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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


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)


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?


2013 Featured Releases
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RADAR: Alice Boman

It's fitting that Swedish songstress Alice Boman has named her forthcoming release EP II. Clearly, the Malmö songwriter's penchant for stripping things down to their barest core goes beyond her own deceptively simple and subdued hymnal melodies. Her debut EP was titled Skisser or "sketches," after all, an apt description for the lo-fi recordings she again displays in a sort of half-light, post-nocturne haze on her upcoming June 3 release. Boman's vocals are airy, cool and unaffected and give her songs an uncluttered elegance, similar, in an unexpected way, to Nick Drake's haunting Brit-folk compositions where just a voice and an instrument are all that's required. Lead track (and video) "What" is as succinct as its title, a lovely example of hushed chamber/pop blessed with a perfectly formed melody that seems to hang in the air even as the final notes fade. Click through to watch "What" as well as "Waiting" and "Skiss 3" from her earlier EP.


Alice Boman - "What" (from EP II)

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Listen: Highasakite - "Lover, Where Do You Live"

Norway's Ingrid Helene Håvik not only has a lot of interesting things to say, she and her band Highasakite have an equally impressive number of interesting ways to say them. As we opined in our advance take on their latest album Silent Treatment, "what could have become a grandiose and unwieldy sonic train wreck is instead sleek, razor sharp and agile, just off-kilter enough to hold your interest (and then some) while zig-zagging towards something adventurous and fresh." Take the album's opening track "Lover, Where Do You Live," a song that manages to sound dramatically big and intimately small simultaneously. Silent Treatment drops today in the U.S. The band recently wrapped a U.S. tour with London Grammar. More DC on Silent Treatment here....

Highasakite - "Lover, Where Do You Live" (from Silent Treatment)

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RADAR: Misty Boyce

Since the release of her self-titled 2010 debut album, Misty Boyce has finished college, given up music, ended a long-term relationship, transplanted herself from New York to L.A., started writing and playing again, toured with (and backed) the likes of Sara Bareilles and Greg Laswell and recorded the 2013 EP Tough Love. Late last fall, Boyce headed to Eastbourne, UK, and recorded a batch new songs along with re-working a few older ones with producer Dave Lynch. Set for release later this year, sophomore longplayer The Life promises more of the type of sharp melodic folk/pop and thoughtful lyricism amply displayed on songs like "Not A Wasted Love" and "Like It's Suicide." What comes down, she says, to "the essence of a melody and a story." Check out her Pledge Music campaign for The Life here.

Misty Boyce - "Not A Wasted Love"

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The Honey Trees - Bright Fire

It's really no surprise that Charlie Peacock, the producer behind the meteoric rise of the late, lamented The Civil Wars, was instrumental in the early stages of California's The Honey Trees. Both duos share an affinity for finely crafted, harmony-laden folk/pop melodies and an image of sincere, totally unhipster-ish likeability. Debut album Bright Fire (April 8) reflects The Honey Trees' moniker-conjured imagery of idyllic splendor, which is exactly what Jacob Wick and Becky Filip were looking for from producer Jeremy Larson: “He essentially took our music to another world. He helped us achieve the magical, dreamy, otherworldliness we always strive for when writing music.” Click through below for "Nightingales."

The Honey Trees - "By the River" (from Bright Fire)

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Watch/Download: Early Winters - "Walking Through Fire" (Acoustic)

Take one Brit-born indie songwriter: Carina Round. Add Canadian root/folk tunesmith Justin Rutledge. Blend together well with the studio backing of musician Zac Rae and producer / instrumentalist Dan Burns and you get a cool, bracing musical elixir known as Early Winters. We noted earlier that their new eponymous sophomore album has an "appealingly weightless feel" with Round and Rutledge evoking a "harmonious vibe" on songs that "tie together sumptuous dream pop, Hotel Cafe melodies and vintage Laurel Canyon folk/rock." Today we're serve up a fine acoustic version of the band's new single "Walking Through Fire" via the "one mic" video performance below as well as an exclusive free download of the track: just click through below. If you're within driving distance of New York City, check out Early Winters at Rockwood Music Hall this Wednesday night. Info and tickets here.

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RADAR: Josh Record

We can tell you that singer/songwriter Josh Record -- yes, he will remind you, that's his real name -- makes his home in Brixton, UK. But Record seems to be most happy on the road, not just touring, but traveling. From New York to Alaska in a converted school bus, trips across Turkey and Norway, mingling and occasionally making music with the locals, from the slums of Nairobi to an abandoned house on an estate in South London. There's a disarmingly open feel to his music, a mix of artful, accessible adult pop shot through with elements of folk and soul, all held together with his tender, understated vocals. After a debut EP last July and excellent single "Bones" -- which we featured last fall -- Record is readying his debut full-length Pillars for a June 2 drop in the U.K. via Virgin. New EP and single "For Your Love," a remake of an early release, has been garnering some solid Brit play thanks in part to a remix from Dot Major (London Grammar) but we're even more taken with the sweet, sweeping "Wonder." Click through for" Pictures In the Dark" and watch the "Bones" and "For Your Love" videos.

