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UPCOMING RELEASES

Latest Additions:

Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy (7/1)
South Rail - Stars EP (5/6)
PHOX - S/T (6/24)
Sara Lowes - The Joy of Waiting (TBA)
Johnossi - Transitions (4/29)
Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean (5/20)
Birdy - Fire Within (6/3 U.S.)
The Milk Carton Kids - Live from Lincoln Theatre DVD (4/29)
Bebel Gilberto - Tudo! (7/29)
Sara Swenson - Runway Lights (Summer TBA)
Challenger - Back to Bellevue (5/27)
Jay Brannan - Always, Then, and Now (7/15)
The Shilohs - S/T (5/13)
Wilsen - Magnolia EP (5/19)
Amber States - Saratoga EP (4/28)
Mimicking Birds - Eons (5/13)
Mark Chadwick (Levellers) - Moment (6/16)
Mary Gauthier - Trouble & Love (6/10)
You Are Wolf - Hawk to the Hunting Gone (5/6 UK)
Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks (5/26)
Beverly Craven - Change of Heart (6/17 UK)
Lonely the Brave - The Day's War (6/3)
Eleanor McEvoy - Stuff (5/12)
Heather Peace - The Thin Line (6/9 UK)
George Ezra - TBA (6/23 UK)
James Taylor - TBA (8/19)
Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie (6/10)
Meshell Ndegeocello - Comet, Come to Me (6/3)
Paul Weller - More Modern Classics (6/3)
Daughter - Live @ Air (4/15)
Imelda May - Tribal (7/29)
The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (5/19)
Phillip Phillips - Behind the Light (5/19)
Nick Mulvey - First Mind (9/16 U.S.)
The Peach Kings - Mojo Thunder EP (6/3)
Ed Sheeran - x (multiply) (6/23)
Puss N Boots (Norah Jones) - No Fools, No Fun (7/15)

April 15

Afghan Whigs - Do To the Beast
Amatorski - From Clay Figures
Amaya Laucirica - Sway (4/18 AUS)
Bobby Bare Jr. - Undefeated
Bruce Springsteen - American Beauty EP (4/19)
Dan Wilson - Love Without Fear
 Daughter - Live @ Air
Dinah Thorpe - Lullabies & Wake Up Calls
Elizaveta - Hero EP
Emerson Hart (Tonic) - Beauty In Disrepair
Horse Thief - Fear In Bliss
Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) - Homo Erraticus
Ingrid Michaelson - Lights Out
Jessica Lea Mayfield - Make My Head Sing...
Jim Kroft - Lunatic Lullabies (UK)
Justin Currie - Lower Reaches
Justin Nozuka - Ulysees
Marika Hackman - Deaf Heat EP
Matthew & The Atlas - Other Rivers (UK)
Needtobreathe - Rivers In the Wasteland
Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love (UK)
Ramona Lisa (Chairlift's Caroline Polachek) - Arcadia
Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky
The Bee Gees - The WB Years 1987-1991 Box
The Both (Aimee Mann, Ted Leo) - S/T
The Secret Sisters - Put Your Needle Down
Thee Oh Sees - Drop
Vaudeville Etiquette - Debutantes and Dealers
Wallis Bird - Architecture (UK)
Woods - With Light & With Love

April 22

Black Prairie (Decemberists) - Fortune
Dwight & Nicole - Shine On
EELS - The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
Fear Of Men - Loom
 G. Love & Special Sauce - Sugar
Hedley - Wild Life
Justin Rutledge - Daredevil (Tragically Hip Songs)
Keb' Mo' - BLUESAmericana
Little Daylight - TBA
Little Feat - Live in Holland 1976
Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos - Sling Shot to Heaven
Sharon Corr - The Same Sun
The Madden Brothers (Good Charlotte) - TBA
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Days of Abandon
To Kill A King - Cannibals With Cutlery (U.S.)
Tom and Hebron - Zoyugo

