(Photo: courtesy of the artist)
Hundred Waters- “The Moon Rang Like a Bell”

Hundred Waters’ “The Moon Rang Like a Bell” is the Florida indie act’s second full-length on the OWLSA label founded by dubstep superstar Skrillex. It may come as a surprise to first-time listeners that despite their alliance with one of dance music’s most abrasive acts, Hundred Waters have released one of the most serene ambient records of 2014. The record sublimely blends elements of trip-hop electronica and rustic folk, featuring a singer with a voice that sounds like Dusty Springfield with some airholes poked in.

Standout track: “Murmurs”

 

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)
Ballpark Music- “Puddinghead”

Ball Park Music return with their third album “Puddinghead,” the type of catchy indie pop record that has made them a household name in their native Australia, and could very well do the same internationally. It’s hard to imagine American audiences being able to resist the psych-rock shuffle of tunes like “A Good Life is the Best Revenge” or “Next Life Already,” which bring to mind Ra Ra Riot, the Rural Alberta Advantage, and Denver’s own Apples in Stereo. The record also boasts some of the finest song names I’ve encountered this year, e.g. “Trippin’ the Light Fantastic” and “Everything is S*** Except My Friendship with You.”

Standout track: “She Only Loves Me When I’m There”

 

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)
Jeffertitti’s Nile- “The Electric Hour”

When you’re dealing with a known musical associate of Father John Misty, there’s a certain level of joyful weirdness to expect (read: a lot). Jeffertitti’s Nile is the project of “self-proclaimed extraterrestrial” Jeffertitti Moon, bassist for Josh Tillman’s eccentric John Misty project. Moon opts for distorted space rock over Tillman’s folk proclivities, incorporating an army of droning organs, fuzz guitars, and tripped-out vocal harmonies. Tracks like “Midnight Siren” and epic closer “The Day the Sky Fell” explore the outer limits of psych-rock a la Spacemen 3, while “Stay On” takes a turn towards prog-rock.

Standout track: “Stay On”