Postmodern and pre-modern at once, the orchestral, piano-based ballad "Wounds Grow Grass" by Lauryn Peacock waltzes out of a wine-warmed cabaret from Berlin in the 1920s or maybe from just around the corner here and now.
A clacking, bumbing, glitching, body-moving cover of…Fleet Foxes? No, you haven't fallen down the mashup rabbit hole. You've just found EDM pop artist Goldroom (aka Josh Legg from Los Angeles) and his surprising take on "Mykonos."
Rhythmically and percussively dense, and stacked to the sky with guitars and keyboards, "Better Days" by Glasgow, Scotland band Kill the Waves, is as persuasive as stadium-ready, experimentally-minded post-rock gets.
"Before the flood, but after the well ran dry/Colors scatter the downtown sky/Waited for an explosion/But I only heard a sigh." Delivered like he has all the time in the world, "Independence Day" by the Last Tycoon (aka John Gladwin of East Atlanta, Georgia) is a brooding, cinematic story, a desert-set film noir in sound and words.
There are big bands, and then there is the Educated Guess. Helmed by Singer, songwriter and arranger Charlie Brumley, the St. Louis group often sprawls to a dozen or more musicians on stage, but it's not the numbers that matter. It's the soaring, orchestral, soul-pop vision, captured on new recordings like the Motown-spirited "Baby, If You Want It."
The late Anne Tkach, who passed away on April 9, 2015 at the age of 48, was a beloved part of the St. Louis music community. She was best known as a bassist and singer for the bands Hazeldine, Nadine, Rough Shop, Magic City, Bad Folk and many more. But as the song "Dear Mama" shows, she could also write a beautiful melody and lyric when so inspired.
Dub reggae meets psychedelic synth pop, and the two produce instant fireworks through the waves of Danish dark wave on "Going Out" by Dinner (singer and producer Anders Rhedin).
The latest music from Spectator, led by Megan Rooney and Jeff Albert, picks up where the St. Louis band left off three years ago, with its first EP "In the Brick." The weightless melodies and jazzy rhythms are there, but on a track like "Muddy Water," a sense of beautiful foreboding and psychedelic exploration surges forth.
The no-budget, no-pretension, no-gimmicks DIY rock of American Wrestlers (aka St. Louis musician Gary McClure) has yielded some surprising results: 1) A signing to the heavyweight indie Fat Possum Records and 2) the irresistible statement of purpose called "I Can Do No Wrong."
The swinging, horn, harmony and piano-powered sound of "Anonymous" by Fort Frances proves that indie rock and soul really can coexist and even flourish together.