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The final piece of the Vampire Weekend trilogy once again finds a winning combination, and is perhaps the best of the bunch.

The anticipation for Modern Vampires of the City (XL Recordings), the third album from Vampire Weekend, has been building for quite a while now. The band has given us a little taste of what to expect through some calculated live performances and online videos, but this week the full scope of what's been brewing for the past few years finally comes to realization. A band always tied to high expectations and hype, Vampire Weekend consider Modern Vampires of the City to be the final piece of a trilogy that began with their 2008 self-titled debut and their Billboard topping follow-up Contra in 2010. This new album doesn't just follow in the footsteps of their first two albums, it challenges both its predecessors to be musically more creative and lyrically more stimulating.

A set of songs doused in honest Americana, sung by Patty Griffin - one of the most engaging voices in music...

Patty Griffin is really one of those rare treasures. Over the course of a career that started about 20 years ago, she has stayed true to her music, her fans and most importantly herself. She's built and endured a career as a true singer-songwriter, letting her voice and songs carry the weight. Her new album American Kid (New West) is a special collection as it's a tribute to her late father. It's a reflective and touching collection of songs told through both her eyes and his. Musically it's what we've come to expect (and admire) from Patty Griffin, a set of songs doused in honest Americana and sung by one of the most engaging voices in music.
When it comes to young bands it’s always exciting to discover something innovative. Sometimes it’s the pure potential of what you could hear the band doing two or three records down the line that causes the type of captivation. When it comes to Little Green Cars, a five-piece band from Dublin, it’s a lot of both.
By all accounts, Bankrupt! is the album that will further legitimize Phoenix to that next level of stardom...
There is a breeziness, a coolness and an ease that casts itself over this collection.

Much is made of the evolution of Sam Beam and his musical endeavors as Iron & Wine.
In making their third album, Stories Don't End, Dawes explored new found independence, new partnerships, and a change in scenery. Despite all those variables the results are very true to what we’ve come to love about this band. Dawes rekindled the spirit of the 1970s Laurel Canyon scene on their first two albums. And while we reconnected to a sound that may have felt familiar, we really fell for a band that was creating a personality all its own. On Stories Don't End, they harness that personality and truly reflect what we’ve seen blossoming over the last four years.
ATO Records celebrates the life and music of John Denver, featuring covers of Denver's most popular songs by a diverse group of artists including Kathleen Edwards, Amos Lee, My Morning Jacket, Train, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and many others. The album is slated for release Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
It hasn't taken long for people to start to buzz around this new blend of independent lo-fi rock and soul from Seattle's Pickwick.
A perfect starting point for new fans. Muchacho is somewhat of a departure for Phosphorescent. But it also is an introduction, and the best work of Matthew Houck's career.
Ok, so we didn't see this coming. First, David Bowie emerged from a near ten year hiatus to offer us a gift (on his birthday) in the form of a brand new song "Where Are We Now." It was followed with the announcement of a completed full new album, The Next Day on Columbia Records. And now that that new album is finally a reality to our ears, all most can say is ... "wow." The Next Day does more than serve as fulfillment for a long absence, it finds this musical icon in a state of creative bliss and incredible ambition.
<>h3>XPN CD of the Month - April, 2013 The Lone Bellow sing every note like it's their last, and do so with honesty and integrity. These songs offer up just the right mix of roots, rock, country and soul, and plenty of emotion.
The Lone Bellow sing every note like it's their last, and do so with honesty and integrity. These songs offer up just the right mix of roots, rock, country and soul, and plenty of emotion.
It’s just about that time in the new year where a seasoned veteran comes along and wows us with a new album.
These songs make you think, they make try to answer questions you may not ultimately know the answer to, but best of all they make you listen.
"For fans of My Morning Jacket or James’ super-group project Monsters of Folk, this album isn’t a departure but another beautiful musical avenue to travel along with one of the day’s most authentic artists."
"For fans of My Morning Jacket or James’ super-group project Monsters of Folk, this album isn’t a departure but another beautiful musical avenue to travel along with one of the day’s most authentic artists."
Some may say that Get Up! is a new direction for Ben Harper, but it may actually be better labeled as a new beginning.
Some may say that Get Up! is a new direction for Ben Harper, but it may actually be better labeled as a new beginning.
Ok, so even before you hit play on the new album from Foxygen on Jagjaguwar, it's hard not to admire the title. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic exudes not just confidence and ambition, but a level of creativity and open-mindedness that excites you from the start.
Ok, so even before you hit play on the new album from Foxygen on Jagjaguwar it's hard not to admire the title. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic exudes not just confidence and ambition, but a level of creativity and open-mindedness that excites you from the start.

November, 2012 CD of the Month

Every fall big name rock & rollers dominant the season with new releases, and this year is no different. While new albums from heritage and popular acts like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Mumford & Sons account for lots of listening, there is one album that should compete for your ears. Enter Ben Schneider. The brainchild of Lord Huron, Ben started to shape the sound for his band a couple years ago after a trip back home to Michigan’s Lake Huron.
There is something bold, determined and charged about Manifestra. That’s the new album from singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. It’s her seventh full-length record and it comes at both an interesting and important time for McKeown.
There is something bold, determined and charged about Manifestra (TVP Records). That’s the new album from singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. It’s her seventh full-length record and it comes at both an interesting and important time for McKeown.

CD of the Month December, 2012

Now 28 years old, Gary Clark Jr. has been preparing to release his major label debut since he first started playing live in Austin, Texas at the age of 12. Undeniably a blues guitar phenom since that young age, Gary has been Austin’s little secret until recently. The buzz surrounding his 4-song EP Bright Lights was substantial. And his live show, so dynamic that it demanded a relentless touring schedule the last couple years and ultimately delayed the release of his proper introduction - Blak and Blu.
2013 is shaping up to be a great year for Philadelphia and the musicians who craft the soundtrack for the city. One early indicator is the new album from Philly singer-songwriter Birdie Busch and her band The Greatest Night. Birdie’s fourth full-length album further embraces her charming storytelling, but amidst a sonic backdrop that is all at once more confident and dynamic.
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