With layers of acoustic and electric guitars, Boston's Sleepyhead invokes classic guitar-chime bands like R.E.M. and twee-pop groups like Camera Obscura, but with a distinctively arch tone. "Liberation Theology" testifies to the band's melodic ambitions and lightly-worn influences.
With winter rapidly approaching, Allo Darlin's new album is a welcomed warmth. "We Come From the Same Place" is quiet, tender pop music, easy to overlook at first. Although the album is not a big production, it is both comforting and compelling.
The Swedish duo of Ola Frick and Carina Johansson, who've been making music together since the late '90s as Moonbabies, have decisively departed from their shoegazy origins with the beautifully-tailored, incessantly-pulsing pop of their latest single "Chorus."
The minimalist multi-synth-pop approach of "Heart Explodes" reflects, perhaps, the loss of band members even as it was recorded. But somehow UK band Coves & Caves sound all the assured of their emotional direction.
The music of Dolly Spectra is cabaretesque art-rock of the strangest order. On "Moving Circles," singer and composer Dani Ashjian wails and wanders through a surreal but somehow still emotional landscape.
The anti-SEF band S features Jenn Ghetto from long-lost, pre-Band of Horses cult group Carissa's Wierd with production assistance from Chris Walla from very-much-not-a-cult-band Death Cab for Cutie. "Brunch" is as delicious and darkly satisfying as indie guitar pop gets.
Brooklyn, New York's Monogold takes a looping, dreamy, quasi-electronic approach on the new track "Under Daisies." Flower power has rarely sounded so contemporary or so lush.
Southern California is what you might call a pretty big place; trying to capture its spirit in song is a mug's game. But that doesn't stop irresistably sunny, indie-pop band the Rebel Light from making a more than game effort on the '60s and '00s-splashed track "Strangers."
The last time the Rural Alberta Advantage came through town, tornadoes and technical difficulties kept the Canadians' set short. This time they brought a night of perfect weather and some of the greatest tunes that America's hat has ever produced.