Wilco, Mourn, Bully, Jamie xx, Viet Cong: Five albums to grab now

This week’s Five Albums post is the Pitchfork edition, featuring bands who just played the Chicago fest this past weekend.

Wilco – Star Wars

Chicago’s most beloved band surprised us last Thursday with a new album and then surprised the crowd at Pitchfork the next night by playing all of Star Wars, which sounded great.

Mourn – Mourn

I’m hooked on this debut from the PJ Harvey-loving band from Spain.

Bully – Feels Like

Bully, a group of Nashville rockers, also just released a debut. Despite the shiny production, this is a nice, gritty album.

Jamie xx – In Colour

I mentioned this solo album from Jamie Smith of The xx in a summer music post. It reminds me of some of the best songs that came out of the ’90s electronic music boom.

Viet Cong – Viet Cong

I also highlighted this debut album some months ago. It’s menacing and awesome — one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.

Pitchfork fest must-see acts

The Pitchfork Music Festival (this weekend) boasts a great lineup — one of the strongest in years for the Chicago fest. Check out the full lineup here. It was hard to produce a list that narrows the 10 must-see acts but here’s what I came up with:





Kurt Vile and the Violators

Parquet Courts

Ex Hex



Run the Jewels

Jamie xx

Courtney Barnett

Viet Cong

Five albums to grab now


Photo by Sundel Perry

There was a great batch of new albums released before the summer slowdown. They include a psych-rock treasure from Thee Oh Sees and a country-rock burner from T. Hardy Morris. Metz and Institute turned out a pair of punk rippers. I also love the collaboration between Wavves and Cloud Nothings.

Here’s a short list of five albums that I think are killer. They all come highly recommended.

T. Hardy Morris – Drownin’ On a Mountaintop

Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated at Last

Wavves x Cloud Nothings – No Life for Me


Institute – Catharsis

Metz – II

Your summer playlist

Every summer needs a soundtrack. Here are 10 recently released albums that I think make a great foundation for your hot-months’ playlist.

Jamie XX – In Color. Believe the hype. This solo album from The xx’s Jamie Smith will grab you and pull you in. I was immediately hooked.

Eternal Summers – Gold and Stone. One of my favorite releases of the past few months, dreamy pop that has bite.

Crocodiles – Boys. Crocodiles’ sound is insanely catchy. A noise pop band, these guys become more accessible with each new record.

Calexico – Edge of the Sun. I almost forgot about these roots rockers from the desert but I’m glad I found them again.

Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer. Hello ’90s music. Welcome back. Speedy Ortiz draws from the best influences of the decade.

Michael Rault – Living Daylight. Rault made one of the best power-pop albums of the year. You know the influences: T. Rex, Alex Chilton, the usual suspects.

No Joy – More Faithful. Another one of my recent faves, No Joy turned in a great album, which is still inspired by My Bloody Valentine, but also shows a band continuing to mature — a solid, original and modern album.

Jeff the Brotherhood – Wasted on the Dream. I saw a review that panned this album. But why? It’s so much fun.

Miami Horror – All Possible Futures. This is your summer night party album.

Malportado Kids – Total Cultura. Tapping a rich blend of world, dance and punk sounds, Total Cultura is both challenging and uptempo. This is a must-hear album.