By MIKE SOSNICK
Koriass, Rue des Saules
Montreal rapper Koriass has been making a name for himself around his native province for a while now with gritty tracks like “Enfant de l’asphalte” and “Garde ta job.” With Rue des Saules, Kory exposes his softer side as he confronts themes of depression and his hardscrabble upbringing in Saint-Eustache, resulting in a heartwarming album marked by his signature flow.
Minor Alps, Get There
Minor Alps’ Get There, the latest side project of ’90s alt-rockers Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, turns down the angst and polishes the musicianship of its predecessors. Well-paired vocal harmonies combine with distortion-laden guitars to create their debut LP, Get There, which proves that while old people may not be as cool as their contemporaries, they’re certainly wiser.
Wooden Shjips, Back to Land
Psychedelic rockers Wooden Shijips have been around since 2006, but their latest release brings them one step closer to solidifying their idiosyncratic space-rock sound. Blending Doors-style riffs with endless guitar noodling, far-out vocals and modern effects, Back to Land builds on the trend of contemporary ’60s revivals.
Magik Markers, Surrender to the Fantasy
In the 11 years since their debut, the noisy Connecticutians known as Magik Markers have released loud, distorted albums supported by debaucherous concerts. Surrender to the Fantasy takes the group’s wild edge and fits it into slightly more accessible song structures, letting their calculated madness reach a somewhat wider audience.
Kurt Vile, It’s A Big World Out There (And I Am Scared)
Released with the deluxe version of the Wakin on a Pretty Daze LP, It’s A Big World Out There (And I Am Scared) revisits three old tracks including a string synth version of “Never Run Away.” The EP delivers three new tracks as well, adding to Kurt Vile’s pantheon of meticulously arranged, deeply emotive cuts.
Jake Bugg, Shangri La
With his second album, Shangri La, British guitarslinger Jake Bugg sounds much more mature than his 19 years. On this LP, Bugg again flexes his songwriting muscles with foot-tapping, crunchy riffs supported by his uniquely warm vocal chops. Combining U.K. rhythms with American tones, Bugg is sure to be a rock mainstay for the foreseeable future.