Five Spanish Songs EP
Sounds like: Dan Bejar’s beautifully macabre, ornate orchestra of a band drops a tasty and cross-cultural treat: five Spanish language ditties.
Free association: Whatever’s necessary to keep the USS Destroyer fueled and afloat.
For fans of: Juanes + Rodriguez x Mexican opera, tejano and mariachi, Kaputt with guacamole.
Wrapped in Red
Sounds like: Her sixth is a Christmas gift to the Yuletide pop standards canon, made with her Stronger (‘11) producer and White Christmas as a muse.
Free association: Original Noel stuff and all the genres: pop, country, rock and soul.
For fans of: The Love Actually soundtrack, Rosemary Clooney + Phil Spector.
Sounds like: The rad Sub Pop psychedelic country boys are back with another post-hiatus opus of delightfully druggy and kaleidoscopic California hazy fuzzrock.
Free association: This bugout beach blowout’s extra weird because everyone’s on LSD.
For fans of: Ariel Pink x Gram Parsons, Zombies ‘n Apples in Stereo, hidin’ joints in your beard.
Sounds like: The UK lads’ third, and they might just be maturing and cutting the cheese factor as they grow up. Still, this is corny ‘n cute tween pop from twinky dreamboats.
Free association: Meticulously hairstyled by a small army of professionals.
For fans of: BSB/N’SYNC/NKOTB x OneRepublic + Snow Patrol/Keane, the Mumford & Sons effect.
The Woman I Am
(Black River Entertainment)
Sounds like: The Idol success story and Dancing With the Stars winner’s a humble, admittedly simple North Carolina pageant star and prom queen who can belt.
Free association: Wanna step to her in a smiling contest? You’re in for a rude awakening.
For fans of: Carrie Underwood x T Swift, Miranda Lambert/Martina McBride, western BBQ.