New albums end out March on a high note

Courtney Barnett: ‘Sometimes I Sit…’

Australian indie rocker Courtney Barnett has been garnering respect from many esteemed media outlets for her first full-length album “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.” 

The 27-year-old’s talent is multifaceted. The music she makes is beyond pleasing to the ear — her lyrics are some of the most raw, intelligent and fascinating to have come out of the indie scene in a while. 

Her first single, “Pedestrian at Best,” has the solid, garage- punk edge with an intense peek inside the head of an introverted 20-something woman. “Put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you/tell me I’m exceptional, I promise to exploit you/give me all your money and I’ll make some origami, honey/I think you’re a joke but I don’t find you very funny.” 

The rest of the album promises to be just as interesting and intellectual. With recent appearances at SXSW and on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Barnett will soon be widely known and celebrated for her intense artistry.

“Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit” is out Tuesday.

 


Death Cab for Cutie: ‘Kintsugi’

Death Cab For Cutie has been making albums since its first EP in 1997. 

After gaining some mainstream fame with the unprecedented 2004 album “Transatlanticism,” the Ben Gibbard-fronted group has been evolving its sound to mirror the members’ changing lives. 

The group received criticism for its 2011 album “Codes and Keys” and has gone on record saying this album will be its way of making peace with the fans and critics who disapproved.

The band named its newest release “Kintsugi” based on a Japanese style of art that entails the breaking of ceramic pieces and stitching the fractured pieces back together with gold. This is the last album with producer and founding member Chris Walla, who announced in the middle of the recording process that he would be leaving the band. He did stay to finish the record, however. In the album’s first single, “Black Sun,” Gibbard returns to writing about Los Angeles, the song containing similarities to tracks in the band’s album, “The Photo Album.” He sings, “There is whisky in the water/and there is death upon the vine/and there is grace within forgiveness/but it’s so hard for me to find.” 

With growth occurring in each of the member’s lives and within the band itself, “Kintsugi” is bound to satisfy listeners both melodically and lyrically. 

“Kintsugi” is out March 31.


Passion Pit: ‘Kindred’

Passion Pit has always been a band that can put a smile on most listeners’ faces on first contact. With such danceable hits such as “Sleepyhead” and “Take a Walk,” the group, fronted by Michael Angelakos, seems like a no-nonsense, fun and ethereal band. But its newest album “Kindred” — while still sounding like the electro indie pop fans know and love — delves deeper lyrically and shows the mental anguish that has plagued Angelakos for years.

Angelakos was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago, and it has had effects on the band and its sound. While working through his own suffering, he was forced to reschedule tours and let fans know what he was going through. Instead of hiding his disease, Angelakos chose to use it to fuel the band’s newest music. 

The first single, “Lifted Up (1985),” off the upcoming album stays true to the band’s fun and free sound while exploring a deeper side. “Oh well, how many years has it been now?/How many days went to waste?/Now the rain and the thunder are clashing/the sun’s got a smile ‘cross the face/oh, but yeah I’m so tired/I fight so hard and come back beaten/beacon, burn through it brightly/it soared through a sliver of space.”

Passion Pit will be playing at Big Guava Music Festival on May 8. “Kindred” is out April 21.

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