When Yann Tiersen calls from Australia to America, there's static on the phone line.The French composer/songwriter flew Down Under to play a series of shows supporting his new album, Skyline, a collection of atmospheric, ethereal rock meditations.
For his entire career, Andrew Bird has been an enigma -- a round piece unable to fit into any square genre, his music a gentle swirl of folk, pop and even classical, all of it sounding unlike most everything else.
It didn't take long for Tennis' indie origin story to catch on: in 2010, Alaina Moore and her husband, Patrick Riley, bought a boat, sailed down the East Coast and posted online the quirky, catchy pop songs they wrote about the journey.
Before Sharon Van Etten became your favorite band's favorite singer, before she recorded three deeply personal, haunting albums and definitely before she played "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," her best reason for playing music was just getting out of her parents' New Jersey house.
Zach Condon, the songwriter and mastermind behind Beirut, may be just as famous for his music as for the cultures that have influenced it. "The cliché is, 'What country is he going to do next?'" Condon deadpans. "But before I even started this album, I wanted to dig into the Beirut sound as far as I could go. I was trying to write a pop album."
Eight years after her last album, 2003's "Soul Journey," Welch returns with "The Harrow and the Harvest," out June 28 on her own Acony Records, and she's ready to rejoin the ranks of the roots artists that she inspired.