The 27-year-old composer and pianist weaves together the DNA of Mozart, Charles Ives and Brian Eno. The results provide thought-provoking glimpses into how the past and the present merge in classical music today.
The British songwriter and producer is a bold, explosive performer who's unafraid to take creative risks. Her frenetic mix of soul, art-pop, rock and punk feels immediate and rootless; it could soundtrack any cityscape around the world.
On its third album, the band conveys joy amid massively unselfconscious celebrations of community and optimism. Throughout, singer Alex Ebert mixes mission-statement anthems with more hard-bitten tracks in which happiness goes hand-in-hand with the real-world struggles that make music meaningful.
The album, made by a resolutely old school musician, is heavy like concrete shoes and incantatory. The production is sanded down and the loops brief, but it's also patient. The songs themselves are reflective, and then they sink in slowly.
Weekend synthesizes countless waves of '80s and '90s college radio into a single buzzy rumble. At times, Jinx calls to mind My Bloody Valentine and Psychedelic Furs simultaneously, thanks to its mix of shoegazy guitar swirl and pretty, ringing gloom.
In the course of three studio albums, Hawthorne has transformed himself from underground indie-soul curiosity to imminent star. Hawthorne has long been a student of the music that precedes him, with skills as a composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist that take him well beyond mimicry.
Home Life isn't uplifting, but it amply demonstrates the former Titus Andronicus guitarist's capacity to both bum out and stun. Throughout the album, Cedermark plants his warble like land mines under layers of guitars that billow and rumble, Crazy Horse-style.
With cues from pop eccentrics like Frank Zappa and Robert Wyatt, Psychic Temple II crosses genres, continuously seeks new worlds and is often unnerving in its shambling beauty. Sufjan Stevens, Cynic's Paul Masvidal and many more contribute.
The jazz masters' first album of entirely original material pushes music lovers to dance. At its heart, That's It! is a memory trick, managing to sound both familiar and fresh. But this is more than a live performance by a hot band.