Earwigs: Dan Deacon, Wavves, Decemberists


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Music critics’ “Best of 2009” lists get an early boost this month with the release of three ridiculously good albums, each of which will surely end up making mine: Bromst (Carpark) by Dan Deacon, the eponymous debut by Wavves (Fat Possum) and The Hazards of Love (Capitol) by the Decemberists. Few hours have passed in the last week without one of them getting a fourth or 40th spin on my stereo. Sonically, the albums couldn’t be more different. Deacon’s is an apotheosis of the dense, chipmunk-y digital dance music he unleashed on 2006's Spiderman of the Rings, while Wavves’ is the dreamy-yet-damaged noise-pop masterpiece nearly everyone mistook Panda Bear’s Person Pitch to be in 2007. As for the Decemberists: The band's unblemished track record was threatened after my first trip through this latest release, the most difficult of its five studio LPs. But when the gargantuan rock opera clicks — for me, about midway through the second listen — its hooks are intractable. Take particular caution with centerpiece “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid,” whose soaring chorus rivals the New Pornographers’ “The Bleeding Heart Show” in terms of heartstrings-pulling. Bromst (streaming now in its entirety at NPR) and The Hazards of Love (streams in a live performance by the band at midnight CST Wed., March 18, on NPR's SXSW page) are both due on Tuesday, March 24; Wavves is out now.


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