Finding convergence in electronic ambience and synth-rock explorations, "Ruin" by Washington D.C. group VEDAS leads the listener down a personal rabbit hole of estranged, haunted emotions.
Katie and Mike West, aka Truckstop Honeymoon, are back with more tales of everyday life, love, sadness and happiness, all written and sung with all the heart and humor of the American heartland. "Sometimes I Cry" ranks with some of their most honest and affecting ballads.
With a voice that sounds like it was scraped from the bottom of a well at the bottom of the world, Benjamin Shaw is an unlikely candidate for making purely beautiful music. And yet the langorous, delicate "Goodbye, Kagoul World" is just that.
A true transcontinental project, King of Prussia's new double album, "Zonian Girls...And the Echoes That Surround Us All," was recorded in France, Spain and Athens, Ga., and the geographical diversity matches the indie-pop ambition, as heard on the track "Actuary."
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Evoking a folkified version of Coldplay or an austere, piano-based take on Fleet Foxes, "Someone Else" by Cold Weather Company is the kind of heart-bursting song that promises an emotional payoff -- and then delivers.
Arum Rae has flirted with country music -- a song she co-wrote with John Paul White of the Civil Wars found its way into the TV show "Nashville" -- but on "If I Didn't Know Better," she fully embraces electronic sounds yet never turns her back on ethereal, emotional soul.
The cinematic, world-folk ensemble Black Prairie (featuring members of the Decemberists and Bearfoot, for starters) stretches out into indie-pop territory on the bouncing, catchy, accordion-laced "Let It Out."
A sub-three-minute blast of hard riffs and organ-drenched rock 'n' roll, "Don't You Call on Me," by Glagow, Scotland's Chris Devotion & the Expectations, might be a little messy but it doesn't mess around.
With folk sensibilities (and sensitivities) and a rock 'n' roll kick (and a bit of chaos), New York's 5j Barrow pushes (and then tears up) the envelope on dynamics and emotional release on the new track "Talking My Soul."