Sun Kil Moon
(Caldo Verde Records)
Sounds like: A stunningly personal LP from Mark Kozelek, the primary Red House Painter and 47-year-old Ohioan, whose sixth project since RHP’s demise is a knockout.
Free association: The time-old tradition of turning hurt and loss into perfectly realized songs.
For fans of: Bill Callahan x Will Oldham + Willie Nelson, Damien Jurado/A.A. Bondy, Americana.
Sounds like: Chino Moreno (Deftones) and Shaun Lopez (Far) are in metal bands. When they aren’t screaming, they enjoy making ambient, icier electronic music for chilltimes.
Free association: The nods to Sneaker Pimps and Massive Attack are great; the rest is a little cheesy.
For fans of: The Crow + Austra x Thursday, Jesu/Palms, Justice x our collective witch obesession.
Real Hair EP
Sounds like: A new EP from one of the most promising rock bands we’ve got, UMass MFA poet Sadie Dupuis’ ‘90s-worshipping quartet delivers with four songs in 13 minutes.
Free association: She is this perfect hybrid of Stephen Malkmus and Tracy Bonham for 2014.
For fans of: Sleater-Kinney + Marnie Stern x Yuck, Perfect Pussy with Best Coast, poetic punk.
(Top Dawg Entertainment)
Sounds like: Whoa, it’s another Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick/Jay Rock/Ab-Soul) talent to be reckoned with! The first LP from the Chattanooga emcee slays with style.
Free association: A reminder: Hip-hop used to—and still can—employ soul samples, jazz and pianos.
For fans of: Outkast x CRU, SchoolboyQ driving with The Chronic, Black Hippies, heady hip-hop.
Sounds like: The Swedish frontwoman of the Cardigans and A Camp finally gives a completely solo album a go, and her voice isn’t where it used to be, which is both charming and horrific.
Free association: A couple songs sound like a bad Olivia Newton-John record losing battery power.
For fans of: ABBA x Neko Case on quaaludes, Bjork after a few x Stars, vodka-drunk old aunts.
Sounds like: A top duo in the biz, the middle school friends seem like the current masters of nailing that elusive even distribution of guitar rock, psych pop and groove-friendly electronica.
Free association: Still reeling from the Big Boi collabs? They’re rumored to be releasing an EP this year.
For fans of: Grimes/Young Magic/Gardens & Villa, Lykke Li x James Blake, airy goth trip-hop.