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Withered Hand: Good News

This squeaky-voiced Scot looks deep into himself and delivers a sad and beautiful folk-pop near-masterpiece.

Music

Scattered Trees: Sympathy

This Chicago indie-rock sextet come out of nowhere and give us one of 2011's great albums.

Music

Willie Nile: The Innocent Ones

If you find authenticity in struggle, if you hate all that is fake and manipulative, or if you just love good ol' rock 'n' roll, Willie Nile is your man.

Stephen Rowland
SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

River House

Music

Sean Rowe: Magic

This dude really likes Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, and shows it through blatant plagiarism.

Stephen Rowland
SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

River House Records

Music

Gregory Scott Slay: Horsethief Beats

A family affair of unique soundscapes and satisfying songs, created by a man struggling with cystic fibrosis, both ready to go and hoping to hang on.

Stephen Rowland
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Musebox

Music

Eulogies: Tear the Fences Down

Eulogies can mix styles as smooth as a food processor, but lack the melodies to spice things up.

Music

Jukebox the Ghost: Everything Under the Sun

This is the best pop album of last year. Need I say more?

Music

Cobra Skulls: Bringing The War Home

I'd like to believe punk's not dead, but unfortunately bands like Cobra Skulls are killing it.

Stephen Rowland
Music

Stay Ahead of the Weather: We Better Get Goin' If We're Gonna

If you yearn for the real, true emo of 10-15 years ago, here are five songs to satiate your sensitivity.

Stephen Rowland
SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

No Sleep Records

Music

My Disco: Little Joy

Hey look, it's another post-punk revival band!

Music

Various Artists: Dr. Boogie Presents Wasa Wasa: Fabulous Rhythm 'n' Blues Shakers, 1952-1968

While it might not be the best place to start your foray into classic R&B, Wasa Wasa is still a respectable collection, not to mention fun as hell.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Dangerbird Records

Music

Nightmares for a Week: Don't Die

I hear everything from Against Me! to Braid to the Pogues, and goshdarnit, it works damn well!

Stephen Rowland
Music

Mt. Desolation: Mt. Desolation

Members of British pop/rock mainstays Keane take a break and decide to record a country album. What we get is mainly folk with hints of Britpop.

Music

Simian Mobile Disco: Delicacies

Delicacies proves that Simian Mobile Disco are one of the best electronic acts currently working, and a welcome antidote to that LCD Soundsystem crap (yes, I just said that).

Music

Various Artists: Kris Needs Presents... Dirty Water: The Birth of Punk Attitude

Kris Needs's compilation of proto-punk and the music that influenced the late '70s punk music movement often feels like his own personal mixtape, and not a cohesive collection.

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