MIA DOI TODD
Cosmic Ocean Ship
[City Zen Records/Virtual Label, May 17]
This prolific folk siren has a voice like maple syrup: thick and sweet, but not so viscous and heavy it can't move. On her latest release, she frames it with an acoustic guitar and light percussion that moves from Brazil to Mexico to the Caribbean and back again, telling stories about simple times and universal themes like long-distance loving, fear of change and love in the summertime. The mix of austerity and melancholy makes for an album that's just so terribly pretty in its laid-back delicacy. Best enjoyed while outdoors on a sunny afternoon when you'd prefer to be in warmer climes.
[Online, available now]
Not many rappers actually walk the talk they load in their verses, but this New Orleans native leaves the studio in a '63 Impala while a never-ending joint clings to his lips — just like his lyrics claim. His latest record is entirely produced by L.A.'s own The Alchemist, whose signature swirling, paranoiac beats draw out a new menace in the rapper's carefree “weed jars and race cars” rhymes. And when he opens the spiraling, '70s-haunted “Ventilation” with “White carpet in my Scarface house, no undergarments on my star face spouse,” you wonder: Can he get much higher?
Mellem Dine Læber
(Between Your Lips)
[Plug Research, available now]
It's not what you say, it's how you say it — and while we may not comprehend this Copenhagen collective's lyrics, they coo them with such velvety sensuality, we reclined into their arms a mere sentence into opening track “Hurry Slowly.” Incorporating delicate string arrangements into an easygoing electro-soul soundscape, the tracks have a liquid luxuriance that belies their intentionally sparse construction. Danish duo Quadron is a member of BCB, which explains how this EP manages to walk on water while pulling you under.
[Hear Music, May 10]
Rik Ocasek and co. are back (again), and there's plenty of new wave revivalism on possible singles. But the highlight (well worth your 99 cents at iTunes) is this brilliant ballad, which would be equally comfortable in a Molly Ringwald tragicomedy or a Bret Easton Ellis adaptation. Think “Time After Time” reprocessed by O.M.D., and blasted at the end of Patrick Bateman's prom. You need this.