KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Lars Gotrich

Carly Rae Jepsen, the pop star of our hearts, voices Odette in the animated film Leap!, which will see U.S. distribution in September. Her character is a caretaker who coaches a young girl (voiced by Elle Fanning) to become a ballerina in Paris. I sense whimsy and heartfelt speeches are in my future.

The Holy Circle makes dark synth-pop that's velvet to the touch — and a sonic sawblade to the core. After last year's EP, Terence Hannum of the experimental metal band Locrian and his wife Erica Burgner-Hannum of Unlucky Atlas were joined by drummer Nathan Jurgenson (Screen Vinyl Image). The Baltimore trio's self-titled debut album finds that space between Ultravox's synthetic melodrama, Jesu's heavy shoegaze and The Knife's cold, yet sensual, vocal melodies.

Burial's been lurking in some subterranean realms lately.

"There's no use for the human soul — it died for the digital age!"

"Negative Boogie," the title track from Omaha musician David Nance's new album is a stuttering rave-up, a mad dogpile of shredded Pere Ubu nerves and a little bit of Sonny Sharrock skronk-punk.

Daniel Menche makes noise. Loud. Clattering. Ritualistic... but altogether thoughtfully constructed deconstruction. The Portland, Ore.-based musician's discography goes back nearly three decades, a jagged line of antagonism that's simultaneously become more extreme and more meditative over those many years.

"Sounded." That's a rough translation of Lød from Danish and one way to think about the ominous, electric shadows cast by this new post-punk band. Formed in Copenhagen by classmates, Lød first took its cues from Iceage and the surrounding scene before ditching the noise and locking into a motorik groove. The band's self-titled EP comes out mid-summer, and will send you into a trance.

Hundred Waters' music tugs like a loose thread, every shifting emotion illuminated by synths and beats that tug just a little harder. The electronic trio has always been on curiosity on OWSLA, the label founded by Skrillex, but a tempering presence.

When the reunited LCD Soundsystem played five nights at Brooklyn Steel in early April, the band brought along two new songs, delighting a legion of dedicated followers who have been clamoring for new material. Well, now James Murphy and company will release those songs at midnight — "and I mean, literally, midnight," he writes in a lengthy post on Facebook (embedded below). "Wherever you are.

We project ourselves into space, even if most of us will never rocket out of orbit in our lifetime.

What did we do to deserve new songs from both Paramore and HAIM? We are truly blessed this day.

James Elkington's debut solo record took a long, side-winding path to completion.

Beyonce's year-end favorite, life-encompassing Lemonade will be thoroughly documented in a $300 collector's edition How To Make Lemonade box set. It will feature the album as a double-LP, with additional audio and visual downloads — oh, and a 600-page coffee table book with behind-the-scenes photos, a foreword written by Dr.

Kero Kero Bonito's Bonito Generation was not only the cheeriest pop record of 2016 but also one of the year's best. Spend 10 minutes with the trio's hyper-caffeinated, but no less thoughtful electro-pop and your day is automatically brighter.

So is a gnarwhal a whale that shreds the gnar? And what does the whale shred? Does the whale shred with its tusk? These are hard-hitting questions for Gnarwhal, but the Nashville guitar-and-drums duo only responds with wild yelps, frantic guitar work and crashing drums.

"Light-Up City" comes from the band's third album, Crucial, and it's a raw and switchback-crazy seven minutes of chaotic math-rock. Drive Like Jehu's most emotionally wrought moments come to mind, but stripped down to the bare essentials.

Sevdaliza's debut album feels like a lifetime examined — and past lives exhumed.

Bill MacKay's become a stealth fixture on the Chicago music scene over the last decade and change. The guitarist deftly glides through folk, experimental rock and jazz in his band Darts & Arrows and has worked with everyone from Fred Lonberg-Holm and members of Bitchin' Bajas to a blossoming creative partnership with with Ryley Walker — they released an album of guitar duets in 2015.

GAS isn't really meant for the club, but that's where I first heard it — a cavernous basement was hosting a night of experimental music, the definition of which was determined by the DJ. It sounded and felt like a symphony buried underground, beats programmed from a different galaxy. Pop didn't change the landscape of ambient music — it evolved its purpose, its tone, its movement.

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