Josh Record - "Wonder"

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Watch: Coldplay - "Magic"

The presence of actress Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) immediately piqued our collective interest today in "Magic," the new nicely executed if overly literal-minded video from Coldplay and director Jonas Akerlund and taken from the band's forthcoming Ghost Stories, due May 19. And for some more stunning film work featuring Ziyi Zhang (or more appropriately, Zhang Ziyi) check out The Grandmaster streaming now on Netflix.



Friday Cover: Kristina Train - "I'm Wanderin'" (Aretha Franklin)

When Bruce Springsteen calls to wish you a happy birthday, it's probably a pretty good day. Kristina Train had heard that Springsteen was a fan, Bruce having raved about the title track of Train's Dark Black album in interviews and describing the Savannah-raised, London-based singer as "very Dusty Springfield." The two talked on the phone about their shared love of classic R+B, among other things, an affection that Train had explored even more deeply last summer with this sultry version of Aretha Franklin's "I'm Wanderin'." For more Train covers -- Jackson Browne, Sandy Denny, The Waterboys -- check out our post from exactly one year ago today (a really spooky coincidence, we swear) and click through below to watch the video for the song that put Kristina on Bruce's radar.

Kristina Train - "I'm Wanderin'" (Aretha Franklin Cover)

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S. Carey - Range of Light

Artists capable of embracing both the organic and the manufactured, the acoustic and the electronic, and do so in a completely natural, unaffected way, are rare. S. Carey, a longtime member of Justin Vernon's Bon Iver, is one of the best. Trained in percussion and piano and an admirer of the impressionistic, minimalism of Steve Reich, Carey creates sumptuous chamber/folk with a deep and complex rhythmic undertow. Like the natural vistas that inspire him, the songs on Carey's new album Range of Light (April 1, Jagjaguwar) display a kind of quiet panoramic vision. The title, he says "denotes the spectrum of light and dark a person can have in their life - peaks and valleys of happiness, sorrow, challenges and growth – for me most recently and more specifically: marriage, having a baby, and maintaining a spiritual connection to nature, place, friends and family as an adult." Click through below to stream "Crown the Pines" (featuring Vernon in vocal support) and watch the video for "Fire-scene."

S. Carey - "Neverending Fountain" (from Range of Light)

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Listen: Scott Matthews - "Virginia"

Brit singer/songwriter and acclaimed guitarist Scott Matthews has finished up his fourth studio album Home, Pt.1 for general release later this year (available now at his site). The album's lead track "Virginia," a song that references the album title's theme, was given something of a preview last year in a performance at Guild Lounge. If you're not familiar with Matthews, click through below to watch the video for "Elusive," the brilliant song that first got him noticed a few years back.  It's pretty easy to hear why Robert Plant became an early believer.

Scott Matthews - "Virginia" (Live at the Guild Lounge) (from the album Home Pt. 1)

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Justin Rutledge - Daredevil

When Justin Rutledge says "The Hip bind us together," fellow Canadians surely know what he's referring to even if Americans are perhaps scratching their heads. "The Hip" are The Tragically Hip, the North of the Border iconic indie band that has churned out thirteen beloved, award-winning albums over the past thirty years. Rutledge, following up his Juno-nominated 2013 album Valleyheart and on the heels of his collaboration with Carina Round in The Early Winters, offers something of an homage to The Hip with Daredevil (April 22, Outside Music), a collection of ten smart and often inspired reworking of songs from the enduring band's mostly '90s repertoire. “I chose songs that resonated with me in my youth,” says Rutledge. “It was a little like memory lane, at times." The album was recorded "live off the floor" in Toronto with minimal overdubs, leaning heavily on both the acoustic and the atmospheric (love the use of haunting guitar feedback) to deliver tracks stripped and slowed down. Click below for "Thugs."

Justin Rutledge - "Courage (for Hugh MacLennan" (from Daredevil)

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Folly and the Hunter - Tragic Care

Tragic Care is about the healing that takes place following the mourning of a friend or family member's death. It's also about what likes in the wake of a shattered relationship built on betrayal. Members of the Montreal-based Folly and the Hunter, led by singer Nick Vallee, went through variations of those grieving heartaches and their (sm)art/pop songs, emanating an emotional warmth through rich melody and intricate harmony, strangely belie the dark lyricism unfolding. Released last year digitally, the album makes its CD appearance (how quaint) April 8. If, like us, you missed it the first time get on board now. Better late than never. Click through for "Watch for Dear at Dawn" and check out their version of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" at DC here.

Folly and the Hunter - "Vultures" (from Tragic Care)

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Watch: Bear's Den - "Don't Let the Sun Steal You Away"

Normally we don't go for these "in the rough" live outdoor videos. They're usually plagued by mediocre sound and generally lousy production -- guess that's supposed to be part of the charm. But this one, featuring London folk/pop trio Bear's Den, defies the odds. Since we first tipped you to Andrew Davie, Joey Haynes, and Kevin Jones in January of last year, the band have followed up their debut Agape EP with the equally fine Without/Within EP that dropped stateside last month. Click through to watch the official video for "Sahara."

