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On The Record: Toro Y Moi, The Joy Formidable, Foxygen, Ra Ra Riot, Esben And The Witch, And Adam Ant

imageToro Y Moi

Anything In Return
(Carpark Records)

Sounds like: South Carolinian Chaz Bundick’s third shows growth and good change; less chill-wavey, but more dance pastiche and inspired retro-learned funk.

Free association: Chillwave is done; he knows what’s what and is getting electric.

For fans of: Neon Indian/Young Magic, Koushik + Caribou, modern psych funk.

imageThe Joy Formidable

Wolf’s Law


Sounds like: Excellent trio of Welsh anthemic guitar pop that feels inspired by Sleater-Kinney (via lead vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan) but tempered by Stars.

Free association: At no point on this record do they sound emo—an accomplishment!

For fans of: Yeah Yeah Yeahs + Arcade Fire, Kooks/angry Rilo Kiley, female thrash.


We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic


Sounds like: Great sophomore from L.A. ‘burbs natives and BFFs who got inspired by Dig! to play as many instruments as possible and mix it with classic rock

Free association: Hard to believe this is only nine songs. It feels like so much more. 

For fans of: Zeus + Ducktails + the Stones, Sic Alps x Pink Floyd, buddy rock.

imageRa Ra Riot

Beta Love

Sounds like: The Syracuse-born band’s third is a departure. Gone are hushed strings and baroque chamber pop; now it’s synths and polished electronics.

Free association: Tired of dwelling in obscurity, they polish commercial jingles.

For fans of: Vampire Weekend x Toyota, Passion Pit + Chrome, Owl City/Apple.

imageEsben and the Witch

Wash the Sins Not Only the Face

Sounds like: The goth creepfolk Brits’ second full-length is a pretty calmly weird collection of dark, vaguely unsettling and hushed ambient witchy rock.

Free association: These aren’t like The Craft witches—more like The Witches of Eastwick.

For fans of: Björk x Austra + Bat For Lashes, Kate Bush in Practical Magic.

imageAdam Ant

Adam Ant is the BlueBlack Hussar Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter

(BlueBlack Hussar)

Sounds like: The 58-year-old artpop legend and ‘80s icon’s first new solo LP in 13 years is long, all over the place, a little demo-y but not expected or weak.

Free association: There are zero tracks that sound remotely like “Goody Two-Shoes.”

For fans of: Dexy’s Midnight Runners/DEVO x Suede + T. Rex, Brit pop icons.

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