Sounds Like: The Nebraska-bred songwriter’s been at it for more than 25 years to mixed success, this one’s a lovely, sunny stroll down Contemporary Adult Rock Lane.
Free Association: The ’60s/’70s cover records he made with Susanna Hoffs rubbed off.
For Fans Of: Michael Penn x Oh-OK/R.E.M., Teenage Fanclub, jangly guitar rock.
Sounds Like: The 19 year-old’s third is shockingly sophisticated, maybe because there are about 50 producers and writers involved, or maybe because she can wail.
Free Association: Tween megastars aren’t perfect, this post-rehab record’s an achievement.
For Fans Of: Selena Gomez, Hilary/Ashlee/Miley, those Jonas boys, Disney hos.
Sounds Like: The Wisconsin-raised Russian-American’s opera-trained and crazy prolific, at 22 this is her third LP of dark, experimental electro pop and it’s fantastic.
Free Association: She’s a strong emerging witch in the coven of haunting lady rock.
For Fans Of: Glasser x Cocteau Twins, Fever Ray, Diamanda Galas, dark synths.
PW's Music Issue 2014