The Welsh sextet Los Campesinos! has put out five albums since 2006, many of them with titles that don't seem destined to soar to the top of pop's generally lighthearted charts; We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed and Hello Sadness are just a couple of the band's record names. Lead singer Gareth David says the tone of the band's new album, No Blues, reflects a step in a more optimistic direction.
The appropriately named Typhoon is a sprawling band with an epic sound. The group from Portland, Ore. crafts rock anthems like emotional tidal waves, propelled by the stories of frontman Kyle Morton. His deeply personal tales are often full of grief and loss. But just as often they celebrate and praise life's simple wonders. Morton himself is a very grateful (and lucky) man who writes songs as if he were living on borrowed time.
The Canadian rock band Arcade Fire released their first record "Funeral" back in 2004 on a small independent label. But these days there's nothing small about them. Their third record, "The Suburbs," won a Grammy and the band's upcoming fourth album is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. It's after a much hyped appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and a half hour special on NBC. Will Hermes has this review of "Reflektor."
Most people think of the steel guitar as an instrument associated with country music — from country rock and pop to alt-country. But there's another style of steel playing that dates back to African-American Pentecostal churches of the 1930s, when a handful of congregations began using steel guitars in place of organs.
To find out about up-and-coming local bands for our Sense of Place stop in Detroit, we went straight to one of the city's best-known sources: Ann Delisi, host of Ann Delisi's Essential Music on NPR member station WDET-FM.