Catfish Haven's new album Devastator is a scorcher. The Chicago band has always put a modern spin on soul-influenced rock, but its new album perfects this formula, thanks to stronger songwriting and plenty of auxiliary flair (sax, keys, harmonica, banjo). George Hunter's vocals sound lifted from a scratchy vintage 45 (when he's not conjuring Paul Weller, Joe Cocker and even David Byrne at times), while the group's rhythm section locks into a snappy and danceable zone, like the best Motown singles.MP3: Catfish Haven, "Set in Stone"
Lovelikefire, meanwhile, trades in dreamy, '90s-tinged indie-rock driven by the emotive vocals of Ann Yu, who can belt out songs like a cabaret diva one moment, and like a wounded bird the next. For fans of Lush, Asobi Seksu, Belly and Throwing Muses. (A.K.A. me.)
MP3: Lovelikefire, "From a Tower"