There are big bands, and then there is the Educated Guess. Helmed by Singer, songwriter and arranger Charlie Brumley, the St. Louis group often sprawls to a dozen or more musicians on stage, but it's not the numbers that matter. It's the soaring, orchestral, soul-pop vision, captured on new recordings like the Motown-spirited "Baby, If You Want It."
"No Pier Pressure"
"No Pier Pressure," Brian Wilson's first album since the Beach Boys reunion ended, is a confounding record, often drowning the master of harmonies, ironically, beneath the pressure of his peers.
Think you know indie dance-pop? Think again. The frenetic, time-signature-shifting electro bop sound of "You Only Like What You Know" by Beardyman unleashes all of Darren Foreman's beatboxing, looping and loopy talents.
In Andy Shauf's "Hometown Hero," what starts out as a satirical (but oh so lyrical) portrait of a small-town might-have-been, ends up as a charming, everyman fantasy come true.
When Sylvan Esso comes to town people are going to move.
The sound of the Corner Laughers is, as its name implies, the sound of pure delight: quirky but focused harmonies, frenetic rhythms, plinking glockenspiel and lyrics that inspire like that first burst of cheery sunshine you've been missing all winterlong.