Barn Owl - Ancestral Star

[MP3] Barn Owl - Light From the Mesa

Happy Birthday - Happy Birthday

[MP3] Happy Birthday - Subliminal Messages

Hanoi Janes - Year of Panic

[MP3] Hanoi Janes - Surfin KMC

Moon Duo - Escape

[MP3] Moon Duo - Stumbling 22nd St.

Wooden Wand - Death Seat

[MP3] Wooden Wand - Tiny Confessions

The Soft Moon - The Soft Moon

[MP3] The Soft Moon - Breathe The Fire

Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal

[MP3] Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal

White Hills - White Hills

[MP3] White Hills - Dead

Sun Araw - On Patrol

[MP3] Sun Araw - Deep Cover

Forest Swords - Dagger Paths

[MP3] Forest Swords - Miraches

Wild Nothing - Gemini

[MP3] Wild Nothing - Chinatown

Woven Bones - In and Out and Back Again

[MP3] Woven Bones - If It Feels Alright

Zola Jesus - Stridulum

[MP3] Zola Jesus - I Can't Stand

Demdike Stare - Tryptych
(Forest of Evil, Libertion Through Hearing, Voices of Dust)

[MP3] Demdike Stare - Caged in Stammheim

The Mantles - Pink Information

[MP3] The Mantles - Cascades


Though it was a banner year for Cameron Stallones all around some of his best moves came within the context of the full arsenal of Magic Lantern. The group's first record in quite a few years and well worth the wait, Platoon fulfills every heavy psych wish we made this year.

[MP3] Magic Lantern - Dark Cicadas


By transcending the very hypnogogic force he begat, Pink finally begins to realize his vision; assembling an expert team into the studio for fleshed out, lush versions of the pop memories he's long been channeling. The resulting album Before Today hits on the same tip-of-the-tongue resonance that he and many of his contemporaries have long plundered but with such crystal clarity that the lines between past and future begin to fold in on themselves. Pink and co. have successfully rewritten your 80's memories once and for all.

[MP3] Ariel Pink - Round and Round


Its taken years of quality analog waveforms for the general populace to embrace the Midwest phenomenon that is Emeralds, but on their umpteenth album the band begins to fold others into their black hole of complex synth patterns. Thankfully as a result of this dozens of Emeralds side projects and long lost tapes have flooded their way to vinyl as well in a welcome glut of reissues. This threatens to be just the tip of the Emeralds iceberg and around here we're gladly heralding the arrival.

[MP3] Emeralds - Double Helix


With their last album people finally took notice of Woods' sunny psych and it only stood to reason that they should have welcomed this, by far their most accessible and enticing album yet, with open arms. Maybe its just me but I felt that despite containing some of Woods greatest songs yet, this one got shoved aside for a few more fashionable releases in the wake of year end lists. Nevertheless, Echo Lake remains high on my list of the greatest releases of 2010. A perfect companion to summer's transition to fall and bound to be an album that stands up to the test of time.

[MP3] Woods - Suffering Season


Another long time RSTB favorite that seems to have finally gotten their due. Tim Cohen has been honing his songcraft over the course of many bands and it seems to have found its peak with The Fresh & Onlys. Merging jangle pop's breezy textures with the dark swagger of garage, Play It Strange has ended up as the most cohesive example of their sound yet.

[MP3] The Fresh & Onlys - Waterfall


Though this is the shortest release to make the year end list, Mississippi's Flight makes more noise in the space of six songs that most releases managed to squeeze out of double that this year. A long time staple of the RSTB singles favorites, this EP proved that Flight had more than just A and B sides waiting in tow. Plus a sting on the CMJ circuit this year proved that they could bring the fuzz live as well. Definitely one to look out for when a full length eventually drops.

[MP3] Flight - Turns To Blood


Another release that blew my feet out from underneath me this year. The singles leading up to Immer Etwas were all fine and though they often cracked the Raven heavily played list, they couldn't have prepared me for the vile desperation on display throughout their debut album.

