Ariel Pink has drawn more attention for his supposedly controversial performances and zany persona than for releasing multiple great albums. “The Doldrums” from 2005 is a highlight in the history of “lo-fi,” or recording on equipment substandard to the industry.
Ex Hex have released only one album, “Rips,” in 2013. “Rips” has a wide appeal to fans of rock by containing intricate melodies in short songs. “Rips” received critical acclaim upon its release by Merge Records, and it occupies a space where direct lyrics, rhythmic guitar playing and a high value of production can coexist and not feel derivative or pandering. Ex Hex will be at the Bishop Bar July 22. Tickets are $13.
Before Animal Collective reached many listeners with their 2009 album “Merriweather Post Pavillion,” band member Panda Bear had already released solo albums of his own. His second LP, “Young Prayer.” was recorded for his dying father.
The release features Panda Bear on acoustic guitar and vocal chant, and it eschews song titles to form a cathartic piece very different from other modern releases from popular artists. Having followed “Young Prayer” with three albums more electronic and rhythm-based, the little-known “Young Prayer” remains a fine example of the strength of recorded music to evoke a time and a particular feeling.
Canadian musician Mac DeMarco’s latest full-length album titled “Salad Days” is a kaleidoscopic example of kaleidoscopic album form. DeMarco sings about widely accessible topics, but the varied musicianship on the album will be either a draw or an exit door for the listener.
The gamut of emotions DeMarco sings about on “Salad Days” also can be unnerving to take in, as he swings from high-spirited to very depressed over this album. Those who can appreciate the jangly guitar sound and a great synthesizer line will find something to love here though before they move onto his instrumental barbeque soundtrack “Some Other Ones” and maybe a live set.