Sony stopped making cassette Walkmans a few months ago, but most of the universe had already moved onto digital music (phew). Speaking of out with the old, in with the new, we’ve rounded up a few freshly released or soon-to-be records to download before you jet off this month.
James Blake, James Blake
Those who can’t sing, dubstep. While you could argue that point with many artists playing electronica, 22-year-old Londoner James Blake doesn’t qualify. He has the smooth, haunting voice you’d associate with an earnest singer-songwriter. His brand of e is beautifully sparse and broken-down.
*Choice track: His Feist cover, “Limit to Your Love”
*Hear where: Riding the Tube in London.
Cut Copy, Zonoscope
The Southern Hemisphere has summer right now, so this Australian band’s brand new album is being enjoyed by their fellow countrymen and women the way it should be, with a beer and sun-kissed skin.
*Choice track: “Where I’m Going”
*Hear where: Heading to Bondi Beach with your surfboard in tow.
Adele, 21 (Release date: Feb 22)
Another England export, Adele has the strong, soulful style of the early R&B singers (she lists Etta James as an early influence). Her first album made people notice, this next album titled to reflect her age is sure to solidify her mark on the proverbial music map.
*Single: “Rolling in the Deep”
*Hear where: On a Thelma and Louise-like road trip through the dusty South of U.S.
Lykke Li, Wounded Rhymes (Release date: Feb 28)
While Li is Swedish (not to mention stylish), she’s done her fair share of travel, spending time in places like Portugal, Morocco and Nepal as a child. The first track from her second album has a pulsating sensuality that lends itself to almost anything, cityscape or seaside town.
*Single: “I Follow Rivers”
*Hear where: Traversing busy streets in cosmopolitan cities from here to Bangkok.