April 16, 2014
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After pair of excellent EP's in 2010 (To The North and Kingdom of Your Own), Matthew Hegarty, namesake of London's Matthew and The Atlas, didn't drop anything else but he did pretty much drop off the radar. As the few teasing new tracks last year indicated, MATA's long-awaited debut full length Other Rivers (April 15, Communion) is dramatic folk/pop unconstrained by any notion of stripped-down acoustic barriers: the stage has definitely been reset from the buskery pub stomp-a-longs of his earlier works to embrace decidedly more theatrical alt-pop environs as well. The distinctive rasp of a voice still plays like a beautiful vintage instrument, lending some natural "everyman" gravity to the instrumental grandeur. Click through to stream "Everything That Dies" and watch the videos for "Pale Sun Rose" and "Nowhere Now."

Matthew & The Atlas - "Pale Sun Rose" (from Other Rivers)

Directed by Galaxie 500 member Naomi Yang, the new video for Marisa Nadler's brooding ballad "Drive" combines Nadler's sweetly nuanced vocals and gentle acoustic backing with some interesting projected images from the work of French artist Bernard Faucon. Says Yang: "The video tells the story of Marissa facing her own ambition—as well as her disappointments — but ultimately of her desire to reach people through her music. It’s presented as a series of metaphors, or a surreal dream, but one in which Marissa is an active participant in her future (not a passive witness) as she explores her feelings about making music." Nadler's July is available now.

Taking a brief hiatus from a variety of band projects -- Marriages, Red Sparrowes, The Nocturnes -- L.A.-based performer Emma Ruth Rundle heads deep into spectral goth/folk and alt/pop territory with her debut solo album Some Heavy Ocean (May 20, Sargent House). The new project, co-produced with engineer Chris Common, is self-described simply as "a series of expressions realized by the simplicity of guitar and voice." The aural environs are shrouded in post-rock ambience and echoing acoustic riffs, Rundle's voice cutting through the dense production fog like a reassuring beacon of flickering light. New preview track "Run Forever" bears a heftier sound than the initial taster "Arms I Knew So Well," a track that turns languid Mazzy Star-lit dream pop into an imposing shadowy, gently swirling dirge. Click through below for "Arms."

Emma Ruth Rundle - "Run Forever" (from Some Heavy Ocean)

Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Hayden Calnin uses his studio production background to great effect on his just-released second EP of atmospheric folktronica Oh, Hunter. Generous reverb amps up the spaciousness of Calnin's slow-moving bedroom hymns while his vocals, occasionally taking flight with an haunting falsetto, add a special dimension of somber solitude. Think a stripped down Sigur Ros with a touch of mellow Bon Iver. Like the soundtrack to a nocturnal dreamscape, songs like "Not Good For Me" drift and sway in a warm narcotic haze. Click through to stream "Coward" and watch the "Comatose" video and a pair of live performances.

Hayden Calnin - "Not Good For Me" (from Oh, Hunter)

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