Soundbites: Cheap Girls, Bon Iver, Frank Turner, Papermoons and Lemuria

Welcome to another edition of Sound Bites, our economy-sized album reviews. This week, Andy Thomas weighs in on five recent national releases from Bon Iver (pictured left), Cheap Girls, Frank Turner, Papermoons and Lemuria after the jump.

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar). For Emma, epitomizes the

isolation and despair that comes after a break up. Justin Veron's

wavering falsetto pleads to a former lover who he knows is no longer

there, but still wishes was. "Who will love you?" He asks on "Skinny

Love." From the sound of this album, it is tragically clear the answer

never came.

Cheap Girls, Find Me a Drink Home (Bermuda Mohawk). Boozy, hopeless bar

rock hasn't sounded this good since a man named Westerburg spit smoke

laced poetry as the Leader of the Replacements. Lacking some of the

fire the Mats had, but replacing it with sweet, Smoking Popes style

sentiment, it's hard not to smile even when the music is asking you not


Frank Tuner, Love Ire and Song (Xtra Mile Recordings Limited). Though

there is no shortage of former punkers picking up acoustic guitars and

going folky, Frank Turner may be better than them all. Lyrically, Ire

is so personal and unique that it will never be able to be mimicked by

anyone. This is a shame, as Ire should serve as the blueprint for all

songwriters to build from.

Papermoons, New Tales (Team Science). Reminiscnet of an alt-counrty

Modest Mouse, this Houston duo pens brilliantly structured songs, with

enough insecurity behind them to make you wonder if they care if anyone

is listening at all. New Tales features one of the best songs you've

never heard, Lazy Bones, which is great whether you listen or not.

Lemuria, Get Better (Asian Man). Like a coed version of Slater Kinney,

vocalists Sheena Ozzella and Alexander Kerms tell two perspectives of

Lemuria's gilted yet sweet love songs. Lipstick may be the best song

about a girl on girl kiss since Jill Sobule's I Kissed a Girl. Sit down

Katy Perry!

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