Why do we listen to music? Every listener has his or her own answer. But maybe we're all hoping to be restored, revived in some way. And that's what Dallas band Valise is after on the new, spirited chamber-folk track "Dialogue."
With an eerie and intimate ambience, the new single "Black Cat White Cat" by Annalibera seduces on the strength of Anna Gebhardt's searing alto and dreamy imagism.
A lot of bands are described as "dream pop" these days. But Brooklyn-based group Bonsai, led by singer and songwriter Simone Stevens, makes that description more than a label on the gloriously atmospheric "I Fashion You're a Dreamer."
Enigmatic Los Angeles-based musician Autumn in June makes electronic music that unites late-night contemplation with even-later-night dance-floor grooves. "Weeks" is chilled-out electro-pop, but not so chilled out as to leave the hooks behind.
Recorded in an old dance hall transformed into a studio in the Crescent City, the track "The Things We Do" by Rahim Quazi is piano and string-filled Sinatra-esque pop for the 21st century.
Anchored in the singing and songwriting duo of Argentine-born Max Claps and James Hoare (of Veronica Falls), the London band the Proper Ornaments revives psychedelic pop with hints of the Velvet Underground and contemporary bands like Real Estate.
"I just wanna have a good time," wails Julia Shapiro of Seattle band Chastity Belt, but the good times sound over for good on the deliciously dark and doom-ridden "Time to Go Home," a party-ender to end all parties.
Ever since Moby's seminal album "Play" (if not before), there's been no shortage of electronic-minded artists combining individually-crafted roots music with mass-produced circuitry. Hidden in the Sun is part of that lineage, but on the lovely "San Francisco Blues" the band simply sounds like a band, playing original blues, creating original beauty.
In lesser hands, a country-folk cover of Cake's "Jesus Wrote a Blank Check" would bounce all the way to Nazareth. But when channeled through St. Louis singer and songwriter Beth Bombara's lilting voice and her band's banjo and doghouse bass-driven free-for-all it rings out rich and clear.
Supporting music means buying music, and there's no better way to do that than at your favorite local record store. And what was St. Louis buying this year? Find out in our top 50 seller lists from Euclid Records and Vintage Vinyl.