April 29

Amber States - Saratoga EP
Archie Powell & The Exports - Back In Black
Ben Watt - Hendra
Brigitte DeMeyer - Savannah Road (4/29)
Broken Twin - May
Caitlin Park - The Sleeper (5/2 AUS)
Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Phosphorescent Harvest
Curtis Stigers - Hooray For Lovers
Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) - Everyday Robots
Dave Keller - Soul Changes
Edward David Anderson - Lies & Wishes
Fiona Bevan - Talk To Strangers
Ghost of A Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon) - Midnight Sun
Hafdis Huld - Home
Johnossi - Transitions
Little Hurricane - Gold Fever
Pink Mountaintops - Get Back
Prefab Sprout - Crimson/Red (U.S.)
Rodrigo y Gabriela - 9 Dead Alive
Sam Morrow - Ephemeral
The Currys - Follow
The Howlin' Brothers - Trouble
 The Milk Carton Kids - Live from Lincoln Theatre DVD
The Old 97's - Most Messed Up
Tommy Malone (Subdudes) - Poor Boy
Wye Oak - Shriek 

April TBA

Imogen Heap - Sparks
Neil Young - A Letter Home

May 6

Ben Harper/Ellen Chase-Verdries - Childhood Home
Brian Eno/Karl Hyde - Someday World
Current Swell - Ulysses
Gabrielle Aplin - English Rain EP (U.S.) 
  Gregg Allman & Various Artists - All My Friends (CD/DVD)
Gruff Rhys - American Interior
Jenny Scheinman - The Littlest Prisoner
Kina Grannis - Elements
Leisure Cruise (Dave Hodge, Leah Segal) - S/T
Liam Finn - The Nihilist
Lily Allen - Sheezus
Luke Elliot - Provisions
Lykke Li - I Never Learn
Natalie Merchant - S/T
Nikki Lane - All or Nothin'
Pacifika - Amor Planeta
Papercuts - Life Among the Savages
Rachel Taylor Brown - Falimy
Rae Morris - Do You Even Know? EP (UK)
Ray LaMontagne - Supernova
Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) - Seven Dials (UK)
Sarah McLachlan - Shine On
South Rail - Stars EP
The Horrors - Luminous
Thomas Dybdahl - What's Left Is Forever (US)
Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One
tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack
Willie Watson - Folk Singer, Vol. 1
Wooden Wand - Farmers Corner
You Are Wolf - Hawk to the Hunting Gone (UK)

May 13

Amen Dunes - Love
Braid - No Coast
Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt - For Keeps
Collin Herring - Some Knives
Eleanor McEvoy - Stuff
Jake Bugg - Messed Up Kids EP (UK)
Jeremy Fisher - The Lemon Squeeze
Jesse Denaro - Dear, Love
Joseph Arthur - Lou (Lou Reed Tribute)
Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test
La Sera - Hour of the Dawn
Little Dragon - Nabuma Underground
Megson - In A Box 
Mimicking Birds - Eons
Mirah - Changing Light
Molly Beanland - Night Dreams
Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband
Nick Mulvey - First Mind
Owen Pallett - In Conflict
Rhodes - The Morning EP (5/11 UK)
Swans - To Be Kind 
Sylvan Esso - S/T
The Black Keys - Turn Blue
The Shilohs - S/T
The Trouble With Templeton - Rookie
Tom The Lion - Sleep
Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines
Walter Martin (The Walkmen) - We're All Young Together

May 20

Bry Webb - Free Will
Cara Dillon - A Thousand Hearts (UK)
Coldplay - Ghost Stories
Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) - Upside Down Mountain
Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean
Haley Bonar - Last War
Hundreds - Aftermath
Jolie Holland - Wine Dark Sea
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Going Home
LCD Soundsystem - The Long Goodbye: Live @ Madison Sq. Garden
Malka Spigel - Gliding EP
Nightmare & The Cat - Simple
Oasis - Definitely Maybe 20th Anniv. Ed.
Phillip Phillips - Behind the Light
Smoke Fairies - S/T
Syd Arthur - Sound Mirror
The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Wilsen - Magnolia EP (5/18)
Yann Tiersen - Infinity

