Marika Hackman - Deep Green
The preview from the Deaf Heat EP, out 14th April, is more ghostly than what we've heard before from Hackman, driven by haunting wails, tribal percussion and something in the background that's either detuned strings or prepared piano. That fragile voice is still front and centre, as are her personal neuroses.
Sharon Van Etten - Taking Chances
Having explored the personal, emotionally cracked depths and fights on Tramp, the first taste from Are We There (May 25th) goes off in a separate direction, one where the production is much smoother and Van Etten in a more contented place. The backing nods to R&B production and droning organ sounds, sounding not all that dissimilar from latter day Cat Power's excursions.
Lykke Li - Love Me Like I'm Not Made Of Stone
Lykke claims of I Never Learn, out May 4th, that "every song on the album is a power ballad". That's getting there for this very stripped back track, which takes away the electronic background we're used to in favour of a field recorded acoustic guitar and an emotionally tender vocal. You do fear she's released the mid-album showstopper first rather than an easier way in, but maybe that's the point.
White Lung - Down With The Monster
And now for something completely different. Vancouver hardcore punks White Lung, newly overground on Domino, are one of a tranche of recent new(ish) bands bringing feminist theory and anger to already thunderously noisy indie-rock. Their new 7" is a fine example of getting a pit to centrifugal force speed within just over two minutes.