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."
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.
What first impresses on "Blameless," the new single by St. Louis-based electronic-music group CaveofswordS, is simply the melody: the way it flows in and out and around and through the host of percussive and synthetic textures. The melody is carried by Sunyatta McDermott's seraphic voice, but it's also absolutely inseparable from each musical element. In short: "Blameless" is glorious.
The Beyoncé/Beck mashup "Single Loser (Put a Beck on It)" was probably inevitable. As it turns out, Beckyoncé's track serves as a pretty catchy (how could it not be?) and playfully ironic commentary on the whole Kanye vs. Beck Grammy kerfuffle.
On the new track "Stacks on Stacks," the minimalism of electronic-pop band Bouquet serves as a wide and open canvas for subtle textures and just as subtle but always vivid strokes of emotion and harmony.
Recalling the darkest moods of Bruce Springsteen circa "Tunnel of Love" and the thrilling, contemporary approach to classic rock of bands like the Hold Steady, Gaston Light takes inspiration from a New Year's resolution by Woody Guthrie and runs with it on "Wake Up and Fight."
A praise song for winter, "Slaughterhouse Gulch" doesn't just paint a portrait of Gwyneth Moreland's cottage home in Mendocino County in Northern California. It evokes all the details, small yet visionary, of the natural and spiritual cycle of the seasons.