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."
Portland, Ore. songwriter Ryan VanDordrecht says that he aims for "a sound that walks a fine line between polish and unrefined beauty." On the streamlined, harmonica and slide guitar-sparkled "Great American Life" he's achieved just that.
Fans of acoustic swing, a la Dan Hicks or the Asylum Street Spankers, will find kindred spirits in the Appleseed Collective and its new, wry yet melancholy "The Inability to Feel."
"I'm at the bottom rung of the ladder, baby, how could I keep climbin' on up?" asks Vikesh Kapoor on the original folk song "Bottom of the Ladder." But it's the next lines that make the image indelible and universal: "Here I stand with a lightning rod in my hand, but the light strikes at the top."