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

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