Postmodern and pre-modern at once, the orchestral, piano-based ballad "Wounds Grow Grass" by Lauryn Peacock waltzes out of a wine-warmed cabaret from Berlin in the 1920s or maybe from just around the corner here and now.
Ellis Ludwig-Leone sits on a train directed towards a haven whose name I can't quite make out. The chug noise accompanying Ludwig-Leone's amiable chatter obfuscates most vowel sounds. He is on his way to celebrate a romantic anniversary and miscalculated the time necessary to phone in for an interview.
Through meticulously layered vocals, droning strings and cathedral reverb, Somerville, Massachusetts-based group Abbie Barrett and the Last Date creates a ghostly yet crystalline vision of lyrical peace and (dis)quiet on "Lake House Moon."
Some two years in the making, "Let’s Love," the new album from Scarlet Tanager, finds the St. Louis band enriching its chamber-pop sound with ever-maturing emotional and instrumental textures, notably on the haunting, call-and-response vocals of "Place That I Come From."
When Matt Pond announced that he would be going out on tour to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his album "Emblems" he shared that he "wrote the album when I first started drifting between New York and Philly. Since I haven't stopped drifting, it feels as relevant as it did ten years ago."
Eight-piece Ages and Ages evades the sophomore slump with youthful, vibrant soundwaves in its new chamber-pop release, "Divisionary."
Ryan Lott had never been to St. Louis. The Brooklyn, N.Y. dweller, and brain behind Son Lux, spent upwards of seven weeks holed up in Indiana. Presumably, he worked fastidiously on "Lanterns," Son Lux's third release, and developed an insatiable appetite for corn and Pacers basketball.
Featuring the vocals of Ben Talmi, Boston's Art Decade employs a live approach to synth-pop -- that's a 15-piece orchestra you're hearing -- that results in a teenage symphony to pure romance called "No One's Waiting."
For the essay writers uninitiated, Scarlet Tanager may seem to have all the elements for a successful cult. The St. Louis six piece has family ties (vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Michael Logsdon is married to lead vocalist/guitarist Susan Logsdon, whose brother guitarist Josh Shepherd is married to keyboardist Jordan Shepherd, along with old friends bassist Dustin Kent and drummer Matt Davidson), spreads an impossibly upbeat but always believable gospel of happiness, and delivers contagious live performances that draw everyone in to commune in the good vibes of pop music.