See Mystery Lights
As one half of kitschy electronica outfit The Blow, Jona Bechtolt honed his beat-making craft, creating a type of emo-electronica that was the perfect complement to his former bandmates off-kilter, often tentative vocals. In 2007, Bechtolt broke off to form Yacht (which varies in spelling and capitalization) with Claire L. Evans, a band thats as much an art project and relies heavily on both spirituality and technology. For the bands second record on downtown dance label DFA, Bechtolt and Evans found inspiration in a southern phenomenon -- the mystery lights that appear in the skies over artist-friendly Marfa, Texas. Like a happier The Knife, or a less ironic LCD Soundsystem, the duo dont disappoint with an album peppered with thoughtful bangers.
It seems the music supervisor for the film Adam is familiar with a place called the Hotel Caf. Tucked into a corner of Los Angeles, a group of singer-songwriters is single-handedly soundtracking episodes of Greys Anatomy and Old Navy commercials, and they all haunt the aforementioned club. Here, sensitivity and talent are equally weighted currency, and the players dont so much rock as folk. Adam, a deceptively pretty vehicle about a young man with autism (thats already earning star Hugh Dancy rave reviews) features a few well-known players from the Hotel Caf. Theres husband-wife duo the Weepies with a harmony-laden pop strummer, as well as a previously unreleased track from Miranda Lee Richards, and a duet from Saddle Creeker Maria Taylor and Joshua Radin.
Its hard to know how self-aware Ms. Tisdale is being with her title, but armed with a new nose and darker hair, the Disney also-ran is releasing her second album, which shes describing as(wait for it) edgier. Citing Pat Benatar and Katy Perry as inspirations, the now-23-year-old spent a year putting together the album, and said that shes been involved in nearly every aspect of the album, co-writing many of the songs, and having the sense to hire bona fide hitmakers like Diane Warren and a pack of Swedes to do the heavy lifting. The result is a kid-friendly blend of the chart-topping minxes of the past five years (think Britney, Kelly and Ashlee), but without all the thinking.