My Brightest Diamond – None More Than You

Singer-songwriter Shara Worden presents an appetizing teaser before the release of her new full-length album.

My Brightest Diamond – None More than You EP

Whimsical, delicate, and moving, these five new tracks from singer-songwriter Shara Worden–a.k.a. My Brightest Diamond–make for a pretty captivating lead-up to her next full-length album, which is dropping later this year. We actually shared a track from it a little while ago.

Seems like a pretty capable EP, and doesn’t really feel like any material that’s completely throw-away. If this is what didn’t make the album, I can only imagine how great this next release is going to be.

Perfume Genius – “Queen”

“Queen,” the lead single off Perfume Genius‘ forthcoming third LP Too Bright, is without a doubt singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas’ most extravagant song to date. This time around, he is forgoing the spartan piano arrangements we’ve found powerful in his prior releases in favor of bright synths, punchy drums, and comparatively pristine production. But the emotion that came with his sparse, reverb-y work of the past has not dissipated with this more ornate compositional palette. Hadreas’ vocals are assured, forceful; giving “Queen” the last of the makings for a great pop anthem. While I’ll admittedly miss the forlorn piano melodies should the album entirely go in this glitzier direction, this is a pretty interesting change of pace for Hadreas and a plenty evocative piece in its own right.

Too Bright is due out September 23 via Matador.

Marketa Irglova – “This Right Here”

A soft, uplifting piano ballad from Marketa Irglova, which is the name of a Czech singer-songwriter who currently resides in Ireland, I believe. She’s about to drop her sophomore full-length album, which is titled Muna, in September. Look for this LP on ANTI-, and just allow yourself to be enchanted by this track.

Mariam The Believer – “To Conquer Pain With Love”

The beloved Mariam The Believer drops a simple, somber organ ballad with the track “To Conquer Pain With Love,” which is set for release on a forthcoming EP titled The Wind. Not only was this track build of first takes, but it seems all the tracks on this EP will be organ ballads. The release date is June 18th, and I’m told we can expect more experimental EPs from Mariam in the future. Enjoy!

Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten tests patience with a slow burner of a new record.

Meshell Ndegeocello – “Conviction”

Singer/songwriter/bassist Meshell Ndegeocello doesn’t get enough respect. She had some low-level visibility a few years ago when she released her first couple albums, but has since faded into a small niche where her small but ultra-devoted fanbase follows her every move. I only really got invested in her music when she released her last LP, the sort of amazing Weather, and so I am pretty stoked that she has a new release on the way.

The first song to leak from it is “Conviction,” and it’s pretty standard Meshell. Slightly funky, headbobbing guitar, bass, and drums. All of it is complemented as superbly as ever by her sultry, sensuous voice. Its this passionate and husky voice that first lured me in, back when I heard “Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear”, the fantastic track from Weather, and it doesn’t disappoint here. Ndegeocello is definitely an under-the-radar gem, but I hope this time around she blips more into the middle of the screen.

Ndegeocello’s new record Comet Come to Me is out June 3 via Naive, and features contributions from Shara Worden!

ikea-graveyard – stray

Alofa Gould is a 19-year-old Vista, CA-based singer-songwriter who has recorded under the moniker Your Bruise, and now under ikea-graveyard. This month, she put out a split EP with touringmates Bulldog Eyes and Yukon, as well as this collection of demos she recorded on her porch, called stray. The tracks are breezy and feature only Gould’s lovely voice and acoustic guitar, but while simple, they manage to be quite evocative. She caps off the tape with a nice Joyce Manor cover, too. Happy listening!

Timber Timbre – “Curtains?!”

The sound of Timber Timbre’s latest and greatest LP Hot Dreams calls to mind the visuals of either a Lynchian Western or vintage film noir. This Tyler T. Williams-directed video for album highlight “Curtains?!” delivers on the latter, starring Williams collaborator Joel Kliebe as an apparent hitman just released from prison and getting back to business. The stark, shady atmosphere here is (in my opinion) a much better fit for Timber Timbre’s sonic direction than Chad VanGaalen‘s trippy animation for “Bang the Drum Slowly,” although give that one a chance too, if you’ve yet to.

Sharon Van Etten – “Your Love Is Killing Me”

Singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten and her band hammer out a loud but patient ballad on “Your Love Is Killing Me.” Without doing it intentionally–I don’t think–the instrumentation on this one works more like a drone than it does indie or folk rock.

Sharon kicks things off with a distant drum beat, twang-y guitar leads, and some somber keys. Everything just builds, builds, and builds from there. The movement of the song is subtle, but it continues to grow more and more intense as it draws to a close, slowing the progression down a bit on occasion.

“Burn my skin so I can feel you,” Sharon calls out, lining that lyric up with a series of other contradictions that point out just how flawed this “love” she’s speaking of is. Sharon’s voice, like usual, is incredibly powerful, beautiful, and delivered with an immense amount of conviction.

Look for Sharon’s next album, Are We There, via Jagjaguwar on May 27th.