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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
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+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
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+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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+ Espers - II
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Shy Child
Please Consider Our Time

The Electroclash hype has, at this point, officially eaten New York City. It was a good idea on paper: a regurgitation of past styles renewed through a modern worldview. It's a symptom of our culture. We've done it for at least the whole of the 20th Century. Why not continue into the 21st? Why, thank you, we will. And this time, we'll be the '80s. Tweed riding pants on the weekends. Those bicycles with the big front wheels. And how about the low top hats! And the silky evening wear! And ankle boots! What?


The '80s: its leather ties, its hair mousse, its New Order, its Echo and the Bunnymen. Yes, it's all very much back. You know it and you knew it. And the "Electroclash" movement is a big proponent of its resurrection. No complaints here: Electroclash is the '80s without Reaganomics. It's like the '80s, but really, you know, like totally much better. And still with the synthesizers and angular haircuts.

But a huge problem with any heavily defined music scene is that it has a foreseeable end, a demise that looms so presently over it that enjoying it for what it is becomes a trial in itself. And almost immediately after it introduces itself to the world, 100,001 musical acts who really want to be doing that too likewise introduce themselves to the world. And that's why the genre eventually becomes so hated: oversaturation, overload.

Please Consider Our Time, the debut album from New York synth-rock duo Shy Child, is a great example of something that really has nothing to do with a music movement somehow getting lumped into it. Anything with a synthesizer gets the Electroclash tag these days, sometimes undeservingly so. Comprising Pete Cafarella (synth/vocals) and Nate Smith (drums/vocals), Shy Child create bold, gorgeous music that transports the listener through stark landscapes, all the while being so comforting with its overwhelmingly natural, seemingly unprocessed sound.

It must be the vocals, because they're all over the album. Never are you left with the impression that there's nothing but a bunch of careless compu-noodling going on in the background, with the two of them just screwing around on Pro Tools without for once considering just how you might be feeling about the whole experience. Nope, Shy Child use technology as a tool for expression — and never lose control of their purpose. Though on first impression the album seems dominated by Pete Cafarella's synthesizer, it's a good thing, treated as elegantly as it is here, with such delicate craft and attention to detail. And all so perfectly paired to Nate Smith's drums: the pair's equally subtle aggression and tight interplay are a unique combination, making their music so enjoyable, personable, and — very often — dazzling.

At times a stroll, at times a breakneck sprint, the album's nine songs cover about as much divergent territory as one would expect from an album with twice the number of songs. And across all these songs Shy Child are working within a strict vocals/synthesizer/drums structure. But they do a lot with very little. Prog-ish, rock-ish, psychedelic, lazy, avant-garde, free-jazzy: the styles are certainly up for grabs, eluding discussion and, often, description. Cafarella and Smith are a resourceful team: synth-intoned simple harmonies ("Mercury and Sun," "TV Tunnel"), sweeping anthemic rock ("Prosumer," "Great Expectations"), poppy synth experiments ("Ontology of the Ball"). They're all over the place, and they're not using a lot of instruments to take you there. They're really that good. The mind reels on the possibilities of what these two, with so much talent and imagination, could do together in the future.

When Electroclash has finally gobbled up everything in modern music and there's nothing left for it to do but pass out in a puddle of whiskey sours, its no-longer-young belly frowning over its studded belt, it's to be hoped that Shy Child will still be around.

by Andrew Womack

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