This year, infamous and prolific lo-fi artist Sam Ray unexpectedly returned to his cult-famous rock project, Teen Suicide . Though Ray is the frontman, it's a collaborative full-band effort that takes on multiple styles and genres.

The new album, It's the Big Joyous Celebration, Let's Stir The Honey Pot, has a much cleaner production than prior releases. Though the mood and feel of it is lo-fi punk, the group ties in influences from midwest emo, ambient, post-punk, noise, folk and pop. Undoubtedly, the tracks are dark and emotional, but sloppy off-the-cuff performances also make it mysterious and detached in an enthralling fashion.

"Alex" is a melodic and shouting romp about suburban drug abuse and its affects on teenage life. Though the track is likely personal, the reverb-drenched vocals make the story sound like a blurry distant memory with lost details. Standout track, the heartfelt "Falling Out Of Love With Me," is simultaneously comforting and odd — which, for a song about losing feelings for someone, is quite appropriate.

The 26-track album is a big pill to swallow. Clocking in at more than an hour, there's a lot to chew on. Overall, It's the Big Joyous Celebration, Let's Stir the Honey Pot is a magnificent effort from Ray and company. What it lacks in to production-value consistency, it makes up for in originality and songwriting.


The former bassist of Woods and the frontman of The Babies, singer-songwriter Kevin Morby released his third solo record, Singing Saw, on his new label, Dead Oceans. Pulling influences from '60s folk like Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, Morby adds a modern twist with more refined songwriting, thus creating his strongest tracks to date.

Kevin Morby’s latest is spinning on Radio 1190.
Kevin Morby's latest is spinning on Radio 1190. (Courtesy)

"I Have Been to the Mountain" is a rollicking, freewheeling stomp with an infectious, catchy bass line and a strong chorus line that avoids a fall into the cliché pitfalls of folk rock. Closing track, the gospel-influenced "Water" is a piano-led track boasting a rocking, country swing. Singing Saw seems to be a deeply personal album. It takes time to dissect and pick apart, but at first listen, it's instantly enjoyable and unmistakably timeless.

Hold/Still, the third studio album from Canadian experimental-rock band Suuns, juxtaposes dark with light, electronic with rock and pop with avant-garde in equal measure. Though the group creates heavily orchestrated compositions, the off-kilter nature of its sound lends for a more organic and exciting listen. Much like Viet Cong, or even Palm, the group takes post-punk and pop structures and throws a wrench in the gears to bring us an unconventional but enjoyable sound to the trained ear.

Hear tracks from Suuns’ ’Hold/Still’ on Radio 1190.
Hear tracks from Suuns' 'Hold/Still' on Radio 1190. (Courtesy)

Tracks like "UN-NO" feature electronic synths and drum patterns mixed with rabid, barbed guitar — only to be soothed by Thom Yorke-influenced crooning vocals. "Translate" is a spidery, menacing track with driving poly-rhythmic guitar and drums. What Suuns does so well is meshes together opposite ends of the musical spectrum without going too far in either camp, resulting in a style that appeals to multiple audiences. The group may sound very similar to its contemporaries, but Suuns' Hold/Still features its strongest set of tracks yet.

Calvet is Radio 1190's music director. Read more reviews: