Born in Moscow, NYC-based painter and illustrator Dimitri Drjuchin creates bright, mystical eye candy that reads like a riddle. You may recognize his surrealist work from gig posters for comics Marc Maron, Jim Gaffigan, Eugene Mirman, and Hannibal Buress — or, more recently, you might have spotted his mind-bending cover for Fear Fun, the debut album from Father John Misty.
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The Rural Alberta Advantage made a name for itself the old-fashioned way: by being good. In 2007, the Toronto-based trio self-released an impressive concoction of frenzied indie-folk rock with Hometowns. Set to a backdrop of erratic drum work, fuzzed-out electrics, and heart-strumming acoustics, as well as a flutter of harmonies from singers Nils Edenloff and Amy Cole, Hometowns explored themes of growing up, going out, moving away, and coming home. Perhaps most striking is Edenloff’s nasally, Jeff Mangum-like howl, evoking Neutral Milk Hotel’s gritty arrangements and lo-fi production.
After touring the hell out of the album in North America and Europe, some buzz began to build on the blogosphere, and it didn’t take long for people to notice that the Canadian band was indie’s newest best-kept secret — one well worth discovering. And so, in 2008, the band signed to Saddle Creek and re-released Hometowns with widespread distribution and to critical acclaim.