M. Ward – More Rain 

By Beau Bridge

Listeners who are familiar with M. Ward will enjoy the gentle Americana-blues tunes and occasional hard-road offerings on the singer-songwriter’s 2016 release More Rain.

The album is filled with many of the archetypal M. Ward niches of blue electric-guitar solos over Bob Dylan-esque fingerpicked progressions and indie hit-kit back ups. Songs like “Confession,” “Girl from Conejo Valley,” “You’re So Good To Me,” and “Temptation” remind of the old FM stereo roadies made for cars on the highway. On the other hand, songs like “I’m Listening (Child’s Theme)” and “Slow Driving Man” will suit those more somber, rainy days spent alone.

Needless to say, this album was made to live up to its name and its surprising title track (simply a recording of rain, falling for one minute) — it’s an album that stays optimistic upon acknowledging that the rain has not stopped, but has and will likely continue.

Chairlift – Moth      

By Jessica Whitesel

Moth is only Chairlift’s third full-length studio album, even though the band has been together since 2005. This lack of output is due to the fact that the members of the band have gone on to pursue solo work.

Overall, the album doesn’t seem to have a cohesive direction in terms of production, writing, or style. This could be to the amount of time between their last release in 2012 or the amount of solo projects that members have done. The most notable of these solo projects has been Patrick Wimberly’s production work with Das Racist.

In any event, this album is somewhat of a mixed bag in terms of what you get from it. Some parts are absolutely beautiful and catchy, and then other parts are experimental — but not in a good way.

Highlights include: “Polymorphing,” “Ch-Ching,” and “Moth to the Flame.”