[MP3] Nice Face - Nobody's Dead Here


Though overall acclaim for this album was positive, I saw waaaay too many instances of people calling this a disapointment after Love Visions. Honestly there's no comparison. First Blood is Nobunny's finest statement. Underneath the defenses of the bunny mask, Justin Champlin rolls suburban dissapointment, sexual tension and personal tragedy into one of the year's catchiest records. Playing off of his garage pallette and mashing it with a VU sense of pop sincerity for one of the most underrated albums of the year.

[MP3] Nobunny - Blow Dumb


A perfect distillation of Spacemen 3 and pre-electronic Primal Scream. Crocodiles hit the desert for these sessions with Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford and they walked out of that bunker with a lush, hazy piece of pop under their arms. The only drawback of Sleep Forever is that it ends too soon, but that's just all the more reason to flip it and start the trip all over again.

[MP3] Crocodiles - Sleep Forever


Absolutely the most played record all year around here. Ty turns in his best album yet, perfectly encapsulating the garage pop juggarnaut that's been put in place in the past couple of years. "My Sunshine" alone warrants the album's inclusion of any best of 2010 list going around. It's a perfectly crafted nugget of angst and melody and guitar fire wrapped in amplifier sweat. Throw in tracks like "Girlfriend", "Alone" and "Caesar" and this begins to swell into the unstoppable behemoth it is. In the wake of Jay Reatard's passing there haven't popped up a whole lot of hopefulls to take the reins he left hanging. Only Ty can save us now.

[MP3] Ty Segall - My Sunshine
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posted by dissensous at 8:07:00 AM 5 comments


As usual the short format played just as much a part in our love of music for 2010 as albums did. The following were our top ten most played singles of the year. Stay tuned tomorrow for the long format counerpoint.

#10 Robedoor - Pacific Drift

[MP3] Robedoor - Pacific Drift

#9 The Fresh & Onlys - Vanishing Cream

[MP3] The Fresh & Onlys - Vanishing Cream

#8 The Liminanas - I'm Dead

[MP3] The Liminanas - I'm Dead

#7 Puerto Rico Flowers - 4

[MP3] Puerto Rico Flowers - Let's Make Friends

#6 Ty Segall - Caesar

[MP3] Ty Segall - Bullet Proof Nothing

#5 Flight - Ghosts

[MP3] Flight - Ghosts

#4 Hunx and His Punks / Kid Congo Powers - Split

[MP3] Hunx and His Punks - Dream On (Little Dreamer)

#3 Jacuzzi Boys - Bricks or Coconuts

[MP3] Jacuzzi Boys - Bricks or Coconuts

#2 The Fresh & Onlys - Impending Doom

[MP3] The Fresh & Onlys - Troubling Vision

#1 Nobunny / Jacuzzi Boys - Split

[MP3] Nobunny - Someone Else's Brain
[MP3] Jacuzzi Boys - Coral Girls
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posted by dissensous at 10:10:00 AM 2 comments


Heavy Times – No Plans b/w Ice Age 7"
Another new batch from HoZac and of course some gems spring from the pile. Chicago's own Heavy Times keep the tradition of scrappy garage pop flowing with two jangly, distorted tracks that play like breezy afternoon
rockers. Sweet and simple and just like we like 'em around here and rocking more on the lackadaisical tip than stretching for overtly catchy. But sometimes that's a sight better, even without a hard lined hook, both tracks seem to keep the listeners rapt with trash bin drums and strums that sling low at the hip.

