Spirettes, K.Flay and Thom Yorke with the new and noteworthy 

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Spirettes, Esoteria (Spirettes)
– The expansion of Colorado Springs’ Spirettes to a five-piece band has profoundly enriched their sound from the first EP. Lisa Show’s cello in “Promachos,” for example, serves as perfect foil to Kellie Palmblad’s vocals. Those who favor Kate Perdoni’s shoegaze psychedelia will find plenty to like in “Eagle Eye” and “Long Day.” In only five tracks, Spirettes have compiled an amazing legacy.


Thom Yorke, Anima (XL Recordings/Unsustainable Bubble)
– Radiohead followers and skeptics alike are happy to see that Thom Yorke has loosened his musical style even as he takes content into a spookier, sci-fi dimension. Still, Anima was developed as a soundtrack for a Netflix short by Paul Thomas Anderson, and it has that anchorless soundtrack feel. Tracks like “The Axe” and “Twist” are loaded with electronic tricks and oblique political commentary, but the end result still has the gauzy formlessness of much of Yorke’s work.

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K.Flay, Solutions (Night Street/Interscope) – Like recent work from Lizzo, the music of Illinois-based K.Flay (Kristine Flaherty) has expanded beyond her original hip-hop base into full-throated pop anthems, without a trace of the sellout stance some might think that implies. Fans of K.Flay from a decade ago may find it hard to place her between Halsey and Carly Rae Jepsen in 2019, but one listen to intelligent, street-smart tracks like “Ice Cream” and “I Like Myself (Most of the Time)” should convince even the most jaded that K.Flay fits perfectly in the pantheon of pop.


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