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Midwest Coast

New albums you should know about
2014 is going to be really good to us.

Wild Beasts – “Present Tense”

If you like: Geographer, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Elbow, Real Estate, SBTRKT

Soft and silky vocals glide alongside a flock of flickering guitar riffs over layered clouds of electronic dynamism. You can tell fairly early that their influences transcend the boundaries of genre, whether it be their inventive harmonies or their exotic, yes exotic, mixture of fat beats and poignant lyrics.  Their 2014 release on Domino Records, local act Your Friend’s new label, goes well at parties and at the library. So there you go.

Foster The People – “Supermodel”

If you like: Portugal. The Man, MGMT, Electric Guest, Phoenix

Fans of “Torches” (2011) should enjoy the departure Mark Foster makes in this new album while still being reminiscent of that debut release.  Where I felt “Torches” explored a mostly electro-folk sound, and did great things, “Supermodel” veers through moments of alternative rock, gets a little psychedelic and even ends with a beautiful, bare acoustic ballad.  The underlying humanitarian spirit remains consistent throughout this one too.  I guess he wants the whole world to be nice and help each other.

Tycho – “Awake”

If you like: Bonobo, Com Truise, Pretty Lights, Baths, Evenings, Bibio

It has been a pleasure watching Tycho evolve as a musician and visual artist.  His new work incorporates more traditional instrumentation than the synth-laden landscapes he painted in “Dive” (2012).  He’s expressed his interest in enhancing the live experience for his fans, and this change is clear in songs like Dye and Montana, two shining examples of the gradual, organic development to be observed in his style.


Written by Jerod Barker. Tune into the Midwest Coast every Friday from 8-10pm on 90.7fm KJHK.