Sounds like: The heralded Oxford boys’ third is another delightful batch of ethereal, pretty indie rock with bits of stacatto funk and bouncy dance rhythms.
Free association: They keep getting better, even when Total Life Forever slayed.
For fans of: The XX + Bloc Party, Two Door Cinema Club, Brit groove experts.
Sounds like: Local heroes! This eardrum-rattling opus of sludgy, roaring punk tempered with thoughtfully brilliant lyrics could be Philly’s best of 2013.
Free association: For the desire to go on a strangle-rampage of idiots and asshats.
For fans of: X/Sonic Youth/the Jesus Lizard, Clockcleaner, cathartic noise.
(SCI Fidelity Records)
Sounds like: The Indiana brothers Miller ride again! Easily their best yet, the instrumental band of funk, synths and vaguely jammy electronica goes hip-hop.
Free association: This will do wonders for their loss of that dirty word jamband.
For fans of: Tortoise x Ratatat + DJ Shadow, Empire of the Sun, wordless tunes.
Sounds like: Thoroughly mediocre but inoffensive debut from Provo, Utah rockers who peddle synths and studio-polished pop disguised as alt-radio rock.
Free association: This is what happens when bands are inspired by Coldplay.
For fans of: The Killers x Owl City + the Lumineers, U2/fun., religious rock.
How I Knew Her
Sounds like: Belgium- and France-raised, Stanford-educated and startlingly talented, this official solo debut (she’s half of Pomplamoose) is a pretty work of art.
Free association: Hopefully this one does well, and she’ll keep making records.
For fans of: Feist/Regina Spektor/Joni, The Bird and the Bee, pretty lady rock.
Sounds like: A 30-year-old singer/ songwriter from California on Jack Johnson’s label who’s not cheesy or whiney; retro-flavored folksy goodness.
Free association: Even if you’re not into stuff like this, it’s a pleasant listen.
For fans of: Donovan + Belle & Sebastian x M. Ward, Van Morrison, Quicksilver.