Dressy Bessy, Lust for Youth, Calexico and Iron & Wine with the new and noteworthy 

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Dressy Bessy, Fast Faster Disaster (Yep Roc Records) – Colorado Springs native Tammy Ealom could have happily continued to release the bubblegum punk Dressy Bessy specialized in in the late 1990s, but ever since the band’s 2016 return Kingsized, Ealom’s made clear she wants to expand the complexity of her power-pop. Tracks like “Freedoms” and “Fearless” stretch way beyond the band’s back catalog, as does Dressy Bessy’s bold move to close the album covering The Buzzcocks’ “What Do I Get?”

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Lust for Youth, s/t (Sacred Bones) – Even if a band sounds too derivative of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark or Depeche Mode, there are plenty of 1980s fans who need more Depeche Mode sounds in their lives. When Hannes Norrvide and Loke Rahbek launched Lust for Youth in 2011, they specialized in stark coldwave music that suggested electronica with an icy chill. The music turned decidedly poppier and more beat-oriented in 2016, and the band’s seventh album injects more fun in eight tracks than previously encountered.

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Calexico and Iron & Wine, Years to Burn (Sub Pop) – Sam Beam of Iron & Wine last got together with Tucson’s Calexico in 2005 for the EP In the Reins, which seemed mostly devoted to adding Mexicali horns to Beam’s singing. This time, the bands seem perfectly meshed, offering up stunning collaborative tracks like “What Heaven’s Left,” “Father Mountain” and the complex yet plain-spoken “Bitter Suite” medley.


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