The new El Guincho album Pop Negro is fabulous Spanish tropical-tinged electronic pop-ishness--very breezy and upbeat. I didn't give Pablo Díaz-Reixa's 1st foray much thought, but this makes me want to go back and try again.
I have fond memories of listening to Mice Parade in the art studio, so I may be a bit biased when I say I absolutely love their new album What It Means to Be Left-handed. "Tokyo Late Night" is a particularly lovely lo-fi song, and the opening track "Kupanda" rocks the world-music pop sound Mice Parade has worked in the past, but "Fortune of Folly"'s Spanish guitar might be my favorite.
Azure Ray's new album Drawing Down the Moon is Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor's 1st post-2004-breakup album. It's just as sparse and eerily pretty as the rest of their catalog, but I think this one is a bit creepier. After a few years of Maria's Americana-pop and Orenda's experimentalism, this is a nice nostalgic slide back into dream-pop territory. This is by no means avian Scandinavian pop, but this will do just fine.
Oh, Brandon Flowers. Flamingo isn't bad at all, but nothing like I expected. It sounds sort of like Ryan Adams reinterpreting synth-pop, but with more emoting (natch).
The Walkmen, how I love you so. Lisbon is everything I needed, and more. Marry me?
Of Montreal's False Priest came out this week, too, but I haven't listened to it yet. I've heard good things, though.
Other Shelf-Worthy titles this week: Lobisomem's Onze Pedras, Kim Richey's Wreck Your Wheels, and the Drum's self-titled debut.
And in case you missed it last week, Interpol's latest--and self-titled--album is a return to Matador and sparseness. Pitchfork hated it, but what else would you expect. It took me two or three listens to fully appreciate it, but I do like it. The vinyl was released in 2 formats, so ask for your special adapter at the counter if you buy the "weird" one.