Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:
Oh, Mary Timony. She’s unfailing in every one of her rock ‘n’ roll efforts, from the Mary Timony Band to Wild Flag to Autoclave and Helium back in the ’90s. Be it nuances of math rock or jangle-pop or punk, Timony’s stellar touch is steadfast. Maybe the only thing we can fault her for is not having started her latest project, Ex Hex, much sooner. Due October 7 on Merge Records is Rips, their first full-length, and it’s a start-to-finish stunner with blistering riffs battling candied vocals against a pace like a brisk, self-assured strut.
There are two sides to Oomori Seiko, and the one that’s easier to find online doesn’t paint a complete picture of her. Watching one of her official music videos reveals a woman wearing colorful clothes spinning around bright backgrounds, while synth-driven pop music plays in the back. But before she became an idol, she was making a name for herself in the Japanese birthplace of punk, Kōenji. She started her career playing only acoustic guitar, delivering emotional performances that normally saw her voice become by turns a sad whimper and an angry yell.
Out September 1 via Kitsuné, Frances’ debut single “Fire May Save You” is a slow-building piece of pop that rises and falls on the strength of her understated soprano. A confessional at heart, the single’s melancholy musings of could only be served up by an honest spirit. From note one, Frances proves that she’s the woman for the job. No howls when a sweet coo will do. No ornate orchestration or promise of sweaty backing dancers — who needs’ em when a gentle repetition of the chorus/title is enough to evoke a tidal wave of emotion?
At just 24-years old, Jamaican singer Jesse Royal has been performing music for almost his entire life. As a youth, Royal would sing in a church choir while his grandma played the organ. By his teenage years, Royal was regularly covering Ziggy Marley tunes with his long time friend Daniel (and son of Ziggy). Now, almost a decade later, Royal has become one of the top artists to watch amidst an exciting reggae revival that has taken over the island by storm, and reggae fans worldwide.
Sonic Youth’s prolific career may have come to a tragic close, but Hong Kong five-piece The Yours keep their angst alive and kicking in their sophomore release, Teenagarten. Where their 2012 debut The Way We Were was an assortment of lo-fi lullabies, Teenagarten is an apoplectic wake-up call from the dark underbelly of hormonal hell. Recorded in Beijing by the godfather of Chinese alt rock, Yang Haisong of P.K. 14, their album aptly captures the tone-bending tension of late ’80s-early ’90s college rock and revives it for a new generation of moody indie rockers.