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Ratboys :: Happy Birthday, Ratboy

Revisiting songs from their debut 2011 EP and various favorites from a ten-year career, this sunny folk-pop ensemble is buoyed by brightly colored harmony balloons dangling deathly sharp unexpected hooks. Listen with care and often.

Josh Caterer :: The Hideout Sessions

Caterer was the unmistakable voice behind the Smoking Popes, and his post-Popes career has taken many interesting turns, something reflected in this collection of croony standards and revisited songs from his previous band.

Genghis Tron :: Dream Weapon

Lush synthetic bitscapes, layered with drones, sweeps, short loops, and the ecstasy of robots make for a propulsive immersion into a world of flow.

El Michels Affair :: Yeti Season

They couldn’t figure out why they kept returning. At first, the hookah lounge was a noxious hangout, bearable only for the crushed-on bartender. Then, suspicion of nicotine addiction. Finally, the realization that it was the music on the jukebox.

Les Cowboys Fringants :: Les nuits de Repentigny

The surprising part is not that this Quebec outfit mixing country music, folk, surf, and a dash of Elvis exists, but that they have been doing this for three decades plus and yours truly is just finding out.

Olivia Jean / April March :: Palladium EP

This is basically one song, rendered in three different ways by each artist, for a total of six complete blasts of enjoyment. Olivian Jean delivers the mermaid vibes, and April March is full of her usual yeh yeh, so you really can’t go wrong.

Knoxville Girls :: In A Ripped Dress

Kid Congo Powers has a musical resume you wouldn’t believe, and this particular outing for his talents is garage psychobilly supreme, a wonderfully uncouth expression of much-needed sophisticated boom boom.

Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird :: These 13

These two have always made for a dynamic pairing, a yin and yang of raw backwoods holler and big-city sophistication that together make for some of the most genuine American folk music to come out of your newfangled contraption.