Future Echoes and Past Replays/Record Union
Swedish indie Americana rock group, Slim Loris, has made one of 2013s most surprising albums thus far. Euphoric, humorous and bittersweet, Future Echoes and Past Replays is a success. The band ensnares you with the lively and whimsical “Fear of Flying,” or the subdued and contemplative “While I Breathe,” and sometimes the power of the music they create is simply spine-tingling as in “Awakening”. Singer Mattias Cederstam muses “Happiness found its way past me/And I just let it be” on the Americana rock track “Visions of Tomorrow,” and brings out levity with lines like, “I am clean as a whistle/Clean as a whistle/Depending on where/The whistle has been” from “Clean as a Whistle.” There is something beautiful, honest and hypnotic on this album that comes out of left field and smacks you in the chest.
Nightmare Ending/Temporary Residence
Eluvium a.k.a. Matthew Cooper’s Nightmare Ending is a massive, almost fully instrumental double album that takes you on an epic. The melodic sway of “Don’t Get Any Closer” is like something from within a dream, while “Warm”’s waves of sound wash over you like euphoria. “Unknown Variation” literally adds some distortion to the picture via samples of composer/electronic artist BT’s recent albums Nuovo Morceau Subrosa and If the Stars are Eternal so are You and I and the results are stunning. Cooper also brings in breathtaking piano interludes (“Caroling” and “Impromptu”) and “Rain Gently” and the spellbinding “Covered in Writing” combines haunting piano keys with heavenly orchestration to dramatic effect. By the time Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan whispers the album’s only lyrics on the final track, “Happiness,” amidst all the beautiful cacophony that surrounds him, the contradiction of a Nightmare Ending is revealed.
Currents/Equal Vision Records
After the release of 2011’s The Valley, fans of the indie rock group Eisley had to wonder if this angrier incarnation of the band was going to completely replace the fantastical dreamers that had come before. Currents should alleviate those fears. The DuPree sisters—Sherri, Stacy and Chauntelle—sound as angelic and sirenlike as ever, and the music that accompanying their vocals is beautiful. Hypnotic beats, gorgeous acoustic guitar, and a stirring string section make “The Night Comes” a head turner, and the piano-led finale, “Shelter,” rolls out a heavenly chorus before Stacy stuns you with a subtle delivery of “Nowhere feels like somewhere when I’m in your arms” to promote the power of love. The title track proves they still make groovy dance numbers, “Blue Fish” magically combines melodies and soul-stirring lyrics together, and the jazzy rock of “Drink the Water” is a nice change of pace.