Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon’s quirky, yet charming folk-pop has landed her on tour dates with St. Vincent, performances at the Glastonbury and Latitude festivals, and even a spot on Gruff Rhys’ (of Super Furry Animals) record label. Her haunting lyrics (many inspired by past pet death experiences) stand in contrast to her airy Nico-like vocals and minimalistic music, a combination that makes for beautifully compelling and intriguing songs. Featured song: “Fold The Cloth”
Though it’s been a few years since their last album, London-based Little Barrie are back with a new and improved lineup. Featuring guitarist and vocalist Barrie Cadogan, bassist Lewis Wharton and drummer Virgil Howe (who also happens to be the son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe), the trio fuses garage rock and 60s funk. Their gritty, yet soulful music packs the kind of spunky swagger that calls to mind classic rock n’ roll and recent acts like The Strokes and The White Stripes. Featured song: “Tip It Over”
Diane Cluck is an anti-folk troubadour who has been making music for over a decade, influencing artists such as Sharon Van Etten and Johnny Flynn. Her songs — though sparse and usually only featuring an acoustic guitar — carry emotional weight felt through her dark and witty lyrics, powerfully haunting and textured voice, and brilliant and complex plucking. Starting in March, she will embark on a “Song-of-the-Week” project, releasing up to 24 new songs over a six-month period.
Indie pop band Summer Camp is made up of Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey. Hailing from England, the duo write dark and conflicted tales of love and longing, while their music is shrouded in nostalgia, sounding as though it’s of another time. The catchy, lo-fi tunes, like “Better Off Without You” and “Brian Krakow,” draw inspiration from playful 60s girl groups and yet simultaneously seem perfect for any 80s movie soundtrack (or an episode of My So-Called Life). Here they perform a special acoustic set for BTR Live Studio.
Though they’re from Brooklyn, Country Mice’s psychedelia-meets-Americana makes them sound like they could be from the bluesy South or rootsy Midwest. Frontman Jason Rueger (who is actually originally from a little Kansas town called Beattie) is joined by guitarist Ben Bullington, bassist Mike Feldman and drummer Kurt Kuehn, and, together, the quartet’s blend of twangy folk and howling lo-fi make for a charming and compelling alt-country vibe.
Brooklyn trio Pearl and the Beard’s strain of heartwarming and catchy indie-folk is packed full of darling choruses, heart-on-the-sleeve lyricism, and the robust orchestration of glockenspiel, accordion and cello. Jocelyn Mackenzie, Jeremy Styles and Emily Hope Price harmonize exceptionally and charmingly well, but the three-piece also know how to be crafty and whimsical — many of their songs have lively twists scattered between all the sweet melodies.
Born in Libya to Pakistani parents, Roach Killa creates intoxicating, beat-heavy music that combines elements of reggae, hip-hop, and Bhangra. Though he currently lives in Canada, he’s toured Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and his hypnotic dance-floor anthems have garnered international acclaim — his single “Yaara Dildara” once ranked #1 on the BBC Asian Network Music Chart, while another called “Bomp” topped Italian Dance Charts. He was also featured on a dancehall compilation album alongside Sean Paul and Beenie Man.
Brooklyn’s Field Mouse play shimmery shoegaze that’s both graceful and completely addictive. Since their 2010 debut, You Are Here, the band — consisting of singer/guitarist Rachel Browne, guitarist Andrew Frutal, drummer Geoff Lewit and, more recently, new bassist Danielle DePalma — has further refined their pop sensibilities. Featuring lush, pretty arrangements and Browne’s delicate vocals, the songs bloom into dreamy soundscapes and flow smoothly from start to finish.