1. The New Pornographers, Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile
In the Morse Code of Brake Lights (Collected Work/Concord Music Group)
Recommend If You Like: Canadian musical collectives
Two years after Whiteout Conditions, The New Pornographers will return with their eighth studio album September 27. For reasons unknown to even the band, many of the songs have something to with or have some mention of cars, hence the title. But beware. AC Newman (who also produced the record) wants us to know that this is not any kind of concept album. It’s just a lyrical oddity.
2. Gong Gong Gong, Notes Underground 地下日記
Phantom Flasher (Wharf Cat)
RIYL: Chinese noise bands. Yes, that’s now a thing.
For the first time ever in the history of these lists, we have a band from China. Gong Gong Gong (or 工工工 before the translation) is a two-person group consisting of Tom Ng (born in Hong Kong) and Joshua Frank (a native of Montreal)who first started making music together in Beijing about four years ago. Singing in Mandarin, they describe their music like “chopping vegetables on a chopping block while you’re riding n a horse.”
3. Leeroy Stagger, Strange Attractor
Strange Path (Truth North)
RIYL: Canadian alt-country
Championed by other BC performers like Hot Hot Heat, Leeroy changed from punky to alt-country and moved to Lethbridge. His thirteenth album, due September 13, is the distillation of three albums’ worth of recordings (and a companion piece to Me and the Mountain, an album released in the spring) and features contributions from Pete Thomas, the drummer in Elvis Costello’s Attractions.
4. Hot Chip, Hungry Child
A Bath Full of Ecstasy (Domino)
RIYL: Synthy alt-dance
The much-honoured British band is now up to its seventh album of house- and disco-influenced material and the first to use an outside producer. Some critics are already saying that we’ll be seeing this record on a bunch of year-end best-of lists. This was the lead single from the record.
5. Miya Folick, Malibu Barbie
Premonitions (Terrible Records)
RIYL: Sinead O’Connor, Dolores O’Riordan, Fiona Apple
Miya, a Buddhist half-Japanese, half-Russian singer living in LA, studied classical voice with a very renown instructor who taught her arias from Mozart a variety of French composers. After dabbling in TV (her initial plan was to become an actor), she went back to music. To form a band, she—get this—created a profile on Tinder. It worked. Two EPs later, she’s ready with her first full album.
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