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Top 10: Home Video, Aether, Buff1

Home Video
It Will Be OK
Self-released
Release Date: Out Now

David Gross and Collin Ruffino proved themselves adept at making moody, understated synth-rock when they released No Certain Night or Morning in 2006. This EP, the first we've heard from the duo since the aforementioned full-length, further solidifies them as masters of that particular milieu. The sweeping chords, electronic beatscapes, and trembling vocals are still present, but slightly matured, a bit more precise, and wonderfully somber as ever. JM

Matt Elliot
Howling Songs
Ici d’ailleurs
Release Date: Out Now

This one's perhaps best described in the words of XLR8R scribe David Hemmingway, when he proclaimed Howling Songs to be "spectacularly glum and very, very special." The final part of a trilogy (installments one and two were named Drinking Songs and Failing Songs, respectively), this album is a downbeat, melancholy affair that takes influence from drum & bass as much as it does Eastern folk. JM

Lymbyc System
Love Your Abuser Remixed
Mush
Release Date: Out Now

Last year, Lymbyc System released the introspective album, Love Your Abuser. More than a year later, friends of this Brooklyn-and-Austin-based band have taken a good thing and made it even better. The remixed version features The Album Leaf, Daedelus, and Eliot Lipp, among other contributors, each putting their own spin on pretty singles from this generally downtempo album. LM

The Cutler
Cutler
Steel Tiger
Release Date: Out Now

British electro-acoustic duo The Cutler provides pleasant symphonies of jazz-infused melody, quirky vocals, and playfully experimental accents on this album. Songs with singular bad-ass names like "Stiletto," "Scimitar," "Cleaver," and "Pickaxe" yield a variety of happy sounds to set as the soundtrack for a busy afternoon in the city. LM

Aether
Artifacts
Exponential
Release Date: November 25

This is the first solo full-length Diego Chavez has released while wearing his Aether helmet (he also records as Otic Angst and A.M. Architect). Yes, the tracks may be rooted in top-notch hip-hop production, but it's clear on Artifacts that Chavez isn't confining himself to one genre, as seen in the rock guitars, free-jazz flavors, and the occasional vocal that sounds as though it was pulled straight off a Luomo album. JM

Eagles of Death Metal
Heart On
Downtown
Release Date: Out Now

Snarky rockers Eagles of Death Metal offer up the third installation of their particularly shameless brand of sexy with this release. In keeping with the band's previous hard-rocking, guitar-driven pop melodies, Heart On tempers sped-up, electrified honky-tonk ("Wannabe in L.A.," "Secret Plans") with tight-pantsed, retro rock ("Heart On," "How Can a Man with So Many Friends Feel So All Alone"). LM

The Whip
X Marks Destination
Southern Fried
Release Date: Winter 2009 (U.S.)

Between the synths, relentlessly hard-hitting drums, and lead man Bruce Carter’s lyrical hysterics, the 10 tracks here make for a very solid debut album from this Manchester, U.K.-based foursome. Suffice to say it's bubbling with personality and energy, and several cuts above the usual dance-rock album. JM

Deerhunter
Microcastle
kranky

This beautiful album from Atlanta, GA-based indie-rockers Deerhunter ranges from shimmering shoegaze ("Cover Me Slowly," "Calvary Scars") to infectious melodies–"Never Stops" and single "Nothing Ever Happened" being the prime examples. From start to finish, Microcastle will melt you into a serene puddle of mixed melancholy and wonder. LM

Buff1
There's Only One
A-Side Worldwide
Release Date: Out Now

Capable of carrying both the ruggedness of Guilty Simpson and the smoothed-out style of Little Brother, Ann Arbor, Michigan hip-hop act Buff1 has recently proven himself one well-rounded rhymer. On his sophomore set, There’s Only One, the MC keeps his subject matter and approach fluid. Meet Michigan’s next great MC. MH

Faunts
"M4 (Part II) (The Paranomasiac Remix)"
Friendly Fire
Download

While Canadian outfit Faunts put the finishing touches on its upcoming album, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of, we're enjoyng the Paranomasiac remix of "M4 (Part II),” off the Faunts Remixed album. Paranomasiac (a.k.a. Nik from Shout Out Out Out Out) presents a cavernous space where the Batke bros' soft vocals share the spotlight with heavy, opaque synths, agitated rhythm guitar and double-time maracas. LM

Text by Jennifer Marston, Lulu McAllister, and Max Herman.

Pictured: Home Video

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