Bones & Beeker: Bones & Beeker Assisted by members of Polica and Atmosphere, Anthony Newes and Brendan Kelly strike new ground with songs which have a vaguely international flavor, much like artists like Vampire Weekend or Tune-Yards. But it is a sound of their own: modest, but memorable, and with enough nooks and crannies to reward repeat listens.
Martin Crane: Physical Therapy Like the actual rehabilitation technique, Crane’s album Physical Therapy relies on repetition to strengthen the melodic musculature of his dynamic pop songs. But, reminiscent of cult-favorite percussionist David Van Tieghem, Crane generates his rhythms from a variety of unexpected places, keeping things lively with sounds both organic and otherworldly.
Beliefs: Leaper The sophomore album from Beliefs, titled Leaper, ebbs and flows with varying levels of fuzzy guitars and driving rhythms, and the perfect blend of their male/female vocals keep things modern. 25 years from now, when "dream pop" returns from a number of years of exile, it may very be records like Leaper that inspire the next generation of shoe-gazers.
Kishi Bashi: String Quartet Live! Indie rock violin master K. Ishibashi (or, as he records under, Kishi Bashi) has been the go-to guy for artists like Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, of montreal, and others when they're in need of some tasty violin licks. But it has been his own pair of solo albums that have struck a chord with discriminating music fans. Now he has released a live album of tracks from his prior albums, specifically arranged for a string quartet. All is all, it is a wonderful survey of an intriguing new artist, in an intriguing, unique setting.
Adam Busch: River of Bricks Inspired by a break from music-making to spend time with his newborn son, Adam Busch has reemerged with a more stripped-down approach.The overall sound is welcoming, warm and comfortable, with Busch's unpretentious vocals drawing the listener in and the gentle melodies keeping them around and encouraging further listening.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Paper Mâché Dream Balloon Sounding like a cross between Jethro Tull and the Flaming Lips on the set of the mid-70s kids show The Wombles, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are authentic miners of retro gold, while never resorting to camp. Paper Mâché Dream Balloon is the kind of record that gives nostalgia a good name.
Fat Freddy's Drop: Bays Using a mix of reggae, funk, jazz and electronic styles, Fat Freddy's Drop have become one of New Zealand's biggest musical exports. Thus, the release of a new album from the band is certainly cause for celebration. Bays easily fits their usual modus operandi, with a couple of twists.
Library Voices: Lovish Lovish, the third full-length album from Canadian band Library Voices, is a record that almost didn't happen due to singer and guitarist Carl Johnson's hospitalization after a random attack where he was beaten and left unconscious on the street. But thankfully, after some hard days of recovery, he has returned and, along with his bandmates, helped to make Lovish a must-listen record for 2015.
Ursula 1000: Voyeur Alex Gimeno is Ursula 1000, the Brooklyn-based producer who for the last 15 years has been making some of the most festive, boogie-inducing tunes around. The fun vibe is very much the same on his new record, Voyeur, even including contributions from old friends like Federico Aubele and Mocean Worker.
Sara Lov: Some Kind of Champion Produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Zac Rae and featuring guest spots from Hauschka and her old Devics partner Dustin O'Halloran, Sara Lov's new record is a perfect antidote to the over-sized productions of so many of today's indie-pop "sensations." Brimming with subtle, but dynamic arrangements, Lov spins emotional tales that she admits are very personal to her, but are never so insular as to be obtuse.
Caravan Palace: Caravan Palace There are very bands that can claim to have absolutely created a new genre, but Caravan Palace actually can. The prime movers in the Electro-Swing sound, this Parisian combo combine old-timey jazz sounds a la Cab Calloway with club vibes fresh out of today's dance scene.
Josh Ritter: Sermon on the Rocks As its title suggests, Sermon On The Rocks is Josh Ritter's foray into what the singer himself calls "messianic oracular honky-tonk," often dispensed via a kind of traveling-preacher/snake-oil-salesman persona. Which means, in turn, that Sermon On The Rocks is lighter than usual on the sincere rumination that has marked many of its predecessors.