(Photo by Benjamin Alexander Huseby)
Hercules & Love Affair
The Feast of the Broken Heart (Big Beat/Atlantic Records)
Three years after the underrated nu disco of 2011's Blue Songs, New York dance floor heroes Hercules & Love Affair return with The Feast of the Broken Heart. DJ/producer Andy Butler continues to steer the group toward a classic house sound while relying on the smooth R&B; vocals of a rotating cast of collaborators. Lead single "Do You Feel the Same?" bumps and grooves like a lost club classic.
Ultima II Massage (Ghostly)
If you find the blissed-out electronic psychedelia of Pittsburgh's Black Moth Super Rainbow a little too cheery, let frontman Tobacco (aka Tom Fec) take you down a K-hole with his solo project's third album, Ultima II Massage, a bleary mishmash of breakbeats, synthesizer squeals and refracted vocals. "Eruption (Gonna Get My Hair Cut At the End of the Summer)" belongs to a particularly seductive genre of nightmare, full of bass-dropping electronic squalls.
Nikki Nack (4AD)
Kaleidoscopic pop savant tUnE-yArDs (aka Merrill Garbus) continues to mature on her third full-length album, Nikki Nack, a chaotically catchy arrangement of dizzying harmonies and kitchen-sink instrumentation that rarely repeats its intricate sonic configurations. No track sums up the album better than the criminally melodic schoolyard bop of lead single "Water Fountain," which sounds and feels like the new-age spiritual successor to the deceptive simplicity of the Dixie Cups' percussive classic "Iko Iko."