FRIDAY: Fathom Lane

Granted, they’re not NEW new in the City Pages sense of “just got together in 2013 and haven’t done a damn thing yet,” but this has been Fathom Lane’s year — their brilliant self-titled album, influenced by everything from Gram Parsons-ish country to a half-ton of Laurel Canyon folk-rock, has made them local darlings overnight. Songwriter Michael Ferrier knows his way around a melody, and uses more than just the typical (well, these days, anyway) major-relative-minor chord progressions to get the point across. And his fragile but still quite supple (yeah, a weird adjective but it fits) voice blends perfectly with co-singer Ashleigh Still’s honeyed alto in the manner of classic male-female country duos of yesteryear. [Jon Hunt, l’etoile]

Recommended If You Like:
Velvet Underground, Gram Parsons, Cowboy Junkies, Tom Petty, Nick Drake, Big Star

SATURDAY: Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit is the songwriting moniker of Jordan Lee. A wanderer at heart, Lee has been roaming between rural Ohio and Boston and Austin over the past few years, stopping in basements and living rooms and DIY show spaces along away, playing endearing sets to small groups of similarly idealistic listeners. Lee’s music is driven by his own heartfelt vision, a balance of folksy old-timey elements one might except from a roving storyteller (plucks of banjos, off-kilter homemade percussion), often layered with the sort of electronic elements one might expect from a contemporary experimental pop artist (droning synths, loops of old keyboards). [Stereogum]

Recommended If You Like:
Youth Lagoon, Sufjan Stevens, the Microphones, Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack”