Album Reviews

KUMD Album Review: The Shacks

Nov 30, 2016

The Shacks | The Shacks EP

Shannon Wise and Max Shrager walked into the studio in Queens, New York, on a whim one day in 2014 and left under a new name, The Shacks. The duo holds its own with Shrager’s musical skills that have been recognized since the tender age of 14 and Wise’s feathery voice to form their self-titled release, The Shacks EP.

KUMD Album Review: Sad13

Nov 23, 2016

Sad13 | Slugger

What Sad13’s premiere album, Slugger, may lose in approachability is quickly supplemented by songs so unique they cannot be forgotten without a good effort. Each song has a rough edge, a DIY feel, and yet a modern and electronic presence can always be felt. The tracks, while certainly part of the modern pop scene, stand out like the sore thumbs that won the game.

KUMD Album Review: Bon Iver

Nov 16, 2016

Bon Iver | 22, A Million

Kanye West once said that Justin Vernon, also known as, Bon Iver, was his favorite living artist. 22, A Million, Vernon’s newest album has many saying the same.

Beautiful, willful and something of a triumph, 22, A Million moves listeners, though they may struggle to explain why or how. The first listen leaves them wondering. The second — wanting. And the third — crying tears of both sorrow and joy.

KUMD Album Review: NxWorries

Nov 9, 2016

NxWorries | Yes Lawd!

If anyone has been sleeping on Anderson Paak, it’s time to wake up. Paak and beat maker extraordinaire, Knxlwledge, have joined forces under the alias NxWorries to present their brain child, Yes Lawd!

KUMD Album Review: The Radio Dept.

Nov 2, 2016

The Radio Dept. | Running Out of Love

Who wants a break from American politics? –All hands go up- Alright, let’s get started. Running Out Of Love is an album composed from social and political unrest, hailing from one of the few places that could rival Duluth for being the most victimized by winter: Sweden.

KUMD Album Review: Ruminations

Oct 26, 2016

Conor Oberst | Ruminations

The leaves have turned and in that Duluth wind whispers a certain change. The crisp leaves will soon give way to even crisper, icy mornings. Fear not, Northerners; where layers of sweaters and wool socks fail to wrap snugly, Conor Oberst’s new album, Ruminations, will be sure to blanket every listener in warmth. Oberst’s smooth vocals with a slight twang glide over the piano and guitar with various lapses into Bob Dylan-esque harmonica affairs.

KUMD Album Review: Kishi Bashi

Oct 19, 2016

Kishi Bashi | Sonderlust

From time to time an album will arise that is truly a joy to listen to. Sonderlust qualifies. Sonderlust is lead vocalist and violinist Kaoru Ishibashi’s third time at the head of the musical experiment that is Kishi Bashi. Third albums, much like second albums, are often the testing ground for a band’s ability to stay relevant and powerful. The reports are in. Kishi Bashi hasn’t lost its step.

KUMD Album Review: Drugdealer

Oct 12, 2016

Drugdealer | The End of Comedy

Often one wouldn’t know they wanted an album like Drugdealer’s debut The End of Comedy. It takes one or two front-to- back listens to realize that this album, an amalgam of classic psychedelic riffs, jazz, and alternative rock, is exactly where you wanted the new age of “make what you want” to go.

A quick history lesson makes it clear that Michael Collins, the hand and mind behind the band, isn’t new to this game. Previously working under the names Run DMT and Salvia Plath, Collins now leads the charge with Drugdealer.

KUMD Album Review: Kaleo

Oct 5, 2016

Kaleo | A/B

Icelandic-American quartet Kaleo first emerged onto the music scene in 2012 when they performed at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. From there, native radio stations started playing their Icelandic hit “Vor í Vaglaskógi” which gained them success overseas. However, the band achieved even more success in the U.S. with their single “All the Pretty Girls” when it was featured on Spotify in 2014.

KUMD Album Review: Frank Ocean

Sep 28, 2016

Frank Ocean | Blonde

Four years, one month and ten days, that’s how long it took for Frank Ocean to ride back in on his melodic wave. The channel widened and the color orange gave way to the golden tresses that form Blonde, Frank Ocean’s long-awaited sophomore album.

Vivielle—Something That Isn't There

The transition from summer to fall is always hard to make.  The leaves fall off the trees, the sky gets permanently cloudy, and the students try to ease back into school.  Luckily, Vivielle is back to make the transition a little bit easier.  On their latest, Something That Isn’t There, the Duluth four-piece delivers ten tracks of autumn-ready melancholia— a perfect soundtrack for the fall season.

8/5 KUMD Album Review: Sticky Fingers

Aug 5, 2015

  ~There are heads all over the globe that are floating in a cloud of dub, reggae, ska, psychedelic tempos together and smiling~

7/29 KUMD Album Reviews: Tame Impala

Jul 29, 2015

Tame Impala-Currents

Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala have triumphantly returned to the limelight with their latest chart-topping release Currents, which has just secured the band’s first-ever spot in the UK top 10 charts. After their acclaimed Lonerism release, the band spent most of their time headlining festivals and rising to the top of indie and rock charts.

7/22 KUMD Album Review: Desaparecidos

Jul 22, 2015

Who would’ve thought Conor Oberst was in a punk band? His work with Bright Eyes is the portrait of a man who needs a hug. Listen to his work with Desaparecidos and you’ve got a man who will take you out for drinks to talk political views, all while plotting the next big riot. You don’t expect to head bang to the same voice who sang “Land Locked Blues.” It may sound strange, but it’s good.

Hearing Giant, the latest album from L’anarchiste, is like watching a party from start to finish.  A solo horn, banjo, or synth pulse starts each track before seamless layering brings an eclectic array of instrumentation into the mix, like seeing guests slowly arrive to the party.  Each track then ends with the same solo instrument, alone again, but well-rounded in result.

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