Six Albums For Autumn

Phosphene Dream The Black Angels

The Black Angels are one of the most prominent psych-rock bands out there, creating acid-drenched riffs baked in reverb and heavy vibrato. Athough the formula remains similar on their third LP, Phosphene Dream, there are certain variations which help evolve the Angels’ sound. Songs such as “Telephone” or “River of Blood” have a more retro feel, reminiscent of 1960’s garage rock, and more upbeat than their slow, head-bopping standards. Despite the experimentation the album is mostly comprised of their dark, rhythmic drones, with tracks like “Entrance Song” emphasizing their own sound.

Heretofore Megafaun

Heretofore, the newest mini-album from North Carolina alt-country rockers Megafaun is appropriately named. Following their breakthrough album Gather, Form & Fly (2009) which showcased the band’s more psychedelic and experimental side, Megafaun reverts back to a more polished, acoustic sound which they perfected on their debut Bury the Square from 2008. The new album borders the line of good and generic, depending on the listener’s expectations. There are true gems here though, such as the catchy, blues-folk song “Eagle,” or the improvisatory 12-minute ballad “Comprovisation For Connor Pass.”

Halcyon Digest Deerhunter

Following the success of 2008’s Microcastle, Deerhunter put forth another great album, and switched from shoegazing to skygazing. The album begins with the guitar-plucked ambient “Earthquake,” which echoes their traditional, slow motion drone style. But songs like “Revival” and “Coronado” show a more jubilant side, equipped with banjos and saxophones celebrating a reborn band. Guitar player Lockett Pundt also adds some vocals to the song “Desire Lines” showing that Bradford Cox, typical front man, isn’t the only songwriter in the group. Overall, the album doesn’t disappoint, and is a perfect companion for the soon-to-be autumn days.

Band of Joy Robert Plant

Robert Plant may be known best for his position as lead singer of classic rock band Led Zeppelin, but since the dawn of the new millennium he’s been venturing on a solo career that discerns from the typical “washed-up old man rock star.” He won a grammy in 2007 for best album with Alison Krauss, and has followed that success by acquiring other country and blues musicians. Plant’s vocals are obviously not what they used to be, but he still demonstrates his range. “Angel Dance,” the opening track, probably sounds the most Zeppelinesque, and other songs such as “The Only Sound That Matters” showcase his love for country songwriting.

Pop Negro El Guincho

El Guincho is Pablo Diaz-Reixa, the mastermind behind a new type of tropicalia and electronica music coming out of Spain that he’s been making since his 2007 debut, Alegranza. This time around, however, Diaz-Reixa abandons the loop pedal for more pop-structured songs. The sound of Pop Negro is sun-drenched, much like his previous releases. “Bombay” the first song, is probably the most accessible, catching your ear’s attention with the steel drums and echoing guitar chords. His psychedelic side is also highlighted later in the album, in songs such as “(Chica-Oh) Drims” and “Ghetto Facil.” Unfortunately for listeners here in the states, summer is on its way out; El Guincho, however, offers us some consolation.

Compsponsible Various Artists

Compsponsible is a compilation record showcasing some of New Paltz and the surrounding areas’ finest local bands, comprised of DIY label Responsible Records. And in complete DIY fashion, they are giving the thing away for free. The compilation was created in tribute to ResponsibleFest, a two day festival created by the label, which took place the weekend of Sept. 18. Based on this album, the artists in New Paltz and the surrounding area definitely have creative flexibility, spanning genres such as math rock, psych-folk, ambient and other genres which are hard to classify. Big props to the Responsible Records kids who are leading the way for our students’ creative outlets.