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Music

February isn't exactly the best month, what with all the cold weather, limited daylight, copious awards shows, New England Patriots Super Bowl victories, and Valentine's Day. So you'd be forgiven for thinking, "The only thing that could truly articulate my pain is a band in which puppets sport eyeliner and sing a song called "I Am Sad And So Am I."

Japan's current psychedelic scene honors its roots – from the motorcycle guitar-rock of Les Rallizes Dénudés and High Rise to the still-running and unpinnable Acid Mothers Temple – but also puts a premium on meditative transcendence.

Some of the most powerful pop songs have a tendency to feel deceptive. An ascending melody can cloak sorrow; the most danceable hooks can act as odes to heartbreak or loss. Behind Charly Bliss frontwoman Eva Grace Hendricks' saccharine singing are moments of real intimacy, though they're not nearly as sweet as she makes them sound.

earthsongs.net

  Steven Rushingwind, award-winning Native American flutist of Rushingwind & Mucklow and the Rushingwind Project shares with us his third solo album and latest release, “Red Beaten Path”. Steven is from Pomona, California of Cahuilla/Opata and Mexican descent. Building on his healing flute music that incorporates rock elements and world beats, this new project launches in a new direction for Steven, branching out with more contemporary elements and instrumentation.

Nick Bairatchnyi and Jackson Mansfield have been making music together since they were teenagers, which wasn't too long ago. After graduating high school and a move to Philadelphia from Washington, D.C., they locked into The Obsessives' sound, informed by the yelping and dexterous emo of Braid with a touch of Pixies.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

We can always count on Tennis, led by husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, for indie-pop gems that sound sweet but tackle serious issues. On the band's upcoming record, Yours Conditionally, Moore sings about everything from maintaining individuality within a marriage to the expectations placed on frontwomen.

Set List

  • "My Emotions Are Blinding"

Grails could never be accused of staying in its lane. The instrumental rock band plays with its far-reaching influences like a world-building card game, adding and taking away sounds with thoughtful strategy.

There's an electric thrill to Caddywhompus not heard in too many guitar and drum duos. Where others examine the extremes of the spare or the loud, Chris Rehm (guitar, vocals) and Sean Hart (drums) mine math-rock, frenetic punk and the bombastic end of pop to generate a signature, euphoric sonic boom.

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