[MP3] Heavy Times - Ice Age

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

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posted by dissensous at 8:22:00 AM 1 comments


Sic Alps

Following an epic collection of their best singles and 12"s and a 90 degree pop turn on a single for Slumberland, breath was baited and anticipations high for what Sic Alps would turn out next. Though the more traditional pop fans drawn in by the "L Mansion" single may find themselves scratching their heads, those of us who've trodden the road thus far with the Alps have to see Napa Asylum as something of a welcomed continuation of their brilliantly scattershot catalog. Again tying on their perfect distillation of the Skip Spence school of loner blues, they weave through a healthy twenty-two tracks of patchwork pop and noise pitted gutter stomp. Seems weird to say that after such a lengthy ride I still want more. There's just something about the Alps' bone ragged delivery that sits right with me every time. Put this atop RSTB's 'most anticipated for 2011' list for sure!

[MP3] Sic Alps - Do You Want To Give $$?

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE (soon)
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posted by dissensous at 1:18:00 PM 0 comments


Archers by the Sea

French ambient soundscaper Vincent Caylet returns to us with a new batch of gorgeously dense aural explorations. Still retaining his sense of sparse desolation, Caylet is at his best when enveloped in gossamer drones that howl across landscapes of craggy emptiness; though the album also delves into exercises of looped guitar that reveal a similarly delicate, but somewhat less haunted side to Archers. The self-titled LP seems to have crystallized the strengths that presented themselves over the last few cassette and CD-r releases; weaving ritualistic chant, synthesizer sparkle, hypnotic fretwork and drone into a oddly blissful decent through frozen waters. It's hard to shake a feeling of suspended animation accented by pulsing blue and white lights peaking through the water above. Caylet himself pairs his work with image of snowy landscapes. Check out the video for "Little Thrones and Rotten Ropes" below.

[MP3] Archers by the Sea - Little Thrones and Rotten Ropes

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 10:29:00 AM 0 comments


Pentangle – Sweet Child
That Metal Mountains post got me thinking about Pentangle and naturally I migrated into their back catalog for a few spins. Though Bert Jansch seems to had attained more fame in his solo live, Pentangle showcases some of his best
collaborative work. Sweet Child shows boths sides of Pentangle's prowess with half being recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall and the other half seeing them hunker down in the studio. Born out of an initial collaboration between John Renbourne and Jansch, the band's first three records with Shel Talmy tend to be the ones that are considered more "essential" both in terms of the band's catalog and with regards to 60's British folk in general. As they wandered further into electric territory their unity began to splinter. As such it's nice to hear the band here in their prime, performing for a rapt audience and equally at home utilizing the studio to move their fluid compositions into higher ground. This definitely resides on the "if you don't own it, maybe you should" list.

[MP3] Pentangle - Turn Your Money Green
[MP3] Pentangle - Sweet Child

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE

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posted by dissensous at 1:37:00 PM 1 comments


Les Bellas

Sad to say, this one almost didn't see the light of day. Following a couple of great singles way back in '03, Les Bellas had a deal set up that fizzled before it cemented and so too did Les Bellas themselves, spreading out to other projects such as The Liminanas. In a similar vein to their spawn, Les Bellas refract the past through a prism of 20/20 hindsignt, playing garage-punk with just the right amount of soul and swagger. They pick covers with the deft perception and reinterpretation of The Detroit Cobras; though keeping a more detatched demeanor, never quite hitting the vampy cool that the Cobras' Rachael Nagy nails with ease. On the originals they smoke with the kind of brash delivery and loose tone that have made so many French garage releases such fun in the past few years. Thankfully SDZ and Les Disques Steak have rescued this gem from the scrap pile, unleashing its fuzz and hum on a deserving public.

