[New Music]

Ten interesting albums you probably missed during 2014’s first half

The Weekly’s Spencer Patterson points you to Carla Bozulich, Morgan Delt, Innercity Ensemble and more

Carla Bozulich’s Boy is an art-rock achievement.
Photo: John Eichenseer
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      The Austerity Program Beyond Calculation

      True to its name, this noisy Manhattan duo assigns numbers to its recordings (“Song 30,” “Song 33,” etc.), and the hard-driving sound is similarly lean. You’ll swear Steve Albini was involved, especially since a drum machine was employed, à la Big Black. But there’s something melodically un-Shellac-ish about these jams. Controlledburnrecords.com

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      Badbadnotgood III

      The Toronto trio is best known for collaborations with the Odd Future hip-hop crew, but don’t hold that against it. Equal parts NYC Downtown jazz scene (think: Medeski Martin & Wood’s less funked-out side) and Four Tet/Boards of Canada-informed IDM, this is the slab to grab for that voguish dinner party you’ve been endlessly planning. Innovativeleisure.net

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      Carla Bozulich Boy

      Indie-famous for 2003’s twisted version of Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger and 2006’s left-field classic Evangelista (for which she named the band she’s been playing with since), the veteran American singer returns to solo life with another theatrical art-rock achievement that, to my ears, outclasses even the latest Swans’ album in that department. Cstrecords.com

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      Morgan Delt Morgan Delt

      The LA-based Delt swirls together some of the most beguiling psychedelic-pop this side of The Olivia Tremor Control on his debut LP, a kaleidoscopic whole that spirals to and fro without loosening its melodic grip. Equally suited for tucked-away headphone sessions or sunny days outside. Troubleinmindrecs.com

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      Have a Nice Life The Unnatural World

      How many times have we heard it: Shoegazey Connecticut duo drops debut record (Deathconsciousness), then waits six years (not counting an EP) to follow up with its darker, goth-leaning counterpart? Not often, actually, which would make this unexpected treat from Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga interesting even if it wasn’t this heady. Theflenser.com

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      Horseback Piedmont Apocrypha

      Chapel Hill-based drone-folkster Jenks Miller’s second release for Three Lobed Recordings continues where 2012’s Impale Golden Horn left off, peeling away the metal of some of its leader’s previous efforts for a mellow, meaningful record best played late at night under low (to no) lighting. Threelobed.com

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      Innercity Ensemble II

      Jazz? Ambient? Experimental? Post-rock? Yes. This Polish septet blends all things instrumental to stunning, soothing and sometimes shivery effect on a long set showcasing collective improvisation. At times, it reminds of Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way, at others of Windy & Carl, Tortoise or Labradford. I’d like a peek at their record collection. Innercityensemble.bandcamp.com

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      Survival Knife Loose Power

      Washington state’s Justin Trosper, once the frontman for noisy ’90s rockers Unwound, returns (and reunites with that band’s ex-drummer, Brandt Sandeno) for the first full-length from this similarly forceful, if more straightforward four-piece. Fans of Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu and In Utero take heed. Fatpossum.com

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      Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra F*ck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything

      Time, at last, to stop comparing Efrim Menuck’s second band to his first, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. More than ever, the veteran Canadian outfit separates itself from that recently returned titan by unleashing its most merciless, rock-forward collection yet. Cstrecords.com

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      Torn Hawk Through Force of Will

      This release by Brooklyn-by-way-of-Virginia sound manipulator Luke Wyatt, a small-run cassette now up for download, finds its creator fusing epic guitar leads, hazy synths and robotic backbeats into electro anthems that will dare you not to move in your chair. Recommended if you dig Tycho, Rangers or Sam Meringue. Midheaven.com

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      Spencer Patterson

      Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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