British Sea Power
Who’s in Control? (Rough Trade)
Music critics overuse the word anthemic, but there’s really no better way to describe this surging rabble-rouser, which comes on like a no-holds-barred pub brawl between the Clash and Big Country.
Impressions of a City Morning (Slumberland)
There are plenty of psych-pop revivalists around these days, but the unapologetically twee Brown Recluse takes its Farfisa-fuelled jangle out of the garage and into the (purple) sunshine.
Peter Bjorn & John
Second Chance (StarTime International)
PB&J goes the more-cowbell route on its crunchy new single, whose lyrics read like a meditation on the Swedish band’s career since it hit big with Young Folks and then capitalized on that in no way whatsoever.
Go Ghetto Tiger
Seriously demented-sounding synth-punk number about basking in the warm, glowing, warming glow of the boob tube—teacher, mother, secret lover.
From the virtual mix tape of Daydream Nation–era demos streaming at the band’s website, this short instrumental lives up to its title, and says everything you need to know about Sonic Youth in the briefest time possible.
Us V Them (EMI)
There’s nothing worse than having written off an act ages ago, and then stumbling onto a beyond-funky dance jam from a John Peel session in London that makes you realize you totally missed the boat.
In the name of sweet Patsy Cline, where in the hell did Kelly Haigh come from? The answer is, weirdly, Vancouver, with "Busted" as gorgeous a slice of retro-riffic, old-school country as you’ll find without dropping $100 on that Hee Haw box set.
Sorry, it’s not the long-awaited sequel to Queen’s finest moment, but if you’re a fan of baroque chamber pop and you’re tired of praying for that elusive Dead Can Dance reunion, this will ease the pain.
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses
The Poet (Lost Highway)
Whisky-soaked vocals, campfire guitars, and lonesome-plains harmonica transport you instantly to the badlands of Texas, not the worst place to be, considering the shit- stained winter we’ve been having.
Six Organs of Admittance
Hold But Let Go (Drag City)
Building on a steadily rolling acoustic guitar riff, Ben Chasny casts you off into a slowly flowing stream of warmly enveloping psychedelic folk. Just go with it; it’ll take you somewhere nice.
Whip My Hair (Drowning in Blood) (LA’s Fine)
Former Mae Shi member Brad Breeck delivers what starts out as a fuzzed-up cover of a hip-pop song by some movie star’s kid but then goes”¦ somewhere else. We won’t tell you where, but know this: there will be blood.