Elvis Costello & The Roots
Wise Up Ghost
(Blue Note Records/Universal)
Sounds like: You can probably hate both of these elements and still dig this collaborative achievement; very little hip-hop (zero Tariq), just tons of organic funk.
Free association: It’s a marvel Ahmir finds all the time to create all this percussive product.
For fans of: The Coup/Fugees/Soul Rebels, Mos Def x George Harrison, fair trade grooves.
Seasons of Your Day
(Rhymes of an Hour Records)
Sounds like: Exactly the record you want it to be. Their first in 17 years might as well be the follow-up to their ‘93 sophomore with “Fade Into You” on it.
Free association: Sometimes we don’t need our favorite things to mature and evolve.
For fans of: Big Star/Galaxie 500 x Liz Phair & the Cowboy Junkies, makeout music.
The Bones of What You Believe
Sounds like: The Scottish it-trio’s much-anticipated debut’s a third full of songs we’ve heard (and already love) and a handful more to grow obsessed with in time.
Free association: Maybe a little overrated, but for the most part, it’s deserved.
For fans of: Robyn with MGMT, Niki & the Dove/Purity Ring/Depeche Mode, avant synth pop.
Sounds like: The seasoned professional (aka Smog) gives us some of his best work to date on his fourth under his own name, a deliciously twisted Americana opus.
Free association: Flecks of psychedelia, twang, tropicalia and punk make it a contender.
For fans of: Calexico x Iron & Wine, Cat Power on LSD/Ravi Shankar.
Sounds like: The Wesleyan art boys’ third is, thankfully, a return to their debut’s sound (same producer) but heavier on the weird and experimental times.
Free association: One of those “crazy pills?” moments; Congratulations was shitty, right?
For fans of: Super Furry Animals x Tame Impala, Neon Indian/of Montreal, Toms.