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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Our five new-music picks of the week

The Right Now is a seven-piece band out of Chicago known for a soul/R&B 60s-revival sound. It's new release, Starlight, expands on that foundation with more elaborate arrangements. "Starlight is the album where we embraced being a pop band more than a soul band," keyboardist/guitarist/bandleader Brendan O'Connell told We're honestly not familiar with their earlier work, but the new record has some great energetic tunes showcasing lead singer Stefanie Berecz's powerful vocals. We're featuring "Too Late" in our New Music bin.

We've been playing "Hazy," the single from Sarah Bethe Nelson's new record, for a few months. Now that Oh Evolution has been released, we're delving deeper. The sort-of title track, called simply "Evolution," backs the San Francisco singer-songwriter's vocal with powerful drums and guitar as well as synths and multi-tracked voices. The Revue said "The psychedelic-pop foundation remains, but the pace is quickened and the tribal-like rhythm section gives the song an unexpected edge."

It's also been a few months since we added Paper City Exile's "Song For Emily" to our playlist. At the time we expressed our surprise to discover that the members of this Massachusetts band are high school students. They've now released an LP and we're adding another strong rocker, "There She Goes," to our New Music rotation.

The British quartet Temples continues to revisit the psychedelic rock era with its second album, Volcano. The magazine Clash compared it favorably with the band's acclaimed debut, 2014's Sun Structures. "No second-album syndrome here ... the songs are more psychedelic than pop this time round, but it’s clear from the offset that the band have not only built on their debut, but expanded their sound hugely." Our pick for the New Music bin is "I Wanna Be Your Mirror."

Sheryl Crow addresses the sharp divisions that are threatening society -- not just in her own USA -- in her new single. "Halfway There" is a plea for respectful discussion in place of closed-minded argument. It's the first release from her forthcoming album, "Be Myself."

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