Originally from Memphis but a resident of New York City for the past decade or so, singer-songwriter Megan Reilly has a fan in Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, who helped her get her original record deal. Ever since, Reilly's country-inflected soft rock has evolved further into pop territory since her 2002 debut Arc of Tessa and 2006's Let Your Ghost Go.
Sharon Van Etten's raspy, elegant vocals and deeply confessional folk-rock have made her a rising star. Ever since her official debut in 2009, the heart-breakingly intimate Because I Was In Love, Van Etten has been expanding her sound and adding grit to her delivery.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones has been a star since the 2002 release of her debut album, Come Away With Me, which sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. and won eight Grammys. Her success hasn't let up: Subsequent releases have all reached gold or platinum status.
Jones' fifth album, Little Broken Hearts, came out in May, and was recorded with producer Danger Mouse. Here, Jones sits down with World Cafe's David Dye to discuss her creative process.
Lucero — bright star in Spanish — has been creating quality punk-inflected country since the late '90s. Hailing from Memphis, frontman Ben Nichols gives the act a gruff Southern twang with both his voice and his guitar. Since the release of 2001's eponymous debut, Lucero has recorded five more studio albums and plays an impressive 200 shows a year in the U.S. and Canada.
Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell, released last month, is a collaboration between a best-selling author and a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter. Karr and Crowell sing songs about growing up in Texas in the '50s, material they've each grappled with in their own work. Karr's best-selling memoir The Liar's Club deals with themes of family, love and loss.
Before Japandroids reached the popularity they've earned today, guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse had to endure some ups and downs. In the beginning, the duo gave up the search for a lead vocalist and third member, deciding instead to split vocal duties. This turn of events ended up affecting the band's dual but equal decision-making process — even the band's name is a hodgepodge of ideas from each member.
The Shins are a dream-pop outfit from Portland, Ore. Arising as a side project while singer/songwriter James Mercer lived in New Mexico, the band took on a life of its own after a number of singles such as "New Slang" were featured in films, pulling the young indie rock group into the national spotlight.