Today I am searching for some soothing music to dull the pain of my groin, which I pulled last night after attempting the splits during a fierce lip-synching competition. Fear not, I won (there were only two of us competing) but my nether-regions are crying in pain today.
V.V. Brown — Travelling Like the Light (Universal-Island Records)
V.V. Brown has picked my heart up where Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse tossed it and left it for dead. She has fantastic style and spans some of my favorite styles: rock, soul, R&B,doo wop and even a little electro. Keep her on your list of rising stars.
Suzanne Vega — Close-Up Vol. 1 (Amanuensis Productions)
If singer/songwriter storytelling is what you’re lusting after, Suzanne Vega is one of the best musicians to follow. Minimalist and hauntingly beautiful; her voice hasn’t changed.
The Knife — Tomorrow, in a Year (Rabid Records)
Fever Ray (Karin Dreijer) is back with her collaboration partner, Olaf, along with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock to bring us some electronic goodness in the form of a full-length opera. This is not an album for everyone, as there is a lot of ambient noise andreverb. This might make a great pairing with a mystery novel or The Lord of the Flies.
Family of the Year — Songbook (Washashore Records)
This boy/girl group has a very distinctive California sound of the ’60s. They’ve been compared to Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles (my ears aren’t so sure about the latter) but they certainly are fun — and hey, there is even some hand clapping. Who doesn’t love that?
Honorable Mentions: Melissa Etheridge’s single “Fearless Love,” Flobots, Lil Wayne and Mendelssohn: Piano Trios.