Believe the Hype - No Ripcord Recommendations

  • Ducks Ltd. Harm's Way

    McGreevy and his songwriter partner, Evan David Lewis, tackle similar subject matter on their debut full-length, Modern Fiction. But instead of just focusing on themselves, they also write about those close to them, evoking a sense of melancholy that permeates even deeper. Clocking in at a brisk 28 minutes, Harm's Way unfolds with not a minute wasted, packing in a generous amount of hooks that plays to the duo's strengths.
  • The Umbrellas Fairweather Friend

    Sure, the audible influence of genre touchstones like Beat Happening, The Pastels, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart might make it easy to dismiss on a superficial listen, but is it fair to expect bands to carve out new sonic terrain in such an established and beloved genre? The originality comes in the sheer songcraft of The Umbrellas; it’s not what they sound like, but how they fuse these sounds together. The first minute of the sublime When You Find Out perfectly encapsulates what I love about Fairweather Friend; this is an idea developed it to its maximum potential. The execution is near-perfect.
  • Feeble Little Horse Girl With Fish

    Feeble Little Horse are standing at the front of the pack when it comes to the newest wave of American shoegaze. With Girl With Fish, they reach their full potential, pairing feedback and loopy guitar effects to brighten Pittsburgh basements with surprising sweetness and infectiousness.
  • The Lemon Twigs Everything Harmony

    Now in their early twenties after starting the Lemon Twigs in their teenage years, the Long Island, New York duo of Brian and Michael D'Addario sound more confident injecting their personality into their '70s-indebted songwriting. In paring down their songs to their barest essentials, they've successfully built a cohesive body of work in a way that their previous attempts at creating conceptual rock operas and intricate baroque rock didn't.
  • Yves Tumor Praise a Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)

    In Praise a Lord..., Tumor achieves the difficult task of remaining as perplexing as ever while forging a more inviting sound. With a vital richness throughout the sonic miasma they creates, Tumor effectively taps into their vulnerable side behind a robust backing band. While such a varied smattering of ideas can work against its benefit on occasion, Tumor hangs everything together with dark and inventive layers of pain that never relent.
  • Hamish Hawk Angel Numbers

    As befits an artist who has quietly and organically developed in his own bubble, Hawk’s songwriting craft is refined and distinctive. On Angel Numbers he’s not so much writing songs as creating worlds around his vignettes. Idlewild’s Rod Jones (one of the nicest men in music) fleshes out the sonic architecture of Hawk’s creations with deftly-judged production. If 2021’s Heavy Elevator had a moody monochromatic feel, Angel Numbers sees Hawk and Jones throwing open the curtains and letting a little light and colour in. It wasn’t a strictly necessary development, but it’s not an unwelcome one either.
  • Andy Shauf Norm

    The prose in Norm is limited if purposedly enigmatic, in which he inserts just enough details instead of telling a series of events in a linear sequence. Shauf serves as an unreliable narrator of sorts, conjuring empathy in the darkest of minds. His cleverest trick, however, is writing music of unquestionable beauty, so transfixing that it makes you question if a menacing subtext is actually present.
  • Complete Mountain Almanac Complete Mountain Almanac

    Complete Mountain Almanac is a superficially pretty album, but you’ll need to afford it your full attention to unearth its full charms and appreciate its emotional depth. Grab your best headphones and really listen; you’ll soon discover there’s something very special going on here.
  • The Murder Capital Gigi's Recovery

    The conceptual narrative of the Murder Capital moving forward may seem like a tired trope, but it's also their truth, and when backed with songs this good, it justifies their wanting to document their growth as musicians. In distancing themselves from strictly writing within a post-punk framework, the band takes new and exciting rhythmic detours to accompany their slightly more optimistic, inward-looking reflections.
  • Weyes Blood And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow

    In a note to her fans, [Natalie] Mering has described And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow as the center of a trilogy of albums. One that contends with being in “the thick of it.” Whether the album’s themes are apparent when awed by the sonics that surrounds them is likely of little matter to most listeners. Mering has concocted a successor to Titanic Rising that any gambler worth their salt would have no doubt taken the under on.