Long-standing, avant-garde band Swans intricately weaves together an unwavering bass line, heavy guitar licks and discordant electronics and horns in "A Little God in My Hands" -- a sickly, unsettling yet mesmerizing seven-minute song.
Coming off of the Afghan Whigs' first new album in 16 years, "Matamoros" fuses an experimental, progressive-rock riff with whispering falsetto vocals to create a song that's both taunting and seductive.
London-based singer-songwriter Lyla Foy layers synthesizers and dreamy vocals to craft an atmospheric, intimate and eerily beautiful version of one of Tori Amos' most well-known songs, "Cornflake Girl."
Taking inspiration from Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, New Orleans-based Hurray for the Riff Raff blends American folk with soulful roots music on "I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)."
Richard Davies has worked as both a solo artist and with Eric Matthews for the group Cardinal, but the Australian-American musician got his start in the Moles, and he heads back to those strummy, acoustic-pop roots with the fetching "Beauty Queen of Watts."
Elliott Smith's influence over contemporary rock and folk music endures, but finding fresh ways of covering the late songwriter don't come easy. Edmonton, Alberta band the Provincial Archive manages to do just that on this imaginatively arranged take on Smith's "Son of Sam."
Eerie, acoustic and electronic, "The Highest Love" by Phoenix-based band the Holy Coast drifts and dances, with echoes of classic shoe gaze and mellow electro-pop ala Broken Bells.
The interstellar groove of "Temple of the Sun" by Teeel is just the tip of the band's electro-pop gifts. Synth washes and a good guitar hook lend the song serious crossover appeal.
Brooding and even a little paranoid, "Soldiers (Snowbird Remix)" by Aussie band the Trouble With Templeton meditates on conflict -- less those wars out in the world and more the ones going on inside.
Some two years in the making, "Let’s Love," the new album from Scarlet Tanager, finds the St. Louis band enriching its chamber-pop sound with ever-maturing emotional and instrumental textures, notably on the haunting, call-and-response vocals of "Place That I Come From."