Florence & The Machine – MTV Unplugged
Florence’s entry into the storied MTV Unplugged series is full of lung bursting choruses and has some pretty intense, spine-tingling moments. Recorded in a converted synagogue, this performance, which can be watched in full over at MTV, is undoubtedly an impressive vocal workout. Check out Florence covering her favourite song – Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” – below.
Alex Winston – King Con
Not your average pop singer, Alex Winston has widespread appeal but hasn’t shed her identity in achieving it. Relateable and fantastical all at once, Winston’s debut album does not disappoint. And if you’re new to her sound, have a listen below.
Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Our very own Monster has already put his head above the parapet and declared this album one of the best releases of 2012, and if you enjoy stomping, garage-y, Jack White co-signed rock you may well be inclined to agree.
Keaton Henson –Dear
Henson could make the hardest of hard hearts soften with his poignant lyrics and that unmistakably genuine-heartbrake in his voice. His debut album is out this week, and I don’t want to compare him to Adele… but you know there’s a pretty heavy story behind these tracks. Not that we’ll ever know explicitly, as Henson tends to keep himself to himself. Which just makes him even more interesting.
Amadou & Mariam – Folila
Amadou and Mariam, a blind husband and wife duo from Mali, are somewhat of an institution, and on this, their album, they continue to experiment with joyful abandon, bringing the likes of Santigold, Theophilus London, Nick Zinner, and more along for the ride. Stream it in full at NPR.
Hoodie Allen – All American
This is a big one for Hoodie, and after a steady stream of free music he finally put out his first retail EP. Call it a success, because for a while it was sitting pretty on top of the iTunes charts. Says Hoodie: “Today is an awesome day for me because it marks the release of my first retail EP, All American. The 8 song EP is a very special project for me –I really wanted to take my sound to the next level with all original production and showcase my ability not only as a rapper but as a songwriter.” Check out the new video for “No Faith In Brooklyn” here, and grab the project on iTunes here.
Bassnectar – Vava Voom
DJ and producer Bassnectar is finally experiencing mainstream success after years of playing tiny clubs in small towns, and while Lupe Fiasco collab “Va Va Voom” shows his willingness to experiment, the vast majority of the album is heavier, blending elements of hard rock and dubstep to devastating effect.
Emay – Adam
Emay put a lot of time and heart into this album, and the quality of Adam makes that clear. It’s introspective hip-hop way less formula-driven than the radio hits, but it’s got enough musical depth and lyricism to keep your attention. Read more about it and download it for free here.