The year’s already half over and it seems like a fitting time to take stock of new music released so far.

Among the year’s highlights: in April The Lumineers released their fabulous second full-length album “Cleopatra” while Radiohead’s stellar “A Moon Shaped Pool” impressed critics in May.

Just a bit below the radar, here are a couple new exemplary releases for your summer enjoyment.

Ray LaMontagne: “Ouroboros”

RayLTwo years after releasing his superlative “Supernova,” Ray LaMontagne is back with “Ouroboros.” From the etherial and brooding opening track “Homecoming” to closing notes of “Part Two: Wouldn’t It Make A Lovely Photograph,” the album is a stunner.

Renowned for his soothing raspy tenor and creative folk-rock arrangements, LaMontagne seems well-aware that his music doesn’t often reach mainstream radio. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he was quoted as saying “All I can do really is just hope that the real music heads out there will get it. This is a record made for them.”

While most tracks on “Ouroboros” are lush, meditative journeys, a few like “The Changing Man,” are satisfying blues-rockers.

Look especially for his beautiful dreamlike “In My Own Way,” and of course, massive hit single “Hey, No Pressure.”

Produced by and featuring My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, this is the sixth studio album from the reclusive and talented New Hampshire native.

In My Own Way

You can find music by Ray LaMontagne on his website or on iTunes.

Currently touring to promote “Ouroboros,” he performs at Troutdale’s McMenamins Edgefield in September.

Marissa Nadler: “Strangers”

Marissa-Nadler_02Many critics are calling American singer-songwriter guitarist Marissa Nadler’s seventh studio album her best.

Known for her acoustic guitar, exquisite mezzo-soprano voice and atmospheric reverb-suffused arrangements, Nadler has a knack for using the light touch on her rock-tinged tracks.

Like LaMontagne, she’s a talented crafter of sonically beautiful arrangements and an artist often overlooked on commercial airwaves. On the new album, don’t miss “Katie I Know,” “All the Colors of the Dark” and title track “Strangers.”

PRP has “Janie in Love” on our playlist – have a listen, we think you’ll love it:

Janie in Love

In a recent interview about her new album with Uncut Magazine, Nadler said: “I’ve tried to strip my voice back to its purest, and remove the frills, let the music speak for itself.”


You can find Marissa Nadler’s music on iTunes and on her website.


Cynthia Orlando
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