Wooing audiences with their Muscle Shoal-fed brand of vintage soul on their debut, Alabama Shakes reveal themselves to be a band not content to rest on their laurels with second release Sound & Color.
American indie-folk duo the Milk Carton Kids follow 2013's Grammy-nominated The Ash and Clay with a further set of sweetly sung songs sewn together with virtuosic acoustic guitar interplay.
After six studio albums and a career stretching 15 years, it's a little strange that Murder By Death are not a little better known.
With a name derived from a skateboard trick, veteran Swedish punk rockers Millencolin haven't started writing tunes for the Zimmer-frame just yet.
For every nugget of truth in a great song, a corresponding seam of life experience is commonly found in its writer, and Wellington-based Illinois-born Gary Forrester brings a hatful of both to this Americana-folk release.
For a relatively young man, banjo-picker William Elliott Whitmore has much of the grizzled folkie about him, not least in the coarse gravel that rattles in his throat.
Raised on the West Coast, Mel Parsons has roamed far and wide in recent years and, in filling her passport with various stamps, she has also broadened her musical reach.
The 5 Countertenors. Soloists with Armonia Atenea. Decca CD.
The biggest question here is, why did they not do this 30 years ago?
American songwriter, producer and founder of Spacebomb Records Matthew E. White is a bear of a man, making honey-dipped modern soul music with a satisfyingly full sound.
The past few years have been eventful for Anika Moa: she's had twins, moved cities at least twice, married, divorced, met a new partner and had another baby.
Forced to take refuge in Mali's southern capital Bamako to escape jihadist-driven unrest in their northern hometown of Gao in 2012, Oumar, Aliou and Garba Toure (no relation) redoubled their efforts to translate traditional Malian grooves into a guitar-driven modern sound that also acknowledged the influences of American blues and R&B.
If Sean James Donnelly could cash-in all the many stars he's had on reviews over the years, he would probably be our wealthiest local musician.
Seattle act Fences, aka Christopher Mansfield (yes, it's another of those band names that is, in fact, one person) has more than a few prominent fans.
A break-up album, written from the perspective of the person who did the breaking and is dealing with the repercussions, Marina and the Diamonds' third long-player might not completely do away with the dance-floor pop of sophomore album Electra Heart, but it is nonetheless a darker effort.
Recorded late last year at the one-off show celebrating Tahuna Breaks' 10th anniversary, the aptly titled Tahuna Breaks Live 10 captures the Kiwi band's energetic rhythmic essence nicely.
Emile Haynie (Eminem, Kanye West, Lana Del Ray) opened up his address book and dialled sufficient numbers to cram the first album under his own name with a collection of names larger than his own.
Thankfully, Six60 hasn't attempted to reconstruct its successful debut album, even if it was one that took it from Dunedin studentville to top of the charts.
Tonnon's latest effort could well be his best yet.
Tipping his hat to Robert Johnson's veined sexual innuendo in his use of the Terraplane car model, this is a blues album with a capital ''B''.