QuickTakes

Jukebox the Ghost
“Everything Under the Sun” (Yep Roc Records)
Simple, sunny and stripped of all pretension, the band shines on this second release. The boys still channel that same infectious energy that took them from playing house parties at GW to an appearance on “Letterman” in just a few short years. Ben Thornewill’s tight piano lines drive every song forward, backed by the garagey stomp of Jesse Kristin, but it’s Thornewill’s partnership with guitarist and vocalist Tommy Siegel that keeps Jukebox from sounding like just another Ben Folds sound-a-like. Disposable pop? Maybe, but this is still more exciting and genuine songcraft than anything on the radio these days..
Written by Jared Brenner


Arcade Fire
“The Suburbs”(Merge Records)
While their previous albums “Neon Bible” and “Funeral” gripped listeners through metaphors of death and grief, the indie-rock band has taken a slightly different direction with their latest album. “The Suburbs” is inspired by band members Will and Win Butler’s upbringing in Houston, Texas. The first song shares messages about family life from the perspective of a parent, as Win expresses his desire for a daughter. The band’s 1980s synch-style influences, especially from their mentors Bruce Springsteen and U2, can be felt throughout the hour-long album.
Written by Farima Alidadi


Circa Survive
“Blue Sky Noise”
(Atlantic Records)

“Blue Sky Noise,” released in late April, gives the public a glimpse of a more mature Circa Survive, while still maintaining the magic that makes Circa everything it is – Anthony Green. Sans the usual scattered yet genius lyrics, the album is an unfeigned conversation, delving deep into the heart and soul of Green. The powerful music is a perfect accompaniment to the escalating personal strength of the singer. The lyrics intoxicate listeners into seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling and touching the desperate world that is Circa Survive.
Written by Kate Brendel


Sufjan Stevens
“All Delighted People EP”
(Asthmatic Kitty Records)
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After a four-year lapse in music-making and comments of retirement from music altogether, Sufjan Stevens has returned with a new EP, “All Delighted People,” released last week. Roused by the images in schizophrenic artist Royal Robertson’s apocalyptic and outré works, the album is a complete departure from Stevens’ conceptual, narrative lyrical style. It instead brings us to the depths of his soul, where we are faced with his raw and primal yearning and anxiety, clawing to escape in the form of ambient choral flourishes and a raging orchestral maelstrom.

Written by Rosemary Kalonaros

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