Recommended by Kyle Fleck
The music of St. Vincent (legal name: Annie Clark) has always felt to me chilly, precise, nearly academic: she and David Byrne made perfect sense as cerebral foils for each other on their good-not-great collaborative album, Love This Giant from 2012. However, with her 2014-released self-titled album, St. Vincent's turned a stylistic corner, both musically and lyrically. Her once-cryptic missives now read like diary entries about a particularly obtuse crush from your sculpture class; meanwhile, her wily guitar work and frazzled electronics build instrumental backdrops that sound alternately tempestuous and Zen-like. Live, her normally unimpeachable poise gives way to dizzying solos, as Clark allows her feather-light voice to rip itself open above the fray.