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One of my favorite albums this year has Soko's I Thought I was an Alien. Simple bedroom pop arrangements create the perfect setting for French musician / actress Stephanie Sokolinski's confessional lyrics. Her delivery is so straight forward at times it can be shocking in a zen like way. The title track (above) is perhaps the most upbeat, optimistic song on the album but nearly every song is as simply and well crafted as this one. If you like, be sure to check out the touching (albeit nsfw) video for "We Might Be Dead Tomorrow"here
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Tame Impala "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"

With their sophomore album Lonerism, Australian outfit Tame Impala follow through on the promise of 2010's Innerspeaker. The above track, "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards," could easily be considered the album's centerpiece, delivering the titular lyrics via a melody to rival the years best. The oft cited Beatles influence is certainly present here as the verses in particular recall a Sgt. Pepper'sAbbey Road era John Lennon. Between the chorus and the verses there is just the right amount of movement to give the song a dynamic, repetitive character, serving to soothe and relax rather than bore (as it might in less capable hands).  Tame Impala's usual markers are here too. Lovely harmonies, lots of reverb, lush soundscapes and a laid back tempo combine to sound like what driving around in a convertible with friends in the middle of summer with no obligations would sound like if it were compressed into three minutes and thirteen seconds. Put it in your ears!

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My Brightest Diamond :: Be Brave

I wasn't a huge fan of My Brightest Diamond until I heard Shara Worden's vocal work on Clogs' fantastic LP The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton. In the album Worden shifted her voice to a more operatic style that really set her apart, both in terms of talent and delivery, from other indie female vocalists.

On the first two cuts of My Brightest Diamond's new album, All Things Will Unwind, Worden returns to a more traditional (read: no broken champagne glasses) vocal delivery without sacrificing the mystical orchestral feel of her work with Clogs. I'm of the opinion that My Brightest Diamond is at her best when she unleashes, and with these two tracks there is hope that the new album won't disappoint.

My Brightest Diamond :: Reaching Through to the Other Side

All Things Will Unwind hits shelves October 18th courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty. [via Stereogum]
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Kurt Vile :: The Creature

Kurt Vile, the musician behind one of the best albums of 2011, Smoke Ring for My Halo, will be releasing a new EP, So Outta Reach on November 8th. The first taste of the new material, "The Creature," shows Vile in his purest form - rolling guitars, cyclical melodies and lazy Dylan drawls abound. Melodically, the song is a bit heavier with emotion than anything on Smoke Ring, but it's a welcome development that compliments his songwriting style.

I highly recommend giving this track a spin, and if you haven't already checked out Smoke Ring for My Halo, get on it.

Kurt Vile :: The Creature
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Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) :: Gabriel

Joe Goddard, the smooth crooner of Hot Chip fame, has released a new EP, Gabriel. Check out the colorful video for the title track above and stream the EP below. [via GvB]

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Oberhofer :: Gotta Go

I'm a bit late posting on this one, but the talented Tacoma native Brad Oberhofer has released the first single from his band's debut LP coming early 2012. Like his previous work, "Gotta Go" is a rollicking pop tune that blends late emo vocals with sloppy shoegaze. It's a bit cleaner than the tracks he released last year, but no energy seems to have been lost in the process. This is track one on your road trip mixtape.

Oberhofer :: Gotta Go


Oberhofer :: Away Frm U
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The Buzz Box 15

This week, the Buzz Box features the return of Feist, a stunning new track from prolific singer-songwriter Cass McCombs, an atmospheric spinner from the new War on Drugs album and a host of other fine singles culled from the blogosphere. Enjoy.

Cass McCombs :: The Same Thing

Blitzen Trapper :: Love the Way You Walk Away

The War on Drugs :: Come to the City

Feist :: How Come You Never Go There

I Break Horses :: Winter Beats

Balam Acab :: Motion

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Port St. Willow - "Stay Even"


Port St. Willow’s Nick Principe and The Antlers’ Peter Silberman play play this ambling, intensifying tune at Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia. Head to bandcamp for a name-your-price album. See more of the concert at Weathervane Music here.