Ink's fifth annual Middle of the Map Fest returned to Westport and Midtown in Kansas City, Missouri from April 22-25.
With hooks made for mainstream rock fans and a wash of chiming guitars and synths made for indie dance fans, "The Tide" by Pale Waves makes a pure pop splash.
Remixed in sparkling, snapping fashion by Autograf, "All We Need" by Seattle electropop duo ODESZA hits the dance floor with bent and bright hooks.
Harry Lookofsky was born in Kentucky in 1913 and began studying violin at age 8, moving to St. Louis to receive his formal training.
Like an unknown outtake from "Odyssey and Oracle" or even "Magical Mystery Tour," the finely harmonized and arranged "Lauren Lorraine" by Summer Fiction pulls back the veil on an exquisite and personal view of baroque psychedelic pop.
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.
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.