Medium Rotation — Second Nature; Growing Up

LUCIUS Second Nature (Mom + Pop) — To the legions who’ve been longing for the next great record that’s suited to be accompaniment for a tearful backwards skate after a roller-rink break-up, Lucius is here for you. Six long years have passed since the last full-length studio album from the Brooklyn-based band fronted by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessi, but they’ve hardly been idle during that time, signing on for a full flight board of collaborations with everyone from the War on Drugs to Harry Styles to Ozzy freakin’ Osbourne. For their new album, Second Nature, Lucius cashed in one of those favors by getting Brandi Carlile to co-produce (Wolfe and Laessi guested on Carlile’s most recent album, In These Silent Days). The result is music that exudes professionalism while delivering precise, lovelorn, catchy-as-all-get-out pop that calls to mind modern masters of the form such as Robyn and Carly Rae Jepsen. On the title track, they sing of “dancing with a broken heart” on title cut and then proceed to provide the soundtrack to do just that. It all glimmers resplendently. Luxuriate in bittersweet grooves with “Next to Normal,” “Heartbursts,” “LSD,” and “White Lies.”

THE LINDA LINDAS Growing Up (Epitaph) — Fifty years after the New York Dolls took a prime position in trailblazing punk rock when the played their first show at the Endicott Hotel, a new crew of fresh-faced hooligans launched their own revolution a mask’s toss from the stacks in the Los Angeles Public Library. To help kick off Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Linda Lindas played TEENtastic Tuesdays concert in the library, blazing through a nine-song set that included a newly penned retort to a bugging bigot titled “Racist Sexist Boy.” The song went viral, and the Linda Lindas were signed to legendary indie label Epitaph Records. Their debut album, Growing Up, revives the noise-fueled joy that all except the more sour curmudgeons felt after first clicking on the video that kept circling through all the social media feeds. With a median age of fourteen and a half at the time of the album’s release, the members of the Linda Lindas play with an infectious spirit, channeling youthful emotional urgency into a set of originals that wrap up tidily in twenty-five tidy minutes. The peppy title cut and “Oh!” merit favorable comparisons to the Runaways and the Donnas. Sensation “Racist Sexist Boy” is present, of course, held back to the end of the record like the encore song that sends the crowd into delirium. It’s sludgier and heavier on record, and it’s all the better for it. Keep swinging your ponytail in the mosh pit with “Talking to Myself,” “Fine,” and “Remember.”

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