If the New York band's first album evoked a cardigan, its follow-up is more of a leather jacket. But along with a greater toughness in Amber Papini's singing, there's also a wider tonal palette at work.
Quilt is a perfect name for a band whose every song seems to knit together three distinct tunes. Its spirited and casual second album makes a great first impression, of the kind that almost inevitably leads to many more.
The power of Kidjo's unflappable voice, the range of her emotional expression, the stellar, genre-bending musicians who back her and the infectious, activist energy that courses through her songs all transcend any native tongue.
The band's third album splits the difference between the guitar-fueled rumble of a '60s basement and the synth-friendly shimmer of an '80s studio. But the additional polish never overwhelms the songwriting.
The bracingly political Florida punk band's new album can't help but feel like a debut: It's the group's first album since singer Laura Jane Grace (formerly Tom Gabel) came out as a woman. She still barks her lyrics with fiercely assertive intelligence, with the added benefit of comfort and courage in her own skin.
Hear an astonishingly beautiful album that helps transform notions of "traditional Irish music." Featuring a lineup with a singer, two fiddles, guitar and piano, The Gloaming is an all-star ensemble, featuring guitarist Dennis Cahill, fiddler Martin Hayes, pianist Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) and more.
The Boston band's second album provides a perfect soundtrack for thoughtful, beautiful times. Gem Club reveals new intricacies on In Roses, which sounds more resplendent with more ambient passages. The voices and cello merge and weave together perfectly.
The L.A. band's swirling sound is full of mysterious buzzes and coos, and there's a sense of everything-in-its-right-place grace and impeccability to it, yet the songs themselves never feel icy or distant. Warpaint's self-titled second album feels fashionable, sure, but not at the expense of approachability.
Many of the North Dakota singer-songwriter's new songs have trapdoors and switchbacks and meta moments, but they're never there for show: It's in the shadows where the sly Brosseau does his best work, transforming earthbound images into intimations of wonder.
Each song on Cash's new album is rooted in the Southern soil connecting her family's old homestead in Arkansas to its ancestral Virginia homeland, expanding to survey its artistic roots in Alabama and Tennessee. Some narratives are fictional, while others mine family lore.