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New Tunes Tuesday: A Little Bit of Everything


From a capella indie rock to the biggest letdown thus far in 2012 -- all in a shiny new format. Happy Tuesday, everybody.---

Must Have:
Dinosaur Feathers' beginnings as an a capella group show on their sophomore release, Whistle Tips. This indie-rock band plays up a jumpy, hooky album that needs to be listened to on a quality set of headphones to get the most out of the subtle harmonics and vocal layering.

Dinosaur Feather’s “Beathca.”

Just What You’d Expect:
After several side projects, including, of course, She & Him, M. Ward returns with a solo effort, A Wasteland Companion, which offers nothing out of the M. Ward norm, but still warrants a listen or two.

The Letdown:
After all of the hype surrounding Alabama Shakes in the months leading up to this release, including big airplay and national Internet attention of the lead single “Hold On,” I guess I was expecting something that landed between Sharon Jones and Janis Joplin with a distinctly humid Southern vibe -- it sure didn't, though. Sure, Boys & Girls has a couple of gems, but don’t waste your time here.

The Big Surprise:
On first listen, Imaginary Cities frontwoman Marti Sarbit’s voice totters between barely tolerable and live-without-able. This Canadian pop-rock group’s debut album soars and, by the end, you are sold on Sarbit’s voicebox and the overall infectious sound of the record. With one exception: A cover of Cake’s “Mexico.” There is never a need to cover Cake -- they had their place in my ‘90s modern-rock heart, so just let them stay there, at peace.

Official video for “Temporary Resident.”

Honorable Mentions:
Choir of Young Believers’ Rhine Gold, Peelander-Z’s Space Vacation, Trampled By Turtles’ Stars and Satellites and Sucre's (Eisley’s Stacy King and Mutemath’s Darren King) A Minor Bird.