, Put the Shine On
(Marathon Artists) – The Paris-based Casady sisters have been serving up weird 1930s-style vocal works backed with off-tune handmade instruments for some 17 years now. While CocoRosie tried more commercial approaches in recent years, the new album returns to strange landscapes that are in turn comical and sad, particularly in regard to chronicling the death of the sisters’ mother last year. But just when the atmosphere appears too desolate, a song like “Lamb and the Wolf” shows the Casady sisters have not lost a sense of fun.
, Always Tomorrow
(Concord) – It’s odd that advance publicity suggests this is the Best Coast album where vocalist Bethany Cosentino truly finds her voice — the last two albums felt like solo Cosentino works, while the new one feels like the most rocking, riff-filled, and full band style of Best Coast to date. Maybe the accolades are based on lyrics where Cosentino comes to terms with defining her own identity proudly. Still, it’s the glorious melodies in songs like “Different Light” that make this Best Coast album a winner.