Five Essential Albums

Fanfarlo: Five Essential Albums

by Kara Manning

Fanfarlo's blissful EP of last year, The Sea, was a sparkling pop prelude to the London band's bold third album, Let's Go Extinct, which is released on February 11 via Blue Horizon. The group sidles even further away from its early folk roots and unearths more danceable grooves on this release, as on the sunny single "Landlocked." They have a lengthy North American tour this spring, including two New York dates in late April at Bowery Ballroom and Rough Trade.

The Naked and Famous: Five Essential Albums

by Kara Manning

The Naked and Famous might have relocated from Auckland, New Zealand to Los Angeles, but the tirelessly touring quintet likely spends more time living out of suitcases. They face yet another lengthy tour ahead supporting their fine second album, In Rolling Waves. The record, released last week, is a lush, synth-driven tsunami, guided by the affecting vocal exchanges and harmonies between singers Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith.

Ethan Johns: Five Essential Albums

by Kara Manning

Ethan Johns is an acclaimed, Brit Award-winning producer — he's collaborated with Laura Marling, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and more — but he's never released his own solo abum until this year. Johns' eclectic debut, If Not Now Then When?, released in the UK over the winter, is finally out in North America this week, July 30, on his own Three Crows Records.