, unfortunately not FCC-sanctioned, but it is the perfect rage jam. “Recovery” and “Four Simple Words” are both highly energetic and laden with self-loathing–perfect for a breakup playlist. Overall, this album makes me want to give Frank a big hug. – H. McKee, 26. Aug, 2013