Land of Talk
“Corner Phone”
Saddle Creek
Release Date: Out now (digital), October 7 (physical)

Singer/songwriter Elizabeth Powell makes dark and cathartic indie rock that’s perfect for a dismal week like this one. We got ahold of this track and its stripped-down, guitar-driven construction speeds along aggressively, reaching an angry mayhem of riffs and chords that finishes out the song. Download the track here. MN

Chrome’s On It
Release Date: October 12 (digital), October 14 (physical)

I thought Mad Decent was going to have the stand-out cut on this EP, which features three remixes of Telepathe’s “Chrome’s On It” track. Turns out, L.A.-based noise punks The Mae Shi took the prize for best reworking, turning the avant-garde original into a haunting, synth-heavy number with lots of energy. Elsewhere, Frankmusik presents a collage of breezy electronics, while the aforementioned Mad Decent crew adds dark basslines fit for the netherworld. JM

Eliot Lipp
Way Pavers Vol. 1
Old Tacoma Records
Release Date: October 7

Wobble-hop’s finest, Eliot Lipp, has gathered five other artists, mostly all from his hometown of Tacoma, WA, and these six producers each contribute a couple of tracks to this compilation. While much of the music is based around funky, sometimes R&B-flavored instrumental numbers, there are a few surprises on here, not the least of which is from Lipp himself, who traded his off-kilter beatmaking for an acoustic guitar and some warped, very leftfield electronics. MN

I am Robot and Proud
Uphill City
Release Date: September 23

I have to deal with S.F. public transit every morning, so this record, which electronic pop producer Shawn Han-Liem has said is about “struggle and achievements in the big city,” is near and dear to the heart. Those of you bastards not subjected to the headaches of the bus can enjoy the complexly arranged and very catchy array of pianos, electronic keyboards, laptop-generated percussion, and subtle bleeps and blips from your car stereos. JM

Eyes at Half Mast
Arena Rock
Release Date: Out Now

Lots of good things coming out of Portland these days, and the duo of Kevin O’Connor and Lisa Molinaro is one of them. In keeping with the theme of this week, which would appear to be gloom and doom, we’re caning this album of soft, melancholy acoustics and electronics. Lots of minor chords, gentle string arrangements, and emotionally wrought vocals here. MN

Sly & Robbie/Amp Fiddler
Inspiration Information
Release Date: October 2008

Amp Fiddler is near the top of my Favorite Vocalists list, and he doesn’t disappoint on this collaboration with rhythm kings Sly & Robbie. Together, the two parties have crafted an album of funk-driven keyboards, laidback beats, and, of course, the smoothest set of vocals you’ll find this side of Jamie Lidell. This is the first in a new series Strut has begun, which pairs different artists together for joint albums. Stay tuned for Horace Andy, The Heliocentrics, Ashley Beedle, and more. JM

Written in Flesh
Release Date: Out Now

It’s tough to craft moving music with lyrics. It’s even harder to do that with a laptop and no words, but that is precisely what this Seattle-based three-piece has done. Written in Flesh travels through an array of programmed rhythms (4/4, shuffle, 2-step, to name a few) and synth-generated melodies, all tightly arranged and hovering over a sense of deep sadness, with nary a word needed to convey the latter. JM

Various Artists
Hallam Foe
Release Date: Out Now

Hallam Foe is the soundtrack to a film of the same name, which documents a young man (the dude from Billy Elliot) as he travels through a plot of dead mothers, suspect step-parents, and other family troubles. Naturally, the accompanying tracks are mostly on the somber tip, with an eerie electronic number from the Junior Boys, a quiet acoustic cut (with a glockenspiel) by U.N.P.O.C., and soft, breathy vocals from Juana Molina, among other goodies. MN

Her Space Holiday
XOXO, Panda, and the New Kid Revival
Release Date: October 7

Marc Bianchi’s known for being an indie-tronic master who relies on a computer for sufficient amounts of his songwriting. But the California-born producer took a left turn with this one and tossed the machine aside, choosing instead to rely on folks-style jams and organic percussion. While those who enjoyed Bianchi’s electronic/acoustic blend probably won’t dig this new sound, those who simply know and like him for being an adept songwriter will enjoy visiting another musical side of this artist. MN

David Foster Wallace

He wrote a 1,100-page novel that contained about 400 footnotes and was impossible to put down. He issued witty, insightful commentary on American society in his essays, and he always reminded us to stay conscious in a zoned-out world. If given my choice between having good music and having David Foster Wallace back with the living, I wouldn’t hesitate twice before taking the latter. Rest in Peace. JM

Text by Jennifer Marston and Maverick Newberry.

Pictured: Land of Talk. Photo by Joseph Yarmush.