Album Roundup

Music by Shannon Cleary
Issue 70 • December 2018

Featured in this roundup:
Addy • Rose Eyes
Ing • Ing (Self-Titled)
Sports Bar • Stranger In My Head
You’re Jovian • The Sound Of Who We Are
Large Margin • Large Margin

Rose Eyes

Richmond • November 9, 2018

There is a distinct charm to the songwriting talents of Adam Watkins, the musical mind behind the “robot cowboy music” of Addy. With songwriting like the gently traced outlines of humanity, Watkins uncovers the beauty of everyday life with the same sensibilities as Sufjan Stevens, Jason Molina, or Carseat Headrest. On their debut EP Re Call, Addy reflected on a sense of loss that could only be found through letting go. On the Rose Eyes follow-up, Watkins has stripped away even more in order to discover hope.

The wisdom and yearning found in “Supermarket” sets the stage for the catharsis on display. A desire for connection is at the heart of this five song collection. Along with the familiar drum machine tracks, lightly strummed guitar is accompanied by atmospheric trumpet, violin, and banjo. Each layer adds its own texture, resulting in an eclectic lo-fi pop mix that is simply effervescent.

Addy feels like a magic trick that never pulls the curtain completely closed. You see a few of the strings, a few of the illusions, but the reality of the performance looks you square in the eye. It’s that endearing, lingering quality that remains after listening to Rose Eyes.

Ing (Self-Titled)

Charlottesville • October 1, 2018

Ing write enchanting indie-math rock jams that always feel fresh and exciting. On their self-titled debut, the group sounds eerily like an amalgam of Cap’n Jazz and Slint while treading closely into post-hardcore territory. The slight teases of a tape speeding up to introduce tracks like “Dust” and “Fair Winds” is rather fitting considering the spontaneity of Ing’s songwriting. On the surface, the songs have a minimalist, loose impression, but each turn has a deliberate complexity to it. They shuffle urgently, then find their groove in quick measure. It’s alarmingly great. Available on cassette from Citrus City Records.

Sports Bar
Stranger In My Head

Richmond • October 12, 2018

Sports Bar are true working class, garage punk heroes, so the fact that it took them close to a decade to release a proper debut album is fitting. Nothing great comes without a little bit of work and Stranger In My Head is a true testament to that sentiment, full of anthemic choruses and frantic rock dexterity worthy of JEFF The Brotherhood, Diarrhea Planet, and Sheer Mag. Having traded late nights for the family life, they balance youthful exuberance with hard-earned wisdom. One thing is for certain: you’ll have trouble shaking these tunes from your subconscious anytime soon.

You’re Jovian
The Sound Of Who We Are

Norfolk • October 22, 2018

Shoegaze meets indie pop on the latest from You’re Jovian, a release that celebrates how enormous it feels at every turn. The Sound of Who We Are revels in dynamics and layering that would make any My Bloody Valentine fan blush. Students of The Swirlies and Sebadoh, each of the five tracks takes the listener on a lush journey through these pleasing soundscapes. Reverb-laden vocals, overdriven guitars, and steady downbeats flow throughout, together acting as a heartfelt reminder of what made you fall in love with the genre in the first place.

Large Margin
Large Margin

Richmond • November 9, 2018

The moment you hit play on the self-titled release from Large Margin, you quickly realize that your prayers for the return of blistering post-hardcore have been answered. Anguish and frustration are channeled into determination on tracks like “Executive’s Order” and “I’m In Sales.” As if the band were possessed by the times, their unrelenting drive is a fitting counterpoint to a world that leaves one cynical, worried for what the future holds. Hot Snakes and Fugazi are fitting comparisons, but rest assured, Large Margin pushes that sound in an inspired direction on this stunning debut.

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