Hailing from the misty, Scottish Hebrides region of Isle of Mull, Sorren Maclean's contemporary take on folk music, as displayed on the new song "Rows & Rows of Boxes," sounds like it just couldn't have come from any other place.
Strummy, sunny and more than a little orchestral, "Portrait" by Breakfast in Fur sketches out a dreamscape somewhere between David Bowie in Berlin and psychedelic pop.
Led by Rick Valentin (of Poster Children and Salaryman), Thoughts Detecting Machines take aim at self-help trends that treat the symptoms and not the malaise on "New Day." Maybe a dose of noisy, lo-fi rock 'n' roll is the surest path to enlightenment.
Sometimes less isn't just more; sometimes less is everything. One listen to the beautifully minimalist ballad "Your Arms Are My Walls" by Bowen and you'll get the picture.
Generally, one should live by the golden rule: Lead us not into too many puns. But suspend that rule for the brilliantly titled "Winner of My Disco Tent," a surf-pop instrumental by Seattle band Corespondents that ventures far beyond the Ventures.
Los Angeles-based rocker Colleen Green returns to strong, sardonic, bubble-grunge form on "TV," a three-minute minimalist blast that recalls the best of early Liz Phair or maybe slowed-down Ramones.
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, essay writers 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.