The saxophonist infuses his solo records with an unsettling rumble, while still making room for alternately grandiose and guttural moments that awe and unnerve. His new album features vocal contributions from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.
With assists from fellow stars such as Esperanza Spalding and Sara and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek, Martin's banjo lines sing and sway with grace and charm that seem effortless. Edie Brickell's plainspoken warmth pairs wonderfully with Martin's playful picking throughout.
Formed as a free-wheeling, 15- to 20-piece side project for a group of orchestra students, Mother Falcon crafts a sound that soars with the grandiosity of Arcade Fire at its most anthemic. Its second album, You Knew, captures the hugeness of a band that can't fit on many of the stages it plays.
A sad parade of loneliness, death, fear and madness comes to life on an oddly buoyant album. Brass Bed's dark themes are wrapped in sunny melodies and mysterious synth sounds that ultimately dissolve into glorious chaos. It's part sonic exploration, part infectious pop and part noise rock.
Sinewy and powerful as ever, and backed by his longtime band, Nick Cave works the crowd like a revival preacher at half-speed during a career-spanning set at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's in Austin, Texas. Watch Cave perform "Jubilee Street," "From Her to Eternity" and "Push the Sky Away," and hear audio of his full set.
Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase's performance at NPR Music's SXSW showcase was the band's only appearance at this year's festival. The New York trio performed their new single "Sacrilege" for the first time in front of an audience and dazzled the packed Stubb's crowd with a bunch of beloved hits from yesteryear. Watch highlights from the show here.
Watch the Portland rock band Brainstorm blast punchy, post-punk-inspired rhythms at Austin's TenOak during the 2013 South by Southwest music festival. Here, the group performs the thrilling "Maybe a Memory."
Sounding almost post-apocalyptic in its scabrous, searching bleakness, The Terror moans and scrapes ominously from its opening seconds onward. But the album still finds a way to reward deeper exploration, as cracked loveliness seeps into moments that soar tentatively.