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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

The Lumineers are “an amalgam of heart-swelling stomp-and-clap acoustic rock, classic pop, and front-porch folk” who got their start when front-man Wesley Schultz teamed up with drummer Jeremiah Fraites, the younger brother of his late best friend, Josh Fraites. The two began making songs and playing gigs around New York and later relocated to Denver, Colorado where they placed an ad on Craigslist for a cellist. Neyla Pekarek was the first to respond. The trio joined forces and began playing at the Meadowlark, a basement club where some of Denver’s most talented songwriters came together for an open mic and … Continued

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The Mountain Goats are an American folk band that was created by John Darnielle in his small studio apartment with nothing more than his poetry, a dual-cassette recorder, and a guitar that he got for a couple dollars up the street. He went on to share his poems with his friend Rachel who just happened to play the bass. They went on to tour the US and Europe, along with the Midwest and San Francisco. Then in 2001, when asked if he’d like to make records, John called his friend Peter and the two went on to make Tallahassee, We Shall All Be Healed, … Continued

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