26 Great Records You May Have Missed: Winter 2022


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Nia’s Archives: Forbidden feeling

Rising Manchester singer and producer Nia Archives fuses jungle, reggae, breakbeat and more propulsive music to form a nostalgic and thrilling patchwork. His first EP, Forbidden feeling, is a breathless burst of energy based on a smooth, almost laconic vocal delivery that keeps listeners spellbound. From the sped-up vocal samples that cut through the title track to the heady, soulful chorus of “Luv Like,” every minute pushes you to move. –Eric Torres

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Pan American: The fader of patience

On his latest release, Mark Nelson, who has been recording ambient music as Pan-American for almost a quarter of a century, turns to a singular instrument: the guitar. The 12 songs on The fader of patience are built from clean, wintry motifs: on “Outskirts, Dreamlit,” his electric guitar is layered and reverberated, building steadily even as it dissipates into pure atmosphere; on “Nightwater”, he accentuates his acoustic fingerpicking with lap steel to evoke a feeling of momentum on the road. Through these solo guitar performances, Nelson embraces the melodic qualities of the instrument as much as its atmospheric potential, lingering in the fragile space between where a note sounds and where it dies. –Sam Sodomsky

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Pan•American: The Patience Fader

Plosives: Plosives

Rob Crow is a songwriter. He’s launched more than a dozen bands since founding Pinback, but none felt as immediately addictive as his latest project, Plosivs. The supergroup brings together a who’s-who of San Diego’s old guard: besides Crow, there’s guitarist John Reis (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes), drummer Atom Willard (Against Me!, Rocket From the Crypt) and the bassist Jordan Clark (Mrs. Magician) – chasing ’90s punk-rock glory. On their self-titled debut album, Plosivs ignite with manic drumming (“Broken Eyes”), nostalgic vocal harmonies (“Rose Waterfall” ) and aggressive riffs (“Never Likely”) aimed at air guitar. Like the best supergroup releases, the album reminds you why you fell in love with individual artists all those years ago. –Nina Corcoran

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Raum: Daughter

Grouper’s Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Liz Harris work at complementary extremes. Both are drone musicians with ears for melody: Harris, more of a solitary, austere dreamer; Cantu-Ledesma, a meditative romantic. Immersing yourself in the vast expanses of their respective catalogs, you might wonder how such simple sounds could make you feel everything. Their second record together as Raum is a gripping elegy to their late friend, filmmaker Paul Clipson – a seven-track sequel in which decaying vistas of sound blister like a Super 8 film, evoking, to quote a title, “The Crying Sunlight”. –Jenn Pelly


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