Band of Skulls’ new album, Himalayan, is a chunk of guitar-heavy rock akin to Wolfmother. The overall production of the British band’s third release isn’t quite as rough as I like my rock, but the stand out tracks are explosively good and the live performance videos I’ve seen of these guys are spectacular. Fave tracks: “I Guess I Know You Fairly Well” and “I Feel Like Ten Men, Nine Dead And One Dying.” You can hear those tracks and see Band of Skulls’ recent performance of “Asleep at the Wheel” on Late Night with Seth Meyers below.
MØ is Danish singer-songwriter Karen Marie Ørsted. MØ’s debut album, No Mythologies to Follow, is a sultry, rhythmic and somewhat theatrical brand of electro-pop that at least hints at if not resides in the exquisite vein of Florence + the Machine, Lykke Li, MS MR and Phantogram. Fave tracks: “Fire Rides,” “Maiden,” “Never Wanna Know,” “Pilgrim” and “Dust is Gone.”
I liked Midlake’s recent Antiphon album, but I love their 2010 release, The Courage of Others. Beautiful, lush, darkly poetic folk music somewhere between Simon & Garfunkel and “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelin. Fave tracks “Acts of Man,” “Bring Down” and “The Horn,” but the whole album is spectacular.
Lake Street Drive’s new album, Bad Self Portraits, is an upbeat, unusual, funky, bluesy, jazz-influenced pop collection. Lead singer Rachael Price has some killer pipes. Fave tracks: “You Go Down Smooth” and “Just Ask.”
Turns out the first single from St. Vincent’s self-titled release was very representative of the album’s overall sound. “Digital Witness” is the stand out track and one of my favorite songs of the year so far, but tracks like the opener “Rattlesnake” and “Regret” share the same kind of dissonant, off kilter, futuristic art-rock style. It’s perhaps the most cohesive collection by Annie Clark’s alter ego so far. After “Digital Witness,” my favorite track is the trippy “Prince Johnny.” You can download a free, legal mp3 of “Birth in Reverse” by signing up for the mailing list on St. Vincent’s Official Site.