Never content to repeat themselves, the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, aka Wye Oak, venture into fully-synth (and cello and guitar) powered, fully-danceable dream pop on "The Tower," a track from their forthcoming album "Shriek."
"Slacker rock" really should be a genre descriptor/epithet we've long since retired. But if a rock musician is going to go for the California gold, he may as well sound wide awake and joyful doing it -- and that's just what Chris Pope and the band Blonde Summer accomplish on the irresistible "High Times."
"Psychedelic dream pop" may not be the first thing you think of when you think of Brazilian music, and yet the duo of Lucas Moura and Felipe Augusto, aka Glue Trip, take the tropics on a strange, wonderful trip on the track "Old Blood."
For its new album the Oklahoma City band Skating Polly decided to work with lo-fi experimental king Calvin Johnson, and the results, as heard on the track "Alabama Movies," prove that art punk really can be made riotously fuzzy and scuzzy again.
Crafty and intricate, the music of Forsthays has undeniable echoes of Frank Ocean while still venturing into wholly new, wholly eclectic electro-R&B vistas. Case in point: the new track "Better Off Now."
Des Moines, Iowa band the River Monks take folk foundations -- banjo, guitar and close harmonies -- and then build and build from there, creating a mysterious, almost psychedelic sound on the new track "Beasts."
When you decide to take on a cover of Tears for Fears' best-known song, you'd better have a concept, and that concept best not be tongue in cheek. Vancouver band Bear Mountain somehow manages to put its own playful, experimental stamp on "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" while still paying homage to the sing-along catchiness that made the song such a pleasure to begin with.
"Strugglin'" by I Am the Albatross is more than just another lo-fi foray into gothic country. The Austin-based trio has sure-footed, bluesy musicality and a great Leonard Cohen quote to get you brooding along.
On "The Weight of It All," call-and-response vocals and a surging, guitar-lit chorus enrich the piano-based confessions of Newfoundland-born, Halifax, Canada-based singer-songwriter Kim Harris.
For his new album "Draws Blood," Cape Breton, Canada songwriter Carleton Stone enlisted Howie Beck (Feist) and Jason Collett (Broken Social Scene) to assist in producing, but the tense, prickly tone of "Climbing up the Walls" is still very much his own.