Animal Collective, Tangerine Reef (Domino) –
Animal Collective, Tangerine Reef
This NYC ensemble earlier shifted styles from instrumental electronica to vocal harmonics. Now they’re changing content to focus heavily on a dying planet. Last year’s EP on the Brazilian rainforest is followed up by this new suite on marine species endangered by the death of coral. In the able hands of composer Avey Tare, it never gets preachy or pedantic, though maybe a bit droney at times.
Emily Kinney, Oh Jonathan (Pledge Music) –
Emily Kinney, Oh Jonathan
Actors expanding into music can often lead listeners astray, and Nebraska native Emily Kinney initially startles with her Betty Boop voice. But on her third solo work, Kinney delivers the type of wry and world-wise lyricism that is encountered all too rarely these days.
Bird Streets, Bird Streets (Omnivore) –
Bird Streets, Bird Streets
This duo may be named for a tony L.A. neighborhood, but John Brodeur and Jason Falkner deliver power-pop snacks that are gritty, sweet and street-smart all at once. Try “Betting on the Sun” or “Direction” to be left breathless.