Twerps - “Range Anxiety”
Twerps’ second full-length and debut for Merge Records should place them on the ongoing list of great modern Australian musical exports, just alongside Courtney Barnett and Tame Impala. “Range Anxiety” is an easygoing jangle-pop record that's highly reminiscent of The Vaselines, thanks to the shared vocal duties of guitarists Julia McFarlane and Martin Frawley and its overall catchiness. Despite its release date and song titles like “White as Snow,” Twerps have crafted the first summer album of 2015.
Standout track: “Back to You”
(Photo: courtesy of the artist)Dengue Fever - “The Deepest Lake”
There’s more than a few reasons to give the latest release from Dengue Fever a spin, but the biggest might be to receive a free crash course in the wonderful world of Cambodian pop music. The six-piece from L.A. has been amalgamating that genre with elements of funk, psych-rock and hip-hop for over a decade now, but it’s certainly not too late to get on board with them via “The Deepest Lake.” The record has a remarkable range of styles and sensations, perhaps best encapsulated in the single “No Sudden Moves.”
Standout track: “No Sudden Moves”
Andy Shauf - "The Bearer of Bad News"
Andy Shauf’s full-length “The Bearer of Bad News” is a bit of a downer. Entries like “Wendell Walker” and “Jerry Was a Clerk” are cold story-songs that don’t end well, colored by Shauf’s Elliott Smith-style tenor. Like Smith’s music, however, the album does contain a rough beauty, which led Kyle Morton of Typhoon to write in the liner notes: “A friend played it for me one winter’s day not long ago and I wept as I haven’t in years.”
Standout track: "You're Out Wasting"