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Top 10: The Dead Science, Matthew Dear

The Dead Science
Villainaire
Constellation
Release Date: Out Now

A rich, multi-layered avant-pop affair, Villainaire is both emotionally evocative and technically impressive, with a musical trajectory that one can never quite predict. This is the third full-length from the Seattle-based trio, which dabbles in everything from eerie jazz music to melancholy-drenched ballads here. JM

Matthew Dear
Dog Days: The Robsoul Remixes
Ghostly
Release Date: Out Now

"Dog Days" blew up in 2003 when Matthew Dear released Leave Luck to Heaven. I mean really blew up–it was almost impossible to set foot in a club without hearing the track’s arpeggiated synth melody and sharp beats. Fast-forward to 2008, and Ghostly has enlisted members of France-based Robsoul Recordings to rework the track. JM

Milosh
iii
Plug Research
Release Date: September 23

iii is full of electro-folk that ripples like water under the falsetto voice of soulful Canadian Michael Milosh. Bringing with him some classical training and a love of jazz, Milosh layers strings, samples, guitars, and understated beats into a soothing, subdued electronic composition. LM

Hatchback
Colors of the Sun
Lo
Release Date: September 30

I can't say I'm in love with laidback, breezy dance beats in my old age, but Hatchback could change my mind with this release. A plethora of jazzy beats, disco-style keyboards, and a robust horn section make for an inviting listen that even gets grumps like me to dance. Throw this one on in the club, the living room, or when driving down some sunny highway. MN

Serena Maneesh
s-m backwards
Smalltown Supersound
Release Date: September 22

This two-disc re-release of Serena Maneesh’s shoegaze garage albums Fixxation (2002) and Zurick (1999-2003) features the Norwegian band letting its introspective vocals meander over rich, dreamlike guitars, subtle percussion, and the occasional lonely string. These songs transform into luscious, psychedelic numbers in the remixed versions included on Disc One. LM

Various
Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies
Standard Recording Company
Release Date: Out Now

J. Matthew Gerken, Christian Kiefer, and Jefferson Pitcher have taken the art of storytelling to a new level with their masterpiece, Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies. Beginning with spirited, marching-band flutes for Mr. Washington, then moving to jaunty claps and atonal harmonies for Honest Abe, and finishing with a lullaby for our current president, the clever album profiles all 43 U.S. presidents, with help from special guests Califone, Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) and Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters), among others. LM

The Matthew Herbert Big Band
There’s Me and There’s You
!K7
Release Date: October 28

There’s Me and There’s You is protest music you could listen to at a cocktail party. Commentary on the Iraq war is tucked into upbeat, infectious, jazz rhythms, with unexpected accents from samples of things like "70 condoms being scraped along the floor of the British Museum” or “100 credit cards being cut up.” So says the album’s press kit. LM

School of Seven Bells
"Half Asleep/Caldo"
Ghostly
Release Date: September 16

My only beef with this one is that it's too short, though a promised full-length set for release in October should ensure we've all got enough futuristic pop to sort us out for the year. Ex-Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis has teamed up with sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, and together the three make a compelling, slightly psychedelic blend of indie rock here, armed with guitars and plenty of laptop-generated noise. MN

Ricardo Villalobos
Vasco
Perlon
Release Date: out Now

Villalobos’ playground of subliminal electronic music pulses alternately with plunky and erratic, deep accents. Using minimal decoration, Vasco turns into a free-floating exploration of uncomplicated rhythms punctuated with clicks, a tinkling cowbell that (for once) hides sheepishly in the background, and, not least of all, a sexy metallic voice speaking in French. LM

From the Readers
Various
Modeselektor's Jetlag Mix
Download

Though it was neck-and-neck with Tobacco's Songs to Get Killed in the Woods To mix, Modeselektor's Jetlag Mix won out this week as being most popular with our readers for the second week in a row. Our bandwidth bill is going to be out the roof this month. Photo By Birgit Kaulfuss. JM

Text by Jennifer Marston, Lulu McAllister, and Maverick Newberry. Pictured above: The Dead Science.

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