Assistant Music Director’s Album Reviews

posted on Mar.11, 2013


“Miracle Mile”
Hailing From: Portland, OR
Release Number: 3rd
Genre: Chill Electronica
Label: Polyvinyl
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The Joy Formidable

“Wolf’s Law”
Hailing From: North Wales, UK
Release Number: 2nd LP
Genre: Alt Rock
Label: Atlantic Recordings
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Tegan and Sara

Hailing From: Alberta, Canada
Release Number: 7th
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Warner Bros. Recording
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Pascal Pinon

Hailing From: Iceland
Release Number: 2nd
Genre: Ethereal Dream Pop
Label: Morr Music
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If you haven’t already heard of STRFKR, simply look up “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” and you’ll know exactly who we’re dealing with here.  This four piece electronica project is founder Joshua Hodges’ baby; in fact, Miracle Mile is the first album that got the entire band involved in the song writing and creative process.  The collaborative is definitely evident on this release.  There are many different instrumental themes and styles incorporated, rather than just the same simple melody repeated over and over.  Some tracks have more present vocals than others, but no matter what, each song is catchy and danceable in its own way. Miracle Mile is a sure to be another success for STRFKR.


The Joy Formidable

Female fronted welsh trio The Joy Formidable is back with their sophomore release Wolf’s Law.  The group has a great way of mixing the harsh with the delicate.  Lead vocalist Ritzy Bryan has a uniqueness and fragility in some songs, yet can be perfectly fit for others that are more raw and loud; her adaptability is not a sign on impressionability, but of versatility.  This versatility that The Joy Formidable offers is what makes their sound appealing so a broad audience.  Wolf’s Law is sure to please past fans and alternative rock fans, as well as dream pop lovers.  The Joy Formidable is something for everyone, or at least most.


Tegan and Sara

It’s going to take everything in me not to just talk about “Closer”, but we’ll see how this goes.  Heartthrob is the 7th full length release since the start of their group in 1995, composed of the identical twin Quin sisters.  Heartthrob definitely carries a more upbeat dancey sound than some of their past releases.  Most of the lyrics are darker and more melancholy which juxtapose the fun melodies in an interesting way.  The group has definitely developed their sound over the years, and Heartthrob is right in stride, in terms of progress.  The album is ten songs consisting of a perfect mix of seriousness and playfulness.  Feel free to dance around to Heartthrob; you won’t be able to resist.

Pascal Pinon

Pascal Pinon is a four piece Icelandic group comprised of twin sisters whose names I can’t pronounce and will no sooner type out.  Their name, derived from the sideshow attraction the Two Headed Mexican Pasqual Pinon, indicates the centrality of the twins to the project.  Their album Twosomeness features both Icelandic and English which makes for an interesting variety.  The closeness and compatibility of their voices reminds me of First Aid Kit, but much less twangy, bold, and folky.  By simply mentioning that the group has producer Alex Somer’s in common with Sigur Rós, you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect.  There is quaintness to the creative instrumentation involved in their sound, which features strings, guitars, and keyboards.  The music always takes a backseat to the sisters’ breathy vocals, quiets the whole album down a bit.


– Heather Koenig, Assistant Music Director

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