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What to Listen to This Week

English singer Shirley Collins is a pure storyteller, singing of Britain’s fearful and faerie past in a voice so austere as to be drained of all emotion. She’s well into her 80s and going strong.

SOMETHING OLD

In the ‘90s and early ‘00s, producers around the world (but mostly in Germany) were realizing that electronics could be cute and cuddly. