Sounds like: The D.C. emcee’s one of those rare hip-hop artists whose debut may have been his best. His third isn’t bad; it’s got a few keepers. But he’s a lil’ tired.
Free association: A case study in the Rick Rossification of medium-talented rappers.
For fans of: Kid Cudi/2 Chainz/Meek Mill/Kanye + Nicki, radio jamz.
Sounds like: The mysterious British knob-twister, beat-maker and producer doesn’t need to give us any more info—just songs. Because this batch is sickening.
Free association: The cream of the crop, raising the bar for weird electronic euphoria
For fans of: SBTRKT x Darkstar + Actress, Burial/Zed’s Dead, anti-Skrillex talent.
The Leisure Society
Alone Aboard the Ark
(Full Time Hobby)
Sounds like: The fourth from Nick Hemming’s U.K. folk pop act is a lovely listen; albeit somber and serious at times, it’s always pretty and thoughtful.
Free association: Another strong folk family in the British acoustic family tree.
For fans of: Belle & Sebastian x Badly Drawn Boy, Sufjan/the Sea and Cake, acoustic beards.
Sounds like: Excellence, as always, from the 61-year-old Ohio axe master who always employs the right studio help for blissful, funky and groove-heavy jazz rock.
Free association: He may be a balding, aging man, but his mellow hands know no age.
For fans of: Pat Metheny/Bill Frisell, John Medeski + BB King/the Meters.
Sounds like: The fourth from the ladies of Sao Paolo doesn’t have the energy and dance friendliness of past efforts, but it’s still a cool, electronically funky affair.
Free association: Their first’s still a paragon of what dance-punk girls should aspire to.
For fans of: Gossip x Brazilian Girls + Le Tigre/Os Mutantes, ambivalent party girls.