Pepper Rabbit – Red Velvet Snow Ball
Label: Kanine Records (2011)
Genres: Indie Pop
Sounds Like: Architecture in Helsinki, Gruff Rhys
Review by TG Keas, KXUA Music Director
This album was a breath of fresh air. Even though I put a lot of effort into posturing about originality and uniqueness in music, the sheer indie pop-ness of this one was overwhelming. Silly name? Check. Beautiful, swirly-huge studio sound with a million instruments? Check. Breathless fun? Check, check, and check. The paragon levels of these elements – not to mention the craftsmanship exhibited in its construction — really pushed this one into the stratosphere for me. Unfortunately, Pepper Rabbit’s songs don’t seem to have the staying power that would have granted it immediate ascent into the Indie Pantheon. While the headspaces are nothing short of awe-inspiring, it’s the style that is lording over Red Velvet Snow Ball, not the substance of songwriting.
Emmy the Great – Virtue
Review by Ginny Garber
While boisterous songs so often screech across the airwaves filling minds with nonsense, powerful messages pass by under the cloak of a soft voice. Emmy the Great (of London) uses her subtlety of song to debunk all the Man-sustained notions of permanence, property, and the pursuit of finite resources, not to mention the patriarchal view of women as either houses or queens. Great kudos to the songwriter who can successfully deliver a song named “Dinosaur Sex.”
Jose Conde – Jose Conde
Review by Stephanie Sullivan
Cuban musician Jose Conde recorded his self titled album in his Brooklyn, NY home studio. The poetic tracks on this release are earthy and fun. Tracks vary in style exhibiting the diverse sounds that Conde is capable of producing. The music is passionate, loving, gentle, happy at times and moody during others. Just a lovely album!
Bell – Diamonite
Label: Relapse (2011)
Genre: Synthpop, Dream pop
Sound Like: Azure Ray, Cranes
Review by José Bonilla
Bell’s Diamonite is slam packed with positively mixed poppy tracks. This nice dose of dreamy electronica matched with nice vocals can revive anyone’s soul to the synthpop genre. If you haven’t heard anything interesting in a while, give this album a listen and I promise you will enjoy it.