Taking their name from a short story written by Russian author, Tatyana Tolstaya, the Austin, Texas folk-rock band could literally be called a garage band - they recorded their debut album in a garage before being signed to Jagjaguwar records where they released four more critically-acclaimed records.
The Roe Family Singers have long been a mainstay at the 331 Club playing every Monday night, minus two, for the past six years. Formed by the husband and wife duo of Quillan and Kim Roe in 2004, now nine members strong the Roe Family Singers are fine tuned folk organization including a musical saw and jug player.
"Soaring vocals" seems to be how Seattle's The Head and the Heart tend to be characterized in many of its music reviews. Writers use those words to describe the multiple part harmonies anchored in solid songwriting that are all over their debut, self-titled release on Sub Pop Records.
David Bazan, who led Pedro the Lion and dabbled in side projects like The Headphones and Undertow Orchestra, began his solo career in 2009 when he released "Curse Your Branches," which touched on personal themes like faith and family. With his latest album "Strange Negotiations," Bazan has changed his songwriting focus from personal struggles to larger, societal struggles including themes of the current political and social climate.
The Sam Roberts band, the five-person Canadian indie-rock band led by their namesake singer-songwriter, recently released their fourth full-length album, Collider. The album offers more of the band's trademark catchy, classic-rock-infused style, but features surprising and interesting guest contributions from members of Chicago rockers Califone and Afrobeat revivalists Antibalas.
How does a band like Face Candy bounce back from losing its founder and one of its core members, Michael "Eyedea" Larsen, this past October? By releasing a new album, of course. The jazz/rap/trip-hop/improvisational group's latest release, Waste Age Teen Land, is the last album Eyedea performed on and produced before his untimely death.
Does a whole equal the sum of its parts? For Thao Nguyen and Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, two accomplished solo artists plus producer Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, equals a complementary push-pull of an album.
Unusual for most artists, each member of the band Sloan, which has maintained the same lineup for decades, contributes equally to songwriting. And at their live shows, each member switches instruments accordingly. They got their name from a friend, who was nicknamed "the Slow One" by his boss, but in the man's French accent, it sounded more like "Sloan."
The famously Scottish four-piece Glasvegas (you don't have to listen hard to hear those Glasgow accents) has been called the next step in UK rock evolution after the Libertines and the Arctic Monkeys. Short-listed for the 2009 Mercury Prize, Glasvegas frontmen and cousins James and Rab Allan hope their lush, emphatic arena rock and emotionally dramatic songwriting inspire fans at their live shows to "lose their inhibitions, get a little bit inebriated, have some romance with a stranger."
Minneapolis band Night Moves' catchy combination of MGMT-like vocals, country strains, and electronic production have made them an up-and-coming local favorite. Featuring members of Mouthful of Bees, Food Pyramid, and Battle Royal, Night Moves have been named a "newish" band to keep an eye on by a few local publications.