Swedish indie songstress Lykke Li returns with her sophomore album after 2007’s critical hit Youth Novels. On Wounded Rhymes, Li shows a darker, more vulnerable side with several quiet, somber ballads. It’s an album of ups and downs (both in a good way) as next to the ballads come energetic, powerful hits like “Get Some” and “I Follow Rivers.”
Civilian is the third studio album for Baltimore duo Wye Oak, and the two are still plugging away at their unique brand of dream pop with a bit of psych-rock and folk experimentation thrown into the mix. Singer Jenn Wasner’s voice guides listeners into the songs quietly, but after some build up, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Andy Stacks takes listeners out with some solo-worthy jams.
A bit of a departure from our other two picks, we know, but everyone needs some guilty-pleasure belt ’em out in the shower tunes sometimes. The cast of TVs favorite (and just about only) musical belts out a prime selection of covers including the group’s mash-up of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll,” an impressive take on Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and a heartfelt rendition of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide.” Even Gwyneth Paltrow gets in on that last song, and she’s not half bad.