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The Best Releases of August: Music Staff Picks

Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States Aussie noise rock band Tropical Fuck Storm’s third album, Deep States, is as messy and disorienting as the doomed political landscape it was birthed out of. Reflecting mind-poisoning social media discourse twisted through the filter of a distortion pedal, vocalists Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin deliver some of their most compelling melodies over lacerating guitar and synth lines. The opening track, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, writes from the perspective of Jesus’ second coming to Earth to proclaim in a grand chorus “There ain’t no end of days.” Even at its loudest, a sense … Continued

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The Best Releases of June: Music Staff Picks

Spellling – The Turning Wheel The Turning Wheel, Chrystia Cabral’s third album under the project Spellling, offers bewitchingly captivating progressive folk and neo-soul songs. A shift towards natural instrumentation marks a stark change from 2019’s synth-heavy Mazy Fly, giving these songs a new liveliness, and pushing Cabral’s songwriting towards the theatrical. The sonic palette on its own can be bewildering at first–veering off without warning into performances of soul, hard rock, classical, folk, and of course, synthwave. It’s no surprise that the personnel list reveals more than thirty performers–all of whom sound great. The songs are left with an enchanting … Continued

The atmosphere at the Englert Theatre on April 4 couldn’t have been more appropriate for a concert. Patrons lined from the doors all the way to the Ped Mall. All of this, in anticipation for Grizzly Bear’s return to Iowa City for the first time since 2007. Grizzly Bear is currently touring with Owen Pallett in support of their hailed album Shields (2012). Started as the project of guitarist/keyboards/vocalist Ed Droste in 2002, they have since become Daniel Rossen, Chris Bear, and Chris Taylor who together create one of the most respected bands around today. With four studio albums and … Continued

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Grizzly Bear is one of those bands that continue to stand out by creating an engaging auditory experience. Their breakout album Veckatimist was lauded by music fans and critics alike, and it is probably safe to say Shields will follow suit. Shields is unique in that it doesn’t have a standout track, the quality is inherent in every song; each has its own handsome virtues. The single “Yet Again” is arguably the most accessible song on the album, but it still maintains the haunting aura the album strives for. From the moment the album begins with “Sleeping Ute,” it is … Continued

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By Eric Intlekofer Walk the Moon’s set at the Blue Room at the Blue Moose Tap House proved that they are a band you will be hearing from in the future. Following their appearances at this year’s Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, they’ve embarked on a nationwide tour in support of their debut album I Want! IWant! and have been gaining recognition as an upcoming indie-pop act. Despite there being fewer people than I expected at the show, the Cincinnati quartet hit the stage with the typical enthusiasm one can expect from their energetic performances. The floor of the Blue Room was … Continued

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By Eric Intlekofer There is a quality in Portugal. The Man that all music lovers can admire, or at least respect, and that is their ability to put out a consistent record every year. With “In the Mountain In the Cloud,” the Alaska and Portland based band moved to a major label, many a music fan’s nightmare. This time around, however, that chance is not to be feared. Their style has not been compromised, in fact it’s been honed. Their sixth LP seems to be a culmination of the forward progress the band has been working on for the past … Continued

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