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Shamir - RatchetShamir – Ratchet

Shamir has been the next big thing in dance pop for a minute now, going from unknown to releasing a single on small NYC label Godmode to signing with indie titan XL Recordings in the blink of an eye.  Happily, Ratchet is a worthy capstone to such a meteoric rise.  Largely made up of very of the moment synth and drum machine sounds, but highlighted by Shamir’s contralto vocals, Ratchet is sexy, smooth, laid back fun.  In other words, it’s summer party music at its finest.

Hot Chip - Why Make SenseHot Chip – Why Make Sense?

Continuing their experiments in electronic dance music with live instrumentation, Why Make Sense? is Hot Chip’s sixth full length.  As with their other albums, most of Why Make Sense?‘s experiments work (“Need You Now” and “Huarache Lights” are particularly good), but some fall flat (Posdnuos’ verse in “Love is the Future”, while good on its own, does not work in context).  On the whole, though, this is a thoroughly enjoyable album that will more than serve the purpose of getting the dance floor moving.

Joanna Gruesome - Peanut ButterJoanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter

Wales’ Joanna Gruesome make DIY garage/noise pop that fits in perfectly with their labelmates at Slumberland (especially The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), and the band’s sophomore album, Peanut Butter, is 10 tracks of pure bliss.  The vocals are melodic and sugary, the guitars are fuzzy, and the rhythm section is on point.  In fact, if there’s any complaint about Peanut Butter it’s that its 21 minutes simply go by too fast.

Also out today: Holly Herndon – Platform, Brandon Flowers – The Desired Effect, Tanlines – Highlights, The Helio Sequence – s/t, and Faith No More – Sol Invictus.

An author and editor at MiG, Craig lives in Minnesota with his wife and son and is an attorney in his real life. Once upon a time Craig played the trumpet and spent four years in the Hawkeye Marching Band and pep band. These days Craig finds himself most often listening to experimental rock, hip hop, and post punk, but you can see everything he's listening to at: Craig is not ashamed to admit the first concert he ever attended was New Kids on the Block.
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