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Record Roundup

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Erase You

Five Seven Music

Drummer Dustin Steinke may very well be regretting his recent move from Bleeker Ridge to Sixx A.M., seeing as how Bleeker, as the band is now known, is finally on the cusp of hitting the big time with Erase You. Musical chameleons, Bleeker handily serves up a deliciously varied menu of sounds—alternative, garage, grunge, blues, punk and just a pinch of pop—along with some quaking riffs and hardcore drum thrashings. Standout tracks, besides the now familiar “Highway,” include the title track, “Free,” “Where’s Your Money,” “I’m Not Laughing” and a cover of Elvis Costello’s “Radio Radio.” This album isn’t just good, it’s crack to the ear—highly addictive and worthy of repeat plays.

‑ Joni Williams




Once upon a time, video games had to be simple out of necessity. Both the images and the music were created with size limitations in mind—mass storage would come later and open up those limits. From those humble beginnings, musicians are continually creating under the 8‑bit or chiptune genre. Disasterpeace is one of the more well known in the genre, and for good reason. Singles is a reflection of his favorite and most popular tracks, and a great introduction to a growing sub‑genre of music.

‑ Nikki Hedrick

Lights with Fire

Wet Hair


Atmospheric indie music from Pensacola fits the definition of art rock to a T. It’s about experimentation, unconventional directions, and evocative music. It combines fringe folk, punk, and rock with some contemporary rock sensibilities for music that is personal and daring. Lights with Fire plays well with the genre, and I hope we hear more from them.

‑ Nikki Hedrick

Kristen Long

Gypsy Soul


Combining soulful storytelling with jazz flourishes, Long crafts an album full of life and emotion. When musicians have a connection to live theater, something in their music reflects that—the clearly pronounced words and the epic rises give way to something more dramatic than modern song structure. It crafts this sonic world that resonates deeper than a three‑minute song should. Long takes all those influences, and carefully pours them into Gypsy Soul.

‑ Nikki Hedrick

John Scofield

Guitarra de Jazz

Warner Music

I will listen to whatever Scofield plays. In Guitarra de Jazz, I figured he was going Latino. That expectation was shattered with the first track (“In the Cracks”), which chunked its honky tonk self right down. Next up was “Best Western,” a mournful lament that would do Marty Robbins proud. At that point I abandoned the labels and just let my fellow Dayton, Ohio native have his musical way. The 34 tracks here are like session whiskey. Don’t start unless you have time to give your undivided attention. Only then will the flavors reach the far corners of your palate.

‑ Bruce Collier

Claire Van Kampen/Musicians of Shakespeare’s Globe

Twelfth Night & Richard III

Globe Music

Shakespeare recently celebrated the 400th anniversary of his shuffling off this mortal coil, and among the many tributes paid was this recording by musical director Claire Van Kampen on the Globe Music label (yes, that Globe). The 24‑track playlist includes works by period composers (John Dowland, Thomas Morley, and Van Kampen herself, all of which served as background music to two Globe stage productions. If you are used to seeing “screwed‑up Shakespeare” (thank you, Nathanael Fisher) on film and stage, dip your ear into this genuine Elizabethan vibe. Feel free to get up and pavane the night away.

‑ Bruce Collier

The xx

I See You

Young Turks

I See You, the xx’s third album, sees the British electro‑pop trio at both its most confident and vulnerable. They retain the intimacy of their signature soft, spare sound that they honed on their first two albums, but they have expanded it to make each soaring beat and tender lyric feel like an emotional proclamation instead of a place to hide. I See You is a space for the xx to shout their feelings of heartbreak and uncertain love when they have always whispered, and their shedding of inhibitions allows the listener closer access to the band than ever before.

‑ Jane Morgan
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