Four Songs You Should Hear Right Now: Avers, Sufjan Stevens, Annabel (Lee), Pops Staples

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Avers (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Avers – “Vampire”

I have the great honor of getting to geek out on music directly with KCRW DJs.

In this case, Anne Litt sent this track my way.

She was hooked when she noticed they are from her hometown (Richmond,VA) and it was the Dandy Warhols-like psychedelic pop that grabbed me (though the nonchalant vocal delivery reminds me of Courtney Barnett).

The sextet – which features Tyler Williams from the Head and the Heart — employ a myriad of instruments and esoteric effects to create their infectious sound and I look forward to hearing more. The forthcoming record is still untitled as of now.

Annabel (lee) – ‘Believe”

Jazz fans looking for some modern music to get excited about should love this track “Believe”. It’s incredibly intimate and sounds as if it was recorded decades ago and just discovered.

Annabel (lee) is named after an Edgar Allen Poe poem. It’s actually a duo — Annabel (not Lee) on vocals and lyrics and Richard E, a north Yorkshireman, on production. They were both regulars at a UK music shop, which is how they met. Their debut album will be out later this month.

Chris Douridas shared his praise for this track after hearing Anthony Valadez play it, so I’m passing along the love!

Pops Staples – “Somebody Was Watching”

The songs on “Don’t Lose This”, out now on Anti Records, were originally recorded by Pops Staples and his daughter Mavis in 1999, one year before he died.

Mavis recruited Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy (who collaborated with the singer on two of her solo releases) to add some instrumental touches and new production, with his son Spencer handling drum duty. This track is a true gem.

Sufjan Stevens – “Should Have Known Better

Sufjan Stevens’ new record is heavy.

My best friend and I listened to it as we discussed major issues we are dealing with in our lives and it is the perfect soundtrack to that, both breathtakingly beautiful and heart-wrenchingly sad. Death and loss are major themes on the release, “Carrie & Lowell”, named for Stevens’ mother and stepfather

He visits LA for two shows in June.