Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood
Sounds like: The nearly 50-year-old Screaming Trees founder teams with a master composer/producer for darkly beautiful and haunting Americana.
Free association: His dusty sadness is a perfect match for Garwood’s ambient score.
For fans of: Quiet Dinosaur Jr. x Nick Cave, Damien Jurado/Seattle grunge, Waits.
(From the Rib/Sony/RED)
Sounds like: The Philly native’s fourth and first in 11 years has seen tons of delays, but now it’s out, and it’s way more bangin’ than anyone’s gonna expect.
Free association: Despite a slew of guests, Eve’s the centerpiece of this hard comeback.
For fans of: Chrisette Michele/Missy Elliot + The Neptunes, Snoop/Pusha T, Philly.
Sounds like: Outstanding Mexi punk from San Antonio, with an accordion-fronted take on traditional conjunto, but spiked with edgy, angry rock flavors.
Free association: Nine songs in 20 minutes, and it’s fresher than tableside guac.
For fans of: Dropkick Murphys + the horchata, “Volver, Volver”, “La Cucaracha.”
Sounds like: Totally mediocre as far as powerhouse pop stars go, with perhaps the most innovation audible in production tricks and vocal manipulation.
Free association: There’s a song called “Made in the USA” about well-built love.
For fans of: Miley Cyrus/Selena Gomez/Hillary Duff, Justin Bieber in a Ford pickup.
Sounds like: Deliriously pretty digital folktronica from the Brit producer who’s explored faster and louder, but here pauses for dreamy and pillowy pastiche.
Free association: A stoner’s dream. Something bothering you? Bliss out for a second.
For fans of: Boards of Canada + Koushik, Caribou/Toro Y Moi, chilling extra hard.
Time for a big Bang breakthrough?