In surprising fans by releasing an unannounced, free album, Wilco dropped Star Wars, a 33-minute departure from the band’s usually laid-back indie sound in search of straightforward songwriting and subtle distortion. John Stirratt uses a heavy hand on his gain knob and relies on fuzz-driving pedals. Even mellow ballads like “Magnetized” and “You Satellite” achieve crunchy textures and a pleasant hint of string noise that keeps the album continually interesting.
CD Review: Dawes "All Your Favorite Bands"
L.A. indie-folk quartet Dawes goes in for gentle, singer-songwriter anthems on its latest album, but that doesn’t stop Wylie Gelber from putting rolling lines and superbly round tones underneath uptempo numbers like “Don’t Send Me Away” and “I Can’t Think About It Now.”