By DYLAN BROWN
Following a 10-year retrospective, “Songs 2003-2013,” the Norwegian songstress’ distinct acoustic folk may just be taking off in the U.S. after her song offered up its beautiful beating heart to soulless Super Bowl advertisers at $133,000 a second.
“Walk Us Uptown” by Elvis Costello and the Roots (Antibalas remix)
Jimmy Fallon’s other half teamed up with the legendary Costello for 2013’s “Wise Up Ghost.” The leading single was then subtly reworked and buoyed by a vibrant afro-beat horn section courtesy of Daptone band Antibalas.
“Silver Timothy” by Damien Jurado
Muffled vocals and ghostly folk rock recalls imagery from long-gone decades. The Seattle songsmith chases out the demons in folk’s bad dream and hits the American road on this standout from his solid January release “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son.”
“10th Floor Ghost Girl” by Cibo Matto
Japanese expats — a.k.a. “crazy food” in Italian — are back. Check into the Hotel ’90s Nostalgia, complete with acid jazz, trip hop and plenty of wonderfully kitschy vocals. This track from “Hotel Valentine,” their first album since 1999, handles the modern clientele with ease.
“Avant Gardener” by Courtney Barnett
This Aussie and her guitar jangle through a life that any frustrated suburbanite the world over can relate to. Clanging guitar and sublimely understated lyrics, the album is epitomized by its opening stanza, “Oh what a wonder, oh what a waste. It’s a Monday, it’s so mundane.”
“Bad Weed/But Still Weed” by Native America
Beneath reverb so fuzzy it borders on shoegaze and the stoner’s stoner title, the New Orleans trio’s lo-fi permeates this quick-hit EP, available here in its entirety, with a comforting sense of Americana, harnessing all the best echoes of rock ‘n’ roll from garages everywhere since Buddy Holly.
Brown may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2278. Follow him on Twitter @DylanBrown26.