From the flood of fingerpicking guitar and the authoritative voice that opens "Every Little Bit Hurts" you know you're in the presence of a folk master. Barton Carroll has woven another witty and wise tale of hard times when they come and good times where you find them.
Channeling a bit of Northern soul with beefy horns, inspired backing vocals and a sharp groove, New York musician PT Walkley seduces on the new track "Siren."
When backed by her band the Howlin' Moons, Ohio native Angela Perley is most likely to unleash a torrent of roots-soaked rock 'n' roll. But on the ballad "Brooklyn Girls" she shows just how far her vulnerable, phrase-sensitive voice can take a song.
Named after a small Missouri town, Salisbury is the project of St. Louis-based singer and songwriter Eric Lysaght, well-known as leader of rock band Neptune Crush. But Salisbury, and its new album "Life Is a Heartbreak," evokes the folk and country of the heartland. With gospel harmonies and a dreamy sense of nostalgia and narrative detail, the track "Down at the Fair" is a microcosm of the Salisbury world.
Electronic pop chanteuse -- and we don't drop the French lightly -- Anna Jean, aka Juniore, makes elegant but incessantly rhythmic music, dreamily displayed on the new track "Dans Le Noir."
The Wood Brothers have titled their latest album "The Muse," and juding by "Honey Jar," the muse in question is Sun rockabilly, Chess blues and all manner of honeydripping funk.
Fresh and revelatory holiday music can be hard to come by, but when Brothers Lazaroff join forces with electronic musician the Vaad, lyricist James Stone Goodman and members of the Klezmer Conspiracy, Hanukkah truly sounds like a festival of light and dedication for the 21st century.
Los Angeles isn't just a city; it's an idea. It's ground zero for fantasy and failing, "the end of the world" as one writer put it. The band Memoir channels those themes into a contemporary soul-pop sound that has "learned to fly" beyond the city of angels.
In certain moods, Ghost Beach (New Yorkers Josh Ocean and Eric Mendelsohn) describes itself as "tropical grit pop," which is about as close to the dizzying sound of new track "Moon Over Japan" as three words can get.
For the "You Be My Heart" collection, Bowerbirds tackle a song by Devon Reed (a volunteer for the non-profit arts organization 826 National), and tap into (and catch fire to) the lyrical wonders of "Seven Wonders."