Mike Donovan (photo: Christian Faustus)
Mike Donovan (photo: Christian Faustus)

Jason: Following Sic Alps‘ dissolution earlier this year, frontman Mike Donovan has struck out on his own, releasing his solo debut Wot last week on his old band’s former label, Chicago’s Drag City. The two tracks I’ve heard so far, “Do Do Ya?” and “New Fieldhand Bop”, veer far off the garage rock course of Donovan’s former band, delving into a bluesier sound than we’ve previously heard from this fixture of the SF scene. Listen to “New Fieldhand Bop” below, and watch the video for “Do Do Ya?” here.

Anna: I’m late to the Head and the Heart game. It’s not like I didn’t know enough people who have been singing the band’s praises, and it’s not like I didn’t hear about their various sold-out shows in San Francisco in support of their self-titled 2010 album. I don’t really have an excuse, but either way, I get to experience the Head and the Heart’s new record, Let’s Be Still, and for that I am grateful. Let’s Be Still is out now via Sub Pop, and it’s a gorgeous record, full of floaty vocals and lush, intricate instrumentation, all held together by a strong percussive backbone. “Shake” seems to be the album’s big single, and rightly so – it has a wonderful, thumping momentum that truly drives the listener. I’m especially partial to “Another Story,” wound tightly together by beautiful piano, violin, and vocal harmonies. I mean, Buzzfeed likes it – what else do you need to know?

Christian: This week saw the release of Poliça’s second full length, Shulamith, a release I have personally been looking forward to all year. Named after the radical Canadian feminist, Shulamith Firestone (who passed away in 2012), this album focuses on a theme of feminism and the influence of advertising/publicity/ sexualization on our personal identities. While these topics are quite heavy, they are layered in a thick drape of electro and R&B that makes the whole experience almost whimsical and definitely thought provoking. Below is a video for their single “Tiff” featuring Justin Vernon – the vivid imagery suggests there might be a victor in our battle for self image and respect, but as it turns out it might not be the happy ending we were all hoping for…

Zack: Prolific indie veteran Spencer Krug, who originally came to fame with Wolf Parade, is all set to release his latest solo album, Julia With Blue Jeans On, on October 29th under the Moonface moniker. For Julia With Blue Jeans On, the notoriously complex songwriter opts to drop everything except his vocals and a piano. It’s a hauntingly powerful collection of minimalist songs, and fits well into the existing Spencer Krug discography. Do yourself a favor and watch Krug play album highlight “Love The House You’re In” in an empty church below.