Ryan Foley

Ryan Foley

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thequietus.com

John Wizards: John Wizards

In recent years, the advertising industry has developed into a contemptible archenemy of independent music artists. After Beach House's repeated rebuffs to Volkswagen, which was keen on soundtracking a TV spot with their song song 'Take Care', the Baltimore twosome discovered the car company produced a near-exact facsimile of the tune.

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The Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas

Just off Texas State Highway 21, a route followed by migrating buffalo centuries ago, sits the town of Dime Box. When author William Least Heat-Moon visited during a cross-country expedition–later chronicled in his landmark travel-writing tome Blue Highways–Dime Box was a town where the cafes had screen doors and the sidewalks were constructed of wood planks.

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The Pastels: Slow Summits

Consider the Pastels' early days, the sporadic and awkward initial singles for Whaam!, Rough Trade, and Creation, that air of not-giving-a-fugh - they were immature, ambitious to be unambitious, prone to misplaying chords, positively glacial when it came to the songwriting/recording process. "Hearing our early stuff reminds me of what an effete 20-year-old I was," frontman Stephen Pastel (nee McRobbie) once confessed. Few acts seemed less capable of longevity.

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Junip: Junip

What one regards as squanderous, another deems as progressive. On his own, Swedish-Argentine singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez is a fleet-fingered, ruby-throated troubadour — adept at bucolic balladry, possessor of a voice of quiet resignation to life's inevitabilities, string-picking successor to Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, Samuel Beam.

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Beach Fossils: Clash the Truth

In the ever-expanding indie rock universe, Dustin Payseur – the pallid, rumple-haired creative force behind Brooklyn's Beach Fossils – has blown up, grown up, 'Crashed Out', and cashed in. He's drafted bandmates, ditched bandmates, slicked-up bedsit pop, and scorch-earthed countless stages. Yet throughout four years of artistic delights and defeats, Payseur's allegiance to an aesthetic of clean lines and simple shapes has never wavered.

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Sam Amidon: Bright Sunny South

Clever re-inventor, overly ambitious re-animator, whiz-bang music folklorist, fusty archivist —call him what you'd like. Sam Amidon's approach to music-making — disassembling and then reconstructing antiquated sacred songs, secular ballads, and folk tunes, along with the occasional modern-day chart-topper — leaves the 31-year-old singer/songwriter with more than his share of fixed labels, even while his finished product eschews them all together.