CLAP YOUR HANDS
"New Fragility" [LP/CD]
There was a moment 15 years ago where a few indie rock bands just put their music out on the internet via blogs and sharing, and they actually broke through.
The spindly, hooky CYHSY quickly translated their online efforts into breaking through to the charts.
"New Fragility" still carries that wanting sound (especially in leader Alec Ounsworth's voice). However, it is now less wistful and more wizened. "Thousand Oaks" and the guitar-driven "Hesitating Nation" carry themselves on their ability to threaten to kick in, framing "New Fragility" as a grower that continues to draw you close.
"Glowing In The Dark"
With a handful of ultra-danceable singles, Django Django leads you into their glittering fourth album where their stylish art-rock has gone full electronic.
Like Glass Animals, Django Django is looking at the bigger picture where rhythm and blues textures and beats toughen up trilling, gurgling and lush synths. "Free From Gravity" is just as effervescent as its title while the weird "The Ark" tries harder to be harder.
THE PRETTY RECKLESS
"Death By Rock N' Roll"
The Pretty Reckless are female-led hard rockers who are now celebrating their fifth mainstream rock number one (a record). The question is, however, with bright Guns N'Roses-esque production (sadly their last producer died, thus inspiring the title cut), could they break rock n' roll through to 2021?
Taylor Momsen is a commanding singer, and the band makes it all punishing ("And So It Went"), but the songs still sound more calculated ("25" is definitely reminiscent of Evanescence, until its surprising pop bridge) for their mainstream rock fans.
"Super Monster" [LP/CD]
Bedroom pop is always great for confessional songs, especially when they are bittersweet. Claud is the latest in a chain of heartbroken youth. Claud knows how to use that wavy guitar and some easy drum machines. However, unlike others, Claud knows how to construct his hooks to where they best affect and infect you, like in "Soft Spot."
While it is still a little light on finding its place musically (mostly pop), you can really see why Phoebe Bridgers would make this talented singer and songwriter her first signing.
Mik Davis is record store manager at T-Bones Records & Cafe.