Best Albums: Animals as Leaders, Liars, Glenn Kotche, Owls

This week’s best albums

Animals as Leaders’ third LP includes a Latin flair and a stronger focus on electronic flourishes — but its attention to songwriting (plus crushing riffs and rhythms) makes it another cathartic and engaging experience.

– The genre-less Liars has another musical mood swing on Mess.

– On percussionist Glenn Kotche’s fourth solo LP, the rhythmically minded composer pushes boundaries without being pushy.

– The original Cap’n Jazz lineup is back as Owls, releasing its sophomore LP a scant 13 years after its debut.

Honorable mentions

The Bad Plus: The Rite of Spring (Sony)

Grieves: Winter & The Wolves (Rhymesayers)

Chuck Ragan: Till Midnight (Side One Dummy)


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No Journalists Allowed: Tim and Mike Kinsella, the brothers behind Joan of Arc and Owen

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Growing up in the northern Chicago suburbs, brothers Tim and Mike Kinsella began the indie-rock cult favorite Cap’n Jazz at the ripe young ages of 15 and 12, respectively. Though the idiosyncratic quintet didn’t garner most accolades until a few years after disbanding, its founders and cohorts all have gone onto productive, overlapping careers. Tim has been the force behind Joan of Arc; Mike has released six solo albums as Owen; and both regularly collaborate with a small army, including cousin Nate Kinsella (Birthmark), Sam Zurick (Owls), Bobby Burg (Make Believe), and Victor Villarreal.

Mike Kinsella

Tim Kinsella

Here the brothers take turns questioning each other about being musicians, coming off like an asshole, and feeling your age.

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Victor Villarreal to release Invisible Cinema on 1/24 via Joyful Noise

Guitar whiz Victor Villarreal (Cap’n Jazz, Owls, Ghosts & Vodka, Joan of Arc) has announced the release of his first solo full-length on Joyful Noise. The record, Invisible Cinema, is due January 24 and will be limited to 250 copies of clear vinyl. Listen to the track “Enters” below.

Victor Villarreal: “Enters”
[audio:|titles=Victor Villarreal: “Enters”]

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