Offa Rex, The Queen of Hearts
The Decemberists discovered British folkie newcomer Olivia Chaney and immediately suggested a collaborative project of traditional tunes. The dozen sparkling tracks here are a must for fans of Renaissance or Fairport Convention.
Broken Social Scene, Hug of Thunder
Broken Social Scene is less a Canadian supergroup than a finishing school where solo artists like Leslie Feist can try new ideas. Feist returns for the band’s first album in seven years, a majestic presentation of extended electronic and orchestrated works from a cast of 18.
Tyler the Creator, Flower Boy
The original title of Tyler Okonma’s new album (Scum Fuck Flower Boy
) would seem to cement Tyler Okonma’s reputation as Odd Future’s sarcastic member, yet this work is the most serious of his career, addressing issues of race, bisexuality, and fame in a manner as sober as J. Cole, while offering musical experimentations that Tyler knows will win him a “weirdo” epithet.
Avey Tare, Eucalyptus
Animal Collective’s lead singer has assembled such studio stars as violinist Eyvind Kang and pedal steel composer Susan Alcorn for this sprawling work of experimental pop. Even if Tare’s vocals display more affectation than his bandmate Panda Bear’s, the adventurous compositions make vocals less important.