Sounds Like: A collaborative effort of busy solo artists who found time to put together this stellar guitar rock album, their fourth, with splashes of pop and psychedelia.
Free Association: Every song is totally beautiful, with sophisticated guitar jangles and solos.
For Fans Of: Royal Baths + Woods x Real Estate, Galaxie 500, dreamy guitar beauty.
Two Door Cinema Club
Sounds Like: The Northern Irish dance-friendly trio’s sophomore is more polished and probably poises them for bigger exposure, but also loses some of their ecstatic energy.
Free Association: Temporary filling in the gap between Phoenix albums—and well.
For Fans Of: Franz Ferdinand x Foals + the Killers, Phoenix/Strokes, fun adult pop.
Sounds Like: Their 2009 debut put them on the map for their cool effortlessness, and this one has it too, but it’s almost too subtle and chill in its melodies and percussion.
Free Association: Bet they thought: “Strip it down, add nothing and no one will hate it.”
For Fans Of: Interpol with Lykke Li, Cure/Smiths/Pixies, Air x Portishead, vampire Brits.
PW's Music Issue 2014