Chopin With A Polish Touch

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April Smith and the Great Picture Show's "Colors" is at least as much a ballad of heartfelt yearning as it is a stomp-and-swagger jam. Eric Ryan Anderson hide caption

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'Colors' by April Smith and the Great Picture Show

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In the appropriately titled "Detroit Loveletter," Jose James sounds smart, sexy and soulful. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Detroit Loveletter' by Jose James

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The Rev. Lonnie Farris at home in 1980. His recording of "Peace in the Valley" opens Fire In My Bones. Mark Weber hide caption

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Divine Inspiration Sparks 'Fire' And 'Funk'

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In "College," the fifth-grade MCs in 3 Titans unleash a charmingly clever and upbeat jam. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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College

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Joanna Newsom's new Have One on Me taps into myths of the American West and the open road. Annabel Mehran hide caption

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Joanna Newsom Maps A Triple-Album Heart

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Christian Lantry

Josh Thompson's Good Ol' Country Debut

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Life Of Leisure EP

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"Let's Write a Book" stretches Field Music's indie-pop aesthetic to its outer limits, delving into electronica and funk. Ian West hide caption

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'Let's Write a Book' by Field Music

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Hot Chip formed in 2000 around the core duo of Alexis Taylor (second from left) and Joe Goddard (far left). Bevis Martin and Charlie Youle hide caption

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Hot Chip Brings Romance To The Dance Floor

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As a solo singer, Tillman releases a hushed and respectful hymn for a modern age. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Year in the Kingdom' by J. Tillman

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On the compilation Black Man's Cry: The Inspiration of Fela Kuti, Cumbia Moderna de Soledad covers Fela's "Shakara," and shares with it a common bloodline. courtesy of Stone's Throw Records hide caption

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'Shacalao' by Cumbia Moderna de Soledad

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Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player Manu Dibango performs the title track of Africa Boogaloo. Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty Images hide caption

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Africa Boogaloo

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