Laura Stevenson describes herself as an "unfunny Woody Allen," which is another way of saying that her work channels her obsessions with death and doubt. On her third album, Wheel, she finds a way to make it all sound downright jaunty.
Stevenson came to her more folk leanings from roots in punk, as well as a musical family; her grandfather, choral director Harry Simeone, was responsible for "Little Drummer Boy." Listen to two songs from Wheel on this page.
The members of London's Treetop Flyers capture the sound of California folk-rock in the '60s on their debut album, The Mountain Moves. They met on the periphery of the London folk scene that gave the world Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling.
A little reinvention never hurt anyone. Nashville singers Jordan Meredith and Louis Johnson met in St. Augustine, Fla., and quickly discovered how well their voices blended together, so they moved to New York City and formed Augustine.
The duo, which now resides in Nashville, has since become The Saint Johns, and recently released its gorgeous new songs on a free downloadable EP. Listen to two songs from The Live Sessions here.
You could hear it in their first singles in 2011: Sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin and their band Bleached are onto something. Now comes their debut full-length, Ride Your Heart, and it fills in the story: Beachy harmonies combine with punk attitude to take what you loved about Best Coast to a grittier place. It's fun and it's heartfelt — what could be better?
It's not as if Escondido members Jessica Maros and Tyler James didn't have enough going on already. Maros is a thriving fashion designer in Nashville, Tenn., known for dressing Lady Antebellum and others. James has been a member of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and recently had one of his songs placed on the TV show Nashville.