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Thee Oh Sees - Drop
4
New this week Thee Oh Sees - Drop
Released: 14/04/2014 Castle Face Records
Well, the indefinite hiatus announced by John Dwyer last year was short lived – Thee Oh Sees continue their impressive run of releasing at least one record a year for the past decade with Drop. Recorded in a banana-ripening factory (apparently), ‘Penetrating Eye’ is a routine blast of brain-meltingly frenzied garage rock, though ‘The Lens’ apes the mellower side of the psychedelic ‘60s.
Rated 72 %
72%
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Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks - Enter the Slasher House
8
Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks - Enter the Slasher House
Released: 07/04/2014 Domino
Drawing inspiration from camp B-movie horror (and its grand tradition of spawning novelty pop songs), the new side project from Animal Collective’s Avey Tare releases its first record. Single ‘Little Fang’ is among the most infectious songs Tare has released to date (no small praise considering his back catalogue of oddball pop gems), a stark contrast to his sombre first solo release.  
Rated 62 %
62%
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Orcas - Yearling
1
Orcas - Yearling
Released: 07/04/2014 Morr Music
Few records released in 2012 had a more inviting tone than the self-titled debut by Benoit Pioulard and Rafael Anton Irisarri’s ORCAS, which bathed alt-folk songwriting in the sort of warmth found on seminal ambient composer Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas records. Very much the sum of its two constituent parts, the pair return with Yearling, a composition of swirling electronica and swathes of rural atmosphere. Hear ‘Infinite Stillness’ here
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Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else
5
Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else
Released: 31/03/2014 Wichita
Distorted, increasingly angsty pop punk of the kind that early Weezer most obviously helped generate has been Dylan Baldi’s stock in trade since his debut as Cloud Nothings in 2009. His fourth record follows the well-received breakthrough Attack on Memory; listen to existential album closer ‘I’m Not Part of Me’ and fast and furious single ‘Psychic Trauma’.
Rated 81
81%
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Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
5
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
Released: 31/03/2014 Captured Tracks
In 2012, Mac DeMarco caused a buzz with the weirdo slacker pop of his second album, 2, on which he sang about freaking out the neighbourhood and dedicated a song to his favourite cigarette brand. Still just 23, Salad Days is his third, and sees him continue to excel at producing distinct psych jams that sound like they’ve been warped in the sun; hear ‘Passing out Pieces’ here
Rated 85
85%
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The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams
8
The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams
Released: 24/03/2014 Washington Square
In lyricist Craig Finn, The Hold Steady have a frontman capable of turning a fun bar band into one of the most literate American groups going: there are surely few bands of this ilk who would also cite such influences as Edvard Munch and the New York Times’ anxiety column. Hear ‘I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You’ from their sixth record here. 
Rated 66 %
66%
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Future Islands - Singles
9
Future Islands - Singles
Released: 24/03/2014 4AD
Not actually a collection of previous A-sides, Singles is the fourth album of new material by the Baltimore synthpop trio. An eye-catching recent performance on Letterman will do publicity for it no damage. ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’, is the first single, and sounds like a lost 80s new wave classic.   
Rated 82
82%
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The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
6
The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
Released: 17/03/2014 Secretly Canadian
It has always been hard listen to The War on Drugs and not be put in mind of Born to Run-era Springsteen, especially so on ‘Red Eyes’, the teaser for their third record. Its predecessor, Slave Ambient, was among the best releases of 2011 – is there a more tailor-made support act for the Boss’s next stadium tour? 
Rated 86
86%
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Metronomy - Love Letters
7
Metronomy - Love Letters
Released: 10/03/2014 Because
Three years on from critically acclaimed The English Riviera, Love Letters, the fourth LP by Joseph Mount’s Metronomy, is as retro as its anachronistic title suggests. A 60s infatuation dominates (albeit channelled through 80s synths and a tinny drum machine); the title track offering a distinctly British take on Motown (with a wonderful Michel Gondry directed video to boot). 
Rated 68 %
68%
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Real Estate - Atlas
9
Real Estate - Atlas
Released: 03/03/2014 Domino
Despite having decamped to Brooklyn in recent years, New Jersey’s Real Estate specialise in offering a particularly attractive take on the sound of the suburbs. 2011’s Days was a pure joy, and the first single taken from the follow up, ‘Talking Backwards’, might have sat easily among its highlights. Fellow Garden State natives Yo La Tengo are an influence on album three.

Rated 78 %
78%
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