May 27

Amy LaVere - Runaway's Diary
Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks
Challenger - Back to Bellevue
John Fullbright - Songs
John Illsley (Dire Straits) - Testing the Waters
Little Barrie - Shadow
Madison - The Bright Light EP
Matthew Barber - Big Romance
Miniature Tigers - Cruel Runnings
moe. - No Guts, No Glory
Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
Teleman - Breakfast
The Ghost Wolves - Man, Woman, Beast
Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers - World of Strangers

May TBA

Bridie Jackson & The Arbour - New Skin
Erlend Øye (Kings of Convenience) - Legao
Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

June 3

Alice Boman - EP II
BANKS - Goddess (Full Length Debut) 
Birdy - Fire Within (U.S.)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Only Run
Echo & The Bunnymen - Meteorites (4/28 UK)
Ethan Johns - The Reckoning (Prod: Ryan Adams)
Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen) - Black Hours
Howling Bells - Heartstrings
James - La Petite Mort
JD McPherson - TBA
Joe Henry - Invisible Hour
Josh Record - Pillars (UK)
Kan Wakan - Moving On
Lonely the Brave - The Day's War
Matisyahu - Akeda
Meshell Ndegeocello - Comet, Come to Me
Paul Weller - More Modern Classics
Peter Murphy - Lion
Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour
Sleep Party People - Floating
The Donkeys - TBA 
   The Peach Kings - Mojo Thunder EP
The Pierces - Creation
The Shoe (w/ Jena Malone) - I'm OK

June 10

Bob Mould - Beauty & Ruin
Cowboy Mouth - Go
First Aid Kit - Stay Gold
Glass Aniimals - Zaba
Got A Girl - I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
Heather Peace - The Thin Line (UK)
Jose James - While You Were Sleeping
Jack White - Lazaretto
Mary Gauthier - Trouble & Love
O.A.R. - The Rockville LP
Passenger - Whispers
Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie
The Who - Quadrophenia Live In London
Tomas Barfod - Love Me

June 17

Beverly Craven - Change of Heart (UK)
Glass Towers - Halcyon Days
Lewis Watson - The Morning
Mark Chadwick (Levellers) - Moment
The Antlers - Familiars
The Felice Brothers - Favorite Waitress      

June 24

Ed Sheeran - x (multiply)
George Ezra - TBA (UK)
PHOX - S/T

Beyond

Allen Stone - TBA (Summer)
As Animals - S/T
Bebel Gilberto - Tudo! (7/29)
Ben Ottewell (Gomez) - Rattlebag (TBA)
Charlene Soraia - Love Is The Law (TBA)
Dear Plastic - The Thieves Are Babes (TBA)
Deluka - BONDS EP (Spring TBA)
Don Henley - Cass County (TBA)
Ellis Paul - Chasing Beauty (TBA)
Empires - Orphans (TBA)
Haroula Rose - Here The Blue River (TBA)
Imelda May - Tribal (7/29)
James Taylor - TBA (8/19)
Jay Brannan - Always, Then, and Now (7/15)
Jonah Tolchin - Clover Road (Summer TBA)
Kite Club - Fresh Air for Humans (TBA)
Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test (Spring TBA)
Little Daylight - TBD (7/15)
Miranda Lee Richards - Echoes of the Dreamtime (TBA)
Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business (Summer)
  Nick Mulvey - First Mind (9/16 U.S.)
Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy (7/1)
Peter Himmelman - The Boat That Carries Us (TBA)
Puss N Boots (Norah Jones) - No Fools, No Fun (7/15)
Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) - The Ceaseless Sight (TBA)
Sara Lowes - The Joy of Waiting (TBA)
Sara Swenson - Runway Lights (Summer TBA)
Sasha Siem - Most of the Boys (TBA)
Scott Matthews - Home Pt. 1 (TBA)
Slow Club - Complete Surrender (7/14)
The Felice Brothers - Favorite Waitress
The Good Natured - Prism (Summer TBA)
The Vespers - Sisters and Brothers (TBA
Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One (TBA)
Toby Lightman - Every Kind of People (TBA)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye (Summer TBA)
Wakey! Wakey! - All It Takes Is A Little Love (TBA)
Winterpills - Echolalia (Covers) (TBA) 
Woman's Hour - Conversations (7/15)

All titles and dates subject to change! Correction? Addition?

