Kim Gordon and Big Thief with the new and noteworthy 

Kim Gordon, No Home Record (Matador) — In the four decades during Sonic Youth’s tenure and demise, Kim Gordon has become New York City’s primary cultural ambassador. Her ex-husband Thurston Moore may be more prolific, but Gordon’s recent work in the duo Body/Head proves she is just as experimental. Her first proper solo album makes no compromises, offering more varied instrumentation than Body/Head but remaining wildly dissonant and unpredictable.

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Big Thief, Two Hands (4AD) — Kudos to Adrianne Lenker and her Brooklyn quartet for reviving the notion of two studio albums in a single year. The editing is not injudicious; five months after the wild tones of UFOF, the band comes back with 10 superb tracks of simple, unadorned beauty. Those who find Lenker’s singing style grating in the manner of Victoria Williams fail to realize that this is precisely where her vulnerability arises.


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