The Wilderness of Manitoba, from the forthcoming Island of Echoes; downloadable at http://killbeatmusic.com/thewildernessofmanitoba
A sky full of CSN harmonies twinkling in the leftover light of U2, shining against softly triumphant drums. A Toronto quintet finds what it is looking for.
Grizzly Bear, from the forthcoming Shields; streaming at http://grizzly-bear.net
Shimmering with seriousness, the second track from the earnest American foursome’s upcoming LP rocks artfully, like a mood-altered Radiohead. Dazzling stuff.
Divine Brown, from the forthcoming Something Fresh; streaming at http://www.divinebrown.com
She’s gone, to “find me a better flame.” Where’d she go? A sweet, spryly soulful era where back-round vocals are near the foreground, a piano is tapped repetitively and horns delightfully entertain.
A relentless, swiftly strummed reflection on a divorce and the damage done to a child is both divine and attractively unnerving. Then it ends in a heap, and we’re not sure how it all turns out.
Boy George; streaming at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFz0i8iqbGo
“They say the world was built for two.” In a video directed by Mike Nicholls, a damp seaside amusement park is the vivid setting for a pair of lovers in the afternoon. Boy George wistfully sings atop the imagery and alongside a lightly touched acoustic guitar, his cover of Lana Del Rey’s hazy hit about “swinging with the old stars, living for the fame” sublimely accomplished.