Calexico sound at home in whatever spin they put on their decidedly Southwestern flavor — from smoldering mariachi (“Stray”) to box-step blues (“Sunken Waltz”). Tequila not included.
An ’03 fave makes an early and strong appearance in 2004. THE songwriter to hear this year.
Sunny, ambient pop songs from San Diego, CA where everything is obvious. Howard Hello isn’t obvious.
Traveling along the same musical path, two bands reach a fork in the road. Velocity Girl chooses the bubblegum path; Citizens Here and Abroad press forward on the noisey pop path.
TRAM’s sunny disposition belies their dark, warped lyrics. They sand down pop songs like you would a rocking chair for that “distressed look.”
Chick-fronted pop romps with unexpected twists on the usual themes (i.e., boys, boys, boys).
This pick inspired by Sam’s 3/4/04 pick: SHTYM is what you’d expect from someone who grew up using a Commodore 64, Atari 2600, Compaq Portable II, and an Epson dot matrix printer. Now he’s making music on those machines about the girlfriends who beat him in Centipede.
Rich orchestral pop with affected and infectious vocals ressembling a cross between Mark E. Smith and Rik Ocasek.