Sounds Like: The Norwiegan 32-year-old’s sixth is a gorgeous new set of beautifully sad songs and gentle ballads that probably won’t sell very well in the U.S., either.
Free Association: Success in other countries guarantees nothing; we like sex and expletives.
For Fans Of: Jeff Buckley + Nick Drake, Sondre Lerche, dark charm, Norwegian wood.
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
Kings And Queens
Sounds Like: Canadian roots rock heroes invite a different well-suited lady singer on each track to great effect: Lucinda, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou, Wara Watkins, etc.
Free Association: Try to overlook 2005’s NY Times talk of them being on George W’s iPod.
For Fans Of: Leonard Cohen + ladies, Junkhouse, countrified collabs, dixie duets.
Love Has Made Me Stronger
Sounds Like: Drag City dug around in the attic of the ’70s, found old clay bongs and protest signs, and the catalogue of an under-loved hippie harpist who sings like a bird.
Free Association: Joanna Newsom straight-up wholesale bought this bitch’s bag.
For Fans Of: Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Emmylou, sun dresses, hemp, communes.
PW's Music Issue 2014