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The Music Room, Issue 39

The season’s best albums: Destroyer, Braids, PJ Harvey and more.

Dan Bejar’s Destroyer has always been a mutable concept. On Kaputt (Merge), his ninth album, Bejar risks all—and it might just be his artistic triumph. Glistening with soft-rock saxophones, New Romantic synth solos and insider cocaine quips, Kaputt finds glamour in what happens after last call. Supported by Bejar’s signature Muppet vox and acid-tongued lyricism, “Chinatown” plays like a film noir, while the nearly ten-minute ambient-disco throwdown “Bay Of Pigs” might be the only Destroyer song you would actually want to fuck to.

Sumptuous golden light filtered through a wild pack of Montrealers: an admittedly ridiculous way to describe a band like Braids, but when you hear a song as incandescent as “Lemonade,” you must gush. Drawing influence from Baltimore band Ponytail (listen to singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s triumphant bellow) and the cerebral electronics of Animal Collective, Native Speaker (Flemish Eye) is the soundtrack to a waking ...

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