Sounds like: The fifth by the ultimate American modern rock band is their final contractual obligation to RCA and a stirring, excellent finale of sexy glamrock.
Free association: The perfect mix of L.A. and NYC, punk and pop, scuz and swag.
For fans of: Franz Ferdinand/Arctic Monkeys + Spoon x Suicide, tight jeans & leathers.
Sounds like: The Seattle-based band moniker of Michael Benjamin Lerner's fourth LP is a shining beacon of quality buoyant power indie pop and rock. It's a keeper.
Free association: A sunny oscillation between calm/quiet and loud/fast/in your face.
For fans of: Chris Walla/Death Cab x Spoon/Swimmers x Mini Tigers, summer rock.
I Am Not a Human Being II
Sounds like: The mind-blowingly crunk follow-up mixtape is full of his laughably bragadocious dick-and-pussy hip-hop, and it's worth many spins.
Free association: He's such an over-the-top "alien" that his misogyny is a joke.
For fans of: 2 Chainz/Big Sean/Drake/Nicki Minaj x Trina, sativa seizures.
Sounds like: Glasgow rookies who have a promising future using beautiful synths, pretty female vocals, electronic and dance-friendly beats ripe for the club.
Free association: Good thing they're usin' that V—makes em' way more Googleable.
For fans of: Small Black x the Knife, Niki & the Dove + Robyn, the hot new thing.
Girl Who Got Away
Sounds like: The fourth from the quiet UK pop juggernaut, and it's a delightful detour into electronica, with more beats and danciness than ever before.
Free association: You know a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar's only good news.
For fans of: Aimee Mann, Kate Bush, Bic Runga x Suzanne Vega, white flags.
Sounds like: Their third, these idiots from Colorado Springs are just so desperate to move past "Apologize," but they'll only ever be that band.
Free association: A fancy, big production budget, and they still sound like Owl City.
For fans of: Keane/U2, Maroon 5 + Coldplay + The Fray, American Idol-level talent.
The Pack A.D. are built for the road
PW's Music Issue 2014