For seven years, Athens, Georgia’s Japancakes have reliably turned out what, if it were distortion-laden and featured ethereal vocals, would be labeled “shoegazer.” Instead my people call it good ol’ fashioned instrumental country music with the occasional twist. It’s only fitting, then, that they decided to cover the shoegazer classic-of-all-classics — My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless — in its entirety. Pedal steel and cello replace the vocal and guitar melodies. The mood and structure remains very much intact and it’s lovely…just not as fulfilling as the original, or as a regular Japancakes record. Which might be why, as a sort of insurance against cynics like me, they released Giving Machines, an incredible album of originals (plus one Cocteau Twins cover), within a couple weeks of Loveless. As a package, it’s one of the sweeter releases of the year. Double down, I always say.