For the "You Be My Heart" collection, Bowerbirds tackle a song by Devon Reed (a volunteer for the non-profit arts organization 826 National), and tap into (and catch fire to) the lyrical wonders of "Seven Wonders."
Recorded on an old tape deck that most musicians would be thrilled to unload on Craigslist for a sandwich and a case of beer, "Vermona" by Brooklyn, N.Y. duo Take Berlin has a delicate acoustic movement that's part found art, part elusive emotion.
The new breed of orchestral-folk bands is nothing if not precocious, and Montreal, Quebec band Little Suns is surely that, as well as spry in its rhythms and wry in its message of hope and companionship.
Multi-culturalism isn't just an ideal for Brooklyn, N.Y.-based musician Nasimiyu. It's the core of her identity and her sound, which grooves between Afrobeat, dream pop, experimental rock and neo-soul with total confidence. Judge for yourself on the new track "Raise Your Arrow (The Hunt)."
Welsh musician Rhys Viney's uses his latest project Go Life to send echoes of classic '80s synth pop, a la Depeche Mode or OMD, in new, reverberating directions.
In physics, the observer effect is well known. "You can't observe anything without changing it." So too is it in love and life. "Vanilla," a new song by Ghost Maps, the latest project of Jeff Martin of Dublin, Ireland band Halfset, captures that uncanny feeling.
"Caught like a deer wrapped up in car light," sings Brookln Dekker of Nottingham, UK duo Rue Royale, "I missed out on what was mine." It's a small but powerful epiphany on a trip that's dark, tense and very much worth taking.
Fuzz rock doesn't get much fuzzier or rockier than "Sea of White" by Vancouver, British Columbia band Tough Age. Turn it up, stand back and/or take cover.
Bassist for Eleanor Friedberger's current touring band, Cassandra Jenkins is a fine songwriter, singer and arranger in her own right, as evidenced by the new track "Up in Flames," which blends a folk sensibility with misty ambience.
Cave States is a new band of old friends. Anchored in the songwriting of Chris Grabau (Magnolia Summer) and Danny Kathriner (Half Knots and Colonel Ford), and including Todd Schnitzer (Nadine and Half Knots), John Horton (Bottle Rockets and Colonel Ford) and John Higgins (too many bands to name), all hailing from St. Louis, the group has collaborated on a new collection of Americana and folk-swept songs, including this lilting, lyrical prayer for a daughter, "Before My Eyes."