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.
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."
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.