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Emerging from the gorgoues beachside town of Byron Bay, Australia, Kyle Lionhart's music, as heard on the track "On My Own," fits snuggly between the falsetto-rich harmonies of Bon Iver and the folk-pop reveries of City and Colour.

The new track "Dog Named Bart" finds San Francisco duo Tidelands (Gabriel Montana Leis and Mie Araki) enlisting the help of John Vanderslice and Debbie Neigher, as well as Magik*Magik Orchestra, for a sound that's orchestral, folkloric and uplifting.

Swedish band Blind Lake is Lotta Wenglén (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals) and Måns Wieslander (guitar, drums, bass, vocals), a duo who, on the new track "Walk Beside Me," seems less interested in making synth-pop singles than in making psychedelic, ambient and, yes, synth-pop soundtracks for contemporay film noirs that exist only in their and their listeners minds.

The brash and funky rock of "Miracle" by Los Angeles band Island Apollo seems tailor-made for the festival circuit -- but the dynamic production and arrangement -- shuffling between horn charts and lo-fi acoustic interludes -- also sounds great on headphones.

What makes for a classic rock lyric? Effortlessly revealing multiple meanings at once. Take the opening of "Out of the Gray" by Austin, Texas band Moonlight Towers: "Like a house on fire / I can't watch you burn / There's no justice served / And no lesson learned." And what makes for a classic rock recording? Just about everything heard in this catchy, melodic, guitar-and-harmony-driven tune.

There's nothing reclusive about the elegant sound of Hermit's Victory. The new track "Night Owl" serves as a warm invitation to saunter and sway with the Charleston, South Carolina group through a jazzy, post-lounge nightscape.

Best Girl Athlete features the voice and songwriting of Katie Buchan, a Scottish teenager who displays an uncanny gift for lush, classically-infused folk pop (not to mention a knowing Burt Bacharach and Hal David reference), as beautifully displayed on the new track "He's Calling Me Over."

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 08:00

Song of the Day: 'It's Time' by Hidden Charms

Though they may have the distinctively swinging and gritty R&B sound that producer Nick Waterhouse has made his sonic signature, UK band Hidden Charms more than finds its own voice on "It's Time."

Monday, 23 February 2015 08:00

Song of the Day: 'Beloved Devotion' by KDH

We confess to being powerless before a band that combines Southern rock and garage rock -- and also uses three of our call letters in its name. KDH's "Beloved Devotion" just might inspire a little bit of that in you as well.

"Summer Lawns," a quintessentially unseasonal track from Mike Pace and the Child Actors, just might have enough guitar and organ overdrive (as well as some sneaky acoustic guitar sparkle) to melt away your winter blues.

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