Recommended by Kathy Fennessy
Though they formed in 2012, this Northampton, Massachusetts, quartet could pass for the best, should've-made-it band from the 1990s, the one that had the ability and the ideas, except bad luck got in the way: Instead Bettie Serveert and the Breeders filled the gap. Speedy Ortiz follows a similar conversational, best-friend template. Just add a touch of twang and quasi-metallic grit (the vibrato in Sadie Dupuis's voice also brings Screaming Female Melissa Paternoster to mind). Though there's a certain familiarity to their sound, the restlessness of sophomore release Foil Deer reveals new dimensions with each spin. Dupuis, an MFA graduate in poetry, belongs to a lineage of ladies who aren't afraid to express vulnerability, but don't have to shout to be heard—unless they want to.