[MP3] Les Bellas - It's A Crying Shame
[MP3] Les Bellas - You Got My Soul

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 6:04:00 PM 0 comments


Metal Mountains

Quite a few ex members of Tower Recordings turn up here in one form or another but it seems that Tower ex-pat Helen Rush has eluded that fate until now. Rush, along with fellow Tower alumni P.G. Six and Samara Lubelski, has resurfaced recently as Metal Mountains. Definitely a more stylistically consistent and calmer style than anything from the old Tower Catalog but as with her most stirring TR songs, most of Golden Trees retains a stately sadness channeled through a subtle psych prism. Rush's cinder and honey voice runs the gamut from the folk trails laid down by the rainy-pscych croons of Pentangle through many of their latter day followers occasionally touching very close to Lubelski's own smoked glass delivery. Six's guitar picks heavy while Lubelski's violin adds a somber touch to the whole record, making the trio hit with the emotional impact that many larger ensembles spend years trying to achieve.

[MP3] Metal Mountains - Structures In The Sun

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 8:23:00 AM 0 comments



Jonas Asher has existed in the shadows as Grasslung for a short while now, releasing scarce tapes and CD-rs that run out of print before the majority of us can even get wind of their existence. Now, with the help of the venerable Root Strata, he’s graduated to a wide(er) release CD full-length that’s brought his haunting melancholia to a larger audience. Sincere Void cuts the difference between Eluvium’s past scratching sadness and The Caretaker’s tortured ambience. The resulting record is a dark and wounded walk down a heavily brambled path to a memory you’d probably rather repress. Achingly beautiful despite the wound it inflicts.

[MP3] Grasslung - Scarred Hands We Drift

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 8:19:00 AM 1 comments


Wet Hair / Naked on the Vague

Following on their excellent entry to this year's Bored Fortress 7" series, Wet Hair continue the collaboration train with a split with Naked on the Vague. Reed and Garbes continue to spill further into some enchanted noise-pop garden with burbling sounds and an innocent lilt that makes these tracks wiggle with more wonder than they've ever packed before. Definitely some of the strongest compositions we've heard from the pair yet. On the flip, Naked on the Vague also seem more at ease than they've been on previous releases, with some swirling pastoral jams that perfectly compliment Wet Hair's tracks. As their side winds on the band seems to delve deeper and deeper into their own personal rabbit hole of burbling noise, absorbing the listener with them as they sink. Both sides showcase some of the most intriguing music yet from the bands and as usual its packaged up nice in one of Shawn Reed's meticulously crafted sleeves.

[MP3] Wet Hair - The Labor of Love
[MP3] Naked on the Vague - Cryptic Tonsil

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 4:15:00 PM 0 comments


The Psychedelic Aliens – Psycho African Beat
There's been a glut of African 60's and 70's reissues of late with the majority of it drawing together some pretty strong material all around. And though it seems now that Nigeria and Zambia have been
pretty seriously strip mined for gems, Africa is a fairly gigantic mass of land with a musical history that's just begun to be tapped. Case in point, the release of this album took over four years and endless searching to become a reality, with the crew behind Voodoofunk making nine trips to the continent and running radio and newspaper ads to find material. The Aliens were from a fairly mixed heritage rather than being completely native to Ghana; with French, Indian and Lebanese parents and this led both to their open influences and to them being called "Aliens". As for the psychedelic part - the band is more a brew of hard driving funk, highlife and soul-flecked garage than any mindbending psychedelics but they manage to synthesize these pieces into quite a potent puzzle. The band shared the stage with several notable names including stints with Fela Kuti, Santana and Wilson Picket though by that time they mostly assumed the name The Magic Aliens. Unfortunately the departure of guitarist Carl Telfer and organist Malek Crayem left the band unable to continue and they disbanded but this document now leaves behind their collected singles and a testament to their sound. Kudos to Academy and Voodoofunk for the excellent packaging: the album has been pressed to LP, book bound CD and a 4x7" box set.

[MP3] The Psychedelic Aliens - Extraordinary Woman

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE

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posted by dissensous at 8:05:00 AM 1 comments


The Jameses – Caribou 7"
Floridians The Jameses spin out another inkling of their pop prowess before a slated LP for their new home at Captured Tracks. The A-side is the kind of tough, twitchy pop that's bound to get slotted on many a playlist and win over fans from
the hard kernel indie kids. The flip, as with their last single, trades in a more fun and bubbling psych-pop style; cascading with a calliope wobble and heavily delay blasted vocals. It'll be interesting to see which side of the coin the band opt for on a full-length; though perhaps they'll find a way to balance both personalities without sacrificing cohesion. Definitely one to watch out for next year.

