A selection of Soundboard picks, including excellent noise rock, electronic music, and baroque pop, is after the jump.
Future of the Left, a noise-rock band featuring former Mclusky front man Andy Falkous, are touring on their new The Plot Against Common Sense. "It's pissed off and distorted and punk, with sneering melodies and more than a bit of sharp-elbowed snark," says Kevin Warwick. "With cleaner production and fewer gut punches than 2009's Travels With Myself and Another—the departure of founding bassist Kelson Mathias might have something to do with it, but I doubt it—The Plot Against Common Sense doesn't quite match its predecessors' vitriol. But it's still Andy Falkous, and he's still spitting nails."
Poppy electronic music with a heaping helping of Bowie and Eno influence? Sounds excellent to me! "Matthew Dear's discography has always looked like an effort to disprove the outdated and wrongheaded idea that electronic music is by nature cold and soulless," writes Miles Raymer. "Even his early, more strictly techno-inspired cuts are infused with a warmth that speaks volumes about the presence an actual person behind the MIDI controllers." Dear's latest, Beams, "is maybe his most human record yet, with a ratio of two parts pop per one part dance music. Dear's organic analog tones and multitracked baritone vocals are reminiscent of Bowie and Eno's collaborative albums."
The Bangles singer comes to town in support of her sweet new pop record, Someday. "Hoffs embeds her sugary melodies in multilayered arrangements that recall the bubblegum psychedelia of the late 60s, with strings, horns, and keyboards surrounding her honeyed, slightly scuffed voice," writes Peter Margasak. "I've enjoyed it in small doses, but listening to the whole album is a bit like scarfing a bag of marshmallows in one sitting."