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MUSIC NEWS / NEW MUSIC

Friday
Apr182014

Watch: Lera Lynn - "Lying In the Sun"

The title track of Lera Lynn's EP Lying In the Sun is a soulful and sultry slow-burner that gets an equally seductive production in the new video. The Georgia-raised singer and songwriter is currently prepping the release of her second full-length album The Avenues (date TBA), an album we've described as "a collection of richly textured and accomplished modern Americana and alt-country songs that fit as comfortably in the pass-the-hat songwriter venues of New York's Lower East Site as they do in the numerous clubs near her current home in Nashville." Read more at our original RADAR, stream the EP (and get a free download of "Sun") at her Soundcloud page.

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Friday
Apr182014

Friday Cover: Rosanne Cash - "Biloxi" (Jesse Winchester)

Jesse Winchester passed away a week ago at the age of 69 leaving a legacy as a songwriter's songwriter. His first album, produced by The Band's Robbie Robertson and engineered by Todd Rundgren, stands as a brilliant and understated collection of songs and a sound that paved the way for what we now know as Americana. "As underrated a singer as Chet Baker," wrote Janis Ian in tribute. "As underrated a guitarist as Willie Nelson. A man who held the audience in the palm of his hand without moving an inch. One of the best songwriters on earth." On the 2012 Winchester tribute album Quiet About It, Rosanne Cash recorded this lovely version of "Biloxi," a song that would fit perfectly with the southern theme of her latest album The River and the Thread.

Rosanne Cash - "Biloxi" (Jesse Winchester)

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Thursday
Apr172014

RADAR: PHOX

If anyone or anything might put Baraboo, WI, on the map, we're thinking it might just be PHOX. High school chums who each left town and then returned, the group became a band in a communal home in nearby (and immensely more hip) Madison. Their bio describes their music as straddling "Feist and Monty Python," but we're hearing some rather intriguing, nimble alt/pop with enough artful and sophisticated musical sidetrips to keep things interesting and unpredictable. Fronted by singer/lyricist Monica Martin, PHOX create a curious amalgam of intricate indie pop, neo-soul, folk and tongue-in-cheek cabaret songs that never seem to end up where you think they're headed. Time signatures switch up, a kitchen sink's worth of instruments drift in and out (horns, strings, you name it), melodies turn on a dime, moods ebb and flow and Martin's lovely, natural voice just flits about above it all in one oddly compelling melody after another. Produced by Brian Joseph (Bon Iver), PHOX's self-titled debut drops June 24 via Partisan. Click through to stream a live version of the exquisite "Blue and White."

PHOX - "Slow Motion" (from PHOX)

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Thursday
Apr172014

Listen: Paolo Nutini - "Iron Sky"

“Fuck!!! This is one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life hands down,” tweeted Adele when she saw the live-in-the-studio take of Paolo Nutini's "Iron Sky." No wonder. Taken from his new album Caustic Love, just out in the U.K., and the U.S.-only EP of the same name (full-length due later this year), "Iron Sky" takes the soulful belting of Caustic Love's lead track "Scream (Funk My Life Up)" and slows it down to a simmer while losing none of the emotional power. Click through to watch the "Iron Sky" video from the live Abbey Road studio sessions that got Ms. Adele in such a tizzy. More DC on Nutini and "Scream" here and here.

Paolo Nutini - "Iron Sky" (from the Caustic Love album and Iron Sky EP)

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Thursday
Apr172014

BRIEFS: South Rail

Boasting the tight-knit harmonies of Jay Byrd and Laura Supan and a sound that deftly balances modern Americana and timeless Dixie-meets-SoCal folk/rock, Washington DC's South Rail craft songs that wear their '70s influences as comfortably as a pair of well-worn jeans. Famed producer (and Blue Note records chief) Don Was, known for his studio work with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer and The Rolling Stones, layers a rich, organic dimension to the band's May 6 self-released EP Stars, amping up Supan's keys and Byrd's guitar and bringing in the fiddle of Punch Brother Gabe Witcher for a rustic touch. It takes only a few seconds for lead track "Be That Way Again" to evolve from a slight acoustic strum to full-bodied sound, mellow but with a formidable kick. Stream the band's self-titled 2013 debut EP here...

