Ellen Cook has been hot on the heels of the St. Louis music scene for years. Last fall she released her first full-length album, "Bang Bang Bang," which has done well locally, under her stage name Ellen the Felon.
Developed over the course of four years, the latest from the Honey Trees (aka Becky Filip and Jacob Wick) has an elegant, velvety sound, with twangy chime and misty, electronic flourishes. "Nightingale" is one of the prettiest tracks of a still-young year.
We're not even two months into 2014 and already the rush of new releases is upon us. What albums are the DJs of KDHX most excited about? These lists will give you a good hint.
On "The Final Remedy" the Plastic Pals get back to the basics of slightly fuzzy, slightly jangly power pop with a droll vocal delivery (how else could you pull off a line like "I still got the hots for you"?) and an unassuming but winning hook.
With harmonies straight out of the Beach Boys' playbook and a wall of synths, pianos, drums and fuzz to make Flaming Lips' fans nostalgic for the days of "The Soft Bulletin," UK band the High Wire sounds fully realized on new single "Still."
The Soon-Another likens its music to "world indie pop," and that's not unbelievable, if the world in question is filled with hand claps (lots and lots of them), finely textured synths and charming lead vocals, as sensual as they are whimsical. Listen to "Like You Like" and make up your own genre descriptor.
Justin Timberlake isn't the easiest (or even most likely) artist to cover, especially a newer track and especially in an ambient electronic style, but Coldair, aka Warsaw-based multi-instrumentalist Tobiasz Biliński, takes JT's "Strawberry Bubblegum" into a whole new moody pop realm.
The rather baroque title "The Dead Leaves (Danse Macabre Midnight)" belies the easy-going melody and fleet guitar and keyboard figures that hone the song's hook. As it all builds to a fuzzy collision, it's clear Modern Rivals have more than just bookish dream pop on their minds.
Jeremy Messersmith has a sweet, sweet voice which is complimented perfectly by understated and simple acoustic guitar.
Led by Reese Beeman and James Adkisson formerly of psych-rock band the 7% Solution, and featuring singer Lisa Lipkin, Austin, Texas' HeadShy packs up its R.E.M. and Primal Scream record collection and heads for dreamier pop terrain on "The Light That Guides the Blind."