[MP3] The Jameses - Caribou

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

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posted by dissensous at 8:20:00 AM 0 comments

Gunn - Truscinski Duo

Despite the loss of the great Jack Rose, the raga movement remains alive and well and this new record from veteran string slinger Steve Gunn and percussionist John Truscinski is ample proof. Gunn's been a fixture in solo guitar for a while now, crafting releases for Digitalis, Three Lobed and Abandon Ship, while Truscinski has served as a member of GHQ and x.o.4. Sand City works out the duo's mixture of heavy, eastern inflected raga that brings to mind both Sun City Girls' full works and that of Sir Richard Bishop in his own solo style. Cyclic and expansive, the album powers through three longform raga workouts and a closes with the dulcet tones of "Outro", melting the album's intensity an inherit beauty into a graceful close. Both players have long established themselves as part of the ever-growing psych-folk underground but this release solidifies them as some of the most accomplished players in the field alongside James Blackshaw, Ben Chasney and Stephen Basho-Junghans.

[MP3] Gunn - Truscinski Duo - Taksim II

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 8:02:00 AM 0 comments



Having been entranced by great releases from both Sam Goldberg's Radio People and John Elliott's Emeralds already this year, it seems selfish to ask for more; but the duo present a welcomed bonus in the form of Mist's Glowing Net. Originally a small run cassette release on Sam's Pizza Night label, now the burbling synth epic gets the vinyl treatment it sorely deserves. Pulsing with Omni-drenched sci-fi vibes, the EP radiates a peaceful descent into the abyss; locking circular rhythms into disintegrating loops punctuated with sweeping strokes of neon-tinted tones. The re-release is given all the more depth with a lush mastering treatment from James Plotkin, now the king of the rising analog tide, at Berlin's Dubplates and Mastering.

[MP3] Mist - Sky High

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE or HERE

Amethyst Sunset, the label that's released Glowing Net has a lot on its plate for the upcoming year. Releases are scheduled from Keith Fullerton Whitman, Rene Hell and Sean McCann. Check out the video for Sean's "Over the Stars (there is rest)" from the upcoming Sincere World below.

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posted by dissensous at 8:18:00 AM 1 comments


The Deeep

Toronto's The Deeep mix murky production, Velcroed beats and the stunning vocal work of Isla Craig into a verdant psych-soul brew. Rising like a mirage out of charred societal remains, Craig's voice soars angelically through The Deeep's recordings like a 30th century diva. As with her compatriots in apocalyptic pop, Amanda Brown and Zola Jesus (in her earlier incarnations), it's that juxtaposition between the chanteuse and the seamy underbelly that she chooses to engage with that brings new depth to her music. Towards the end of the release though, The Deeep prove that just as with Zola, they too can lean towards more consumable offerings. Where The Deeep will go from here, whether they'll delve further into that dark rabbit hole of noise, or emerge as pop contenders is anyone's guess; but both sides are equally beguiling.

[MP3] The Deeep - Mudd

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE

In other news The Deeep will release a 12" of "Muddy", an extended and reworked version of this track on Not Not Fun's new sister label 100% Silk, which according to their blog will "make 45 RPM 12 inch singles of diamond-life dance & bliss-disco & basement luxury grooves by friends and lovers from all over the world." So keep an eye out for that and releases from LA Vampires, Ital (Daniel Martin-McCormick of Mi Ami/Sex Worker) and Cuticle as part of that undertaking. Below is a teaser for the 12" and there's more information on 100% Silk HERE.

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posted by dissensous at 9:47:00 AM 1 comments