Emily Wells has one of those fascinating, cracked voices, pitched somewhere between country and blues, mostly grounded but with this crazy, otherworldly upper register, not angelic or witchy or any of the usual adjectives, but absolutely skewed from conventional reality. She's also a very accomplished violin player and, here's the kicker, has a real interest in electronic music (she's working with Dan the Automator on her next project). All of which means that her new album Mama is extremely hard to pin down, with its gap-toothed, country-girl vocals, its sleek, classically tinged strings and its eerie electro-beats and tone-washes. It's out on Partisan (also the home of Deertick and the Avett Brothers), and there's certainly some traditional music in there, but shot through time from the past to the future without ever really touching down on the present. I like it a lot.
You can check out Passenger" if you want a taste.