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Watch: Aidan Knight - "Margaret Downe"

When we first heard "Margaret Downe" on Aidan Knight's excellent Small Reveal we not only declared it "breathtakingly gorgeous" we featured the song's lyrics as well since the story revealed -- of heartache, lost love, regret, death and dentistry (all our favorite topics) -- makes the song the dramatic tour-de-force that it is. New video, directed by Ft. Langley, adds visuals without distracting from the lyrics. Catch Knight on a brief U.S. northeast tour with James Vincent McMorrow beginning Friday in Boston and watch the remarkable video for "A Mirror" at DC here. And, yes, click through for the lyrics...

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Joan Osborne - Love and Hate

"Love isn’t just one thing," says Joan Osborne on the topic of her April 8 album Love and Hate (eOne), "it can be made up of faith and passion, power struggles, humor, anguish, deep spirituality, lust, anger, everything on that spectrum." That emotional breadth permeates every groove of Osbornes new project, an album that finds the singer once again in songwriting mode after her Grammy nominated 2012 excursion into classic blues covers on Bring It On Home. Co-producing again with Jack Petruzzelli (Patti Smith, Rufus Wainwright), Osborne instills Love and Hate with both a roots-based earthiness as well as the rich, lustrous feel of a classic torch song. The must-hear "Kitten's Got Claws" is a pulsing portrait of a spiteful ex, all the simmering anger and resentment spilling out in full, if quietly measured, display. Meow, indeed. Click through for the lushly orchestrated "Train."

Joan Osborne - "Kitten's Got Claws" (from Love and Hate)

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RADAR: Matthew Barber

Over the past decade, Matthew Barber has released a steady flow of acclaimed albums north of the border but remains a relative unknown in the states. That may change with the May 27 release of Big Romance (Outside Music), a new project that finds the Toronto singer/songwriter working with producer/instrumentalist and Jayhawks founder Gary Louris, an Americana pioneer Barber counts as "one of my contemporary musical heroes." Following up his self-produced eponymous release of 2010 and a turn at writing music for a theatrical production (The Haunted Hillbilly), Barber turns his sights on romance, sort of, in what he calls a "wide-reaching idea" generated from the new LP's title. “Some songs are about love, but others deal with death, despair and that which lurks in the shadows," he says of Big Romance. Lead track "Hold Me" features harmonies from Matthew's sister and fellow performing songwriter Jill Barber. Click through to stream "Easily Bruised" from the Juno-nominated Ghost Notes.

Matthew Barber - "Hold Me" (from Big Romance)

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Watch: Fanfarlo - "Cell Song"

We have a fondness for the jittery alt-pop of London's Fanfarlo. We also like inspired animated music videos. With "Cell Song," from the album Let's Go Extinct, we get both. Described by the band as "an evolutionary love story," the track is about how we're each the product of "billions of little organisms that at one point decided that they were better off together." Romantic, no? The video was directed by Ewan Jones Morris who created the eye-popping stop-motion video from thousand of inkjet-printed sheets of paper using pics from science fiction and kiddie story books. More DC on Extinct here.

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BRIEFS: Woman's Hour

There's not a rough or jagged edge to be found in the elegant, gently percussive art-pop from London quartet Woman's Hour. There's also no shortage of U.K. bands melding laid-back layered electronica with sultry female vocals (re: London Grammar, Holy Milk, Mt. Wolf, Arthur Beatrice), but Woman's Hour add their own subtle distinctions to the budding genre with frontwoman Fiona Burgess' dispassionate, smooth-as-silk vocals and the band's dreamy pop minimalism. Even when the pulse quickens a bit the nocturnal atmosphere remains spacious and serene. Debut album Conversations drops July 15 via Secretly Canadian. Click through below to stream (and watch) "Her Ghost."

Woman's Hour - "Conversations" (from the album Conversations)

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Watch: The Antlers - "Palace"

"Palace" is the welcome new track and video from Brooklyn's The Antlers, the art/pop trio and critical darlings led by falsettoed frontman Peter Silberman. Taken from the band's forthcoming June 17 album Familiars, the song exemplifies what we've referred to before as The Antlers' "painstakingly cinematic and intricately textured" music. The impressionistic video for "Palace" was directed by Hana Tajima. Click through for the lyrics.

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Watch: James Vincent McMorrow - "Red Dust"

James Vincent McMorrow's "Red Dust" not only gives us the chance to highlight another track from his exquisite January album Post Tropical, it presents the opportunity to highlight the video's director Aoife McArdle and director of photography Stephen Annis (who shot Arthur Beatrice's "Late"). Unlike most music videos that come across as cheezy marketing strategies or dimbulb self-indulgence, "Red Dust" and "Cavalier" (below) deliver an interesting and provocative narrative as well as striking visual images. Note: brief nudity might make this NSFW. Stay tuned for another Annis-shot vid later this week. More DC on McMorrow and Post Tropical here...

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