South Rail - "Be That Way Again" (from the Stars EP)

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Wednesday
Apr162014

Matthew and the Atlas - Other Rivers

After pair of excellent EP's in 2010 (To The North and Kingdom of Your Own), Matthew Hegarty, namesake of London's Matthew and The Atlas, didn't drop anything else but he did pretty much drop off the radar. As the few teasing new tracks last year indicated, MATA's long-awaited debut full length Other Rivers (April 15, Communion) is dramatic folk/pop unconstrained by any notion of stripped-down acoustic barriers: the stage has definitely been reset from the buskery pub stomp-a-longs of his earlier works to embrace decidedly more theatrical alt-pop environs as well. The distinctive rasp of a voice still plays like a beautiful vintage instrument, lending some natural "everyman" gravity to the instrumental grandeur. Click through to stream "Everything That Dies" and watch the videos for "Pale Sun Rose" and "Nowhere Now."

Matthew & The Atlas - "Pale Sun Rose" (from Other Rivers)

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Wednesday
Apr162014

Watch: Marisa Nadler - "Drive"

Directed by Galaxie 500 member Naomi Yang, the new video for Marisa Nadler's brooding ballad "Drive" combines Nadler's sweetly nuanced vocals and gentle acoustic backing with some interesting projected images from the work of French artist Bernard Faucon. Says Yang: "The video tells the story of Marissa facing her own ambition—as well as her disappointments — but ultimately of her desire to reach people through her music. It’s presented as a series of metaphors, or a surreal dream, but one in which Marissa is an active participant in her future (not a passive witness) as she explores her feelings about making music." Nadler's July is available now.

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Wednesday
Apr162014

RADAR: Emma Ruth Rundle

Taking a brief hiatus from a variety of band projects -- Marriages, Red Sparrowes, The Nocturnes -- L.A.-based performer Emma Ruth Rundle heads deep into spectral goth/folk and alt/pop territory with her debut solo album Some Heavy Ocean (May 20, Sargent House). The new project, co-produced with engineer Chris Common, is self-described simply as "a series of expressions realized by the simplicity of guitar and voice." The aural environs are shrouded in post-rock ambience and echoing acoustic riffs, Rundle's voice cutting through the dense production fog like a reassuring beacon of flickering light. New preview track "Run Forever" bears a heftier sound than the initial taster "Arms I Knew So Well," a track that turns languid Mazzy Star-lit dream pop into an imposing shadowy, gently swirling dirge. Click through below for "Arms."

Emma Ruth Rundle - "Run Forever" (from Some Heavy Ocean)

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Wednesday
Apr162014

BRIEFS: Hayden Calnin

Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Hayden Calnin uses his studio production background to great effect on his just-released second EP of atmospheric folktronica Oh, Hunter. Generous reverb amps up the spaciousness of Calnin's slow-moving bedroom hymns while his vocals, occasionally taking flight with an haunting falsetto, add a special dimension of somber solitude. Think a stripped down Sigur Ros with a touch of mellow Bon Iver. Like the soundtrack to a nocturnal dreamscape, songs like "Not Good For Me" drift and sway in a warm narcotic haze. Click through to stream "Coward" and watch the "Comatose" video and a pair of live performances.

Hayden Calnin - "Not Good For Me" (from Oh, Hunter)

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Tuesday
Apr152014

Watch: Tristen - "Gold Star"

Nashville (sm)art/pop songstress Tristen gave us one of the year's best albums of last year with her critically acclaimed CAVES and the breezy, sharp-hooked "Gold Star" is our favorite track of the bunch. Catch the dizzying, kaleidoscopic "Gold Star" video, watch the "Catalyst" video and then trek back to last fall's DC post on CAVES here.

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Tuesday
Apr152014

Listen: Ed Harcourt (w/ Ren Harvieu) - "Sweet Malaise"

Despite rhyming "misanthrope" and "antidote" (in the first line, even), utilizing the line "I tooketh and I gaveth away" and crooning and swooning like Frank and Nancy Sinatra, the new "Sweet Malaise" from Ed Harcourt and Ren Harvieu, has no small amount of lush, kitschy appeal. It's the B-side of Harcourt's new single "In My Time of Dust" from his recent EP Time of Dust (more DC here).

Ed Harcourt (w/ Ren Harvieu) - "Sweet Malaise"

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Tuesday
Apr152014

RADAR: Aldous Harding

With her impossibly fragile, quavering voice and a batch of mesmerizing songs, New Zealand singer/songwriter Aldous Harding has delivered a self-titled debut album that is so far into and so far beyond what might be described as traditional folk music that it both transcends and transforms the genre. On the surface, Harding (actual name Hannah) creates mystical and mysterious songs that sound like they've been dusted off from the 60's era folk vinyl crate at some U.K. flea market. But spend the time and dive a bit deeper and the tracks, like the devastatingly mournful and intimate "No Peace," become extended, haunting journeys into heartwrenchingly personal territory. Aldous Harding is an album that demands your full attention. Our suggestion: wait until after midnight, remove all distractions, plug in some good headphones and track all nine songs from start to finish in one sitting. Then exhale. Repeat. Stream the album here. Click through to watch the video for "Hunter" and listen to "No Peace."

Aldous Harding - "Small Bones of Courage" (from Aldous Harding)

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Monday
Apr142014

Dan Wilson - Love Without Fear

Former Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson is a man who wears as many hats as he has options. A decade's worth of platinum songwriting with artists as diverse as Taylor Swift, The Dixie Chicks, Pink, Josh Groban, NAS and Ben Folds has made him a platinum-selling go-to songwriter specializing in tailoring his melodic gifts with an artist's own particular style and lyrics. The Twin Cities tunesmith has put almost a million dollars in the bank thanks to co-writing just one song: "Someone Like You," the massive international hit off Adele's 21. But now, Wilson says he "wanted to hear what the music in my own head sounded like." This week we get the chance to hear as well with the long-awaited release of Love Without Fear, Wilson's first studio album since 2007. After a DIY version of the album was scrapped -- "there was something missing: other people") -- Wilson enlisted some A-list support including guitarists Blake Mills and Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins and vocal backup from the likes of Sara Bareilles, Sara Watkins and Natalie Maines. Click through to stream "Even the Stars Are Sleeping," the albums only co-write (with Rachael Yamagata) featuring Missy Higgins on harmonies.

Dan Wilson - "Two" (from Love Without Fear)

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Monday
Apr142014

Listen: Lana Del Rey - "West Coast"

Not to read too much into a photo, but the rather faded, yellowed image of Lana Del Rey on the cover of her new single "West Coast" does say at least 999 words on the rather dramatic change she's been goin' through musically. Gone are the glam pin-up Hollywood posings and the fresh-from-the-salon lacquer. Now Lana's decided to hold the cheese with a Laurel Canyon 1972 look that suits her and her new Dan-Auerbach-produced track. Nice to see a tiny speck of dirt under those fingernails. Figuratively speaking, of course. Click through below to behold the new image. The new Ultraviolence project supposedly drops late spring (TBA).

Lana Del Rey - "West Coast" (from Ultraviolence)

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Monday
Apr142014

Watch: Wallis Bird - "Hardly Hardly"

Wallis Bird's new album Architect, out today in the U.K., has a vivid sense of place and new direction, musically and geographically. Relocating from London to Berlin, the Irish-bred singer/songwriter says her new songs “began with needing a big change in my personal life and environment, and as soon as I realised that I was going to move to Berlin I felt the muse immediately. That gave me a kind of blind confidence to experiment freely.” Known for her high energy live shows and ability to shred an acoustic guitar's strings over the course of a few songs, Bird found herself fascinated with Berlin's more electronica-leaning musical atmosphere. "Hardly Hardly," reflects that new plugged-in circuitry while still giving the listener an idea as to how the song would be constructed in an acoustic setting. And with the acoustic live performance below (click through) you can hear the result. More DC on Wallis here...

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Friday
Apr112014

Friday Cover: The Staves - "Songbird" (Fleetwood Mac)

British nu-folk trio The Staves (Emily, Jessica, and Camilla Staveley-Taylor) take on the Fleetwood Mac Rumours-era standard "Songbird" by Christine McVie and turn what was already a classic into something fresh and different. It's no secret that the late, great Eva Cassidy had pretty much put her own indelible (and exceptionally fine) stamp on the song years ago, but this version from a MOJO covers collection has it's own straightforward charm with a simple production and some lovely three-part harmonies. More DC on The Staves and their Dead and Born and Grown debut album here.

The Staves - "Songbird" (from Rumours Revisited)

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Friday
Apr112014

RADAR REDUX: Wilsen

Over a year ago we first tipped you to London-born Tamsin Wilson and her NY-based collective Wilsen (which we surmise is the plural of Wilson). Much has happened stateside over the past year with opening slots for the DC-RADARed London Grammar, San Fermin and Daughter and the Wilsen trio are readying Stage 2 with the release of a new EP Magnolia (May 19) and a long-awaited return to the U.K. As we noted last year, Wilsen plies song graced with "gentle, airy vocal melodies and an atmosphere that seems conjured up by someone lacing the communion wine with a warm hallucinogen. These hymns have a blurry but beautiful celestial buzz, often starting in a whispered hush and then expanding, slowly, as rhythms rise and the band ebbs and builds again." Not unexpectedly, "Magnolia" advances the Wilsen modus operandi while wisely tightening the focus on the key melodic elements of the song. Needless to say, we're expecting big things. More via our original Wilsen post from 2013 here.

Wilsen - "Magnolia" (from the Magnolia EP)

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Thursday
Apr102014

Watch: Hozier - "To Be Alone" (Live)

Major labels have been notoriously gun-shy when it comes to signing new artists lately -- particularly unknown and untested ones from across the pond. Columbia has been stepping up to the bar in fine fashion recently with new DC-faved acquisitions like Asgeir, First Aid Kit, Chloe Howl and London Grammar. Add to that list Irish singer/songwriter Hozier (aka Andrew Hozier-Byrne). We tipped you recently to Hozier's From Eden EP and now we've got an acoustic performance video of "To Be Alone" shot in an old hotel ballroom in Kilkenny, Ireland. Hozier returns to the U.S. for seven showcase performances in May (see dates below) and will complete his debut album for release later this year.

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Thursday
Apr102014

Listen: Emm Gryner - "Math Wiz"

A relationship gone bad gets analyzed by the numbers in "Math Wiz," a brisk bit of catchy folk/pop goodness from veteran Canadian singer/songwriter Emm Gryner and her just released tenth album Torrential. Of course we get things "divided," "taken away" and "summed up," but as Gryner sings at the outset, "sue me if that sounds a little weak." No worries.

Emm Gryner - "Math Wiz" (from Torrential)

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Thursday
Apr102014

BRIEFS: Mimicking Birds

As the title of the second album from Mimicking Birds, Eons seems about right. It's been a long four-year wait since songwriter/guitarist Nate Lacy and his Portland, OR, band released their acclaimed eponymous debut but in describing his new album as an exploration of "the infinite and the infinitesimal" he's also clearly looking at the big, rather timeless, picture. The music of his Birds, however, remains grounded and human-sized: warm and ethereal musings that mix an acoustic heart with just enough shimmering, artful embellishments to lend the songs a larger-than-life feel. Lead track "Bloodlines" is one of our favorite songs of the year, a stunning melody floating above twinkling guitar lines and a shuffling, unpredictable time signature. Eons drops May 13 via Modest Mouse-man Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace label. Click through for "Burning Stars" from the 2010 debut.

Mimicking Birds - "Bloodlines" (from Eons)

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