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With a voice that sounds like it was scraped from the bottom of a well at the bottom of the world, Benjamin Shaw is an unlikely candidate for making purely beautiful music. And yet the langorous, delicate "Goodbye, Kagoul World" is just that.

A true transcontinental project, King of Prussia's new double album, "Zonian Girls...And the Echoes That Surround Us All," was recorded in France, Spain and Athens, Ga., and the geographical diversity matches the indie-pop ambition, as heard on the track "Actuary."

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 18:58

Copy Editor

Our website, KDHX.org, offers a great diversity of content. From music reviews to interviews to concert updates to arts reviews and previews, our volunteer writers cover the St. Louis and national arts and music scene with great energy. The volunteer Copy Editor helps to make sure their writing is clear, concise and accurate.

Evoking a folkified version of Coldplay or an austere, piano-based take on Fleet Foxes, "Someone Else" by Cold Weather Company is the kind of heart-bursting song that promises an emotional payoff -- and then delivers.

Arum Rae has flirted with country music -- a song she co-wrote with John Paul White of the Civil Wars found its way into the TV show "Nashville" -- but on "If I Didn't Know Better," she fully embraces electronic sounds yet never turns her back on ethereal, emotional soul.

The cinematic, world-folk ensemble Black Prairie (featuring members of the Decemberists and Bearfoot, for starters) stretches out into indie-pop territory on the bouncing, catchy, accordion-laced "Let It Out."

A sub-three-minute blast of hard riffs and organ-drenched rock 'n' roll, "Don't You Call on Me," by Glagow, Scotland's Chris Devotion & the Expectations, might be a little messy but it doesn't mess around.

With folk sensibilities (and sensitivities) and a rock 'n' roll kick (and a bit of chaos), New York's 5j Barrow pushes (and then tears up) the envelope on dynamics and emotional release on the new track "Talking My Soul."

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes a song appears, as if from nowhere and everywhere, as if you've always known it though you've never heard it before. Such is Dawn Landes' gorgeous, wise "Cry No More," a farewell to sadness, a country-folk hymn for brighter days that always appear in time.

Led by singer and songwriter Mike Fiore, the Boston-based group Faces on Film builds personal, cinematic rock songs, which are yet much more than home movies. "The Rule" has plush, surprising textures and a thumping pulse, part heartbeat on a sleepless night, part emotional, even yearning drive.

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