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Artificial Fire

Eleni Mandell
Self-released

Unsigned singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell has crafted a surprisingly large body of work, an achievement notable enough in itself without discussing the merits of her latest, Artificial Fire.

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Digby has largely and unfairly gone unnoticed outside the region. The band’s evocative sound recalls ’90s alt-rock with a concise, brooding precision I often long for.

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Livin’ In The Past

Relic
Self-released

Relic fast-forward that quintessential, old-time high lonesome sound into the present.

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To Be Still

Alela Diane
Rough Trade

It’s not that it sounds bad; Alela Diane has that Bon-Iver-only-a-girl/Joanna-Newsom-if-she-could-really-sing quality that is certainly appealing.

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The Crying Light

Antony & The Johnsons
Secretly Canadian

Normally, upon hearing the beautiful, terror-stricken falsetto wails and moans of my favorite bird, the common loon, I revel and meditate.

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Astral Weeks Live At The Hollywood Bowl

Van Morrison
Listen To The Lion/EMI

Among the artists that followed the British Invasion was Van Morrison. “Gloria” became a garage rock classic, but who knew his solo career would still go strong?

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Cheap Vodka Rain

Willie Breeding
Self-released

Willie Breeding, whose recordings tip a cap to Hank and Willie, brings that old-timey, soaring white-boy country and blues back to the people.

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Mother of Curses

D. Rider
TIZONA

The new project from Todd Albert Rittmann, D. Rider takes his work with U.S. Maple and filters it through avant noise and improvisation.

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Decade

Clifton Anderson
DOXY/EMARCY

Clifton Anderson is Sonny Rollins’s nephew and longtime trombonist. While his new CD is titled Decade, representing the years since his last solo recording, the keyword is swing.

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Cheerleader

The Odds
SECOND MOTION

The recently reunited Odds instantly invite comparisons with Sloan but pack neither Sloan’s walloping punch nor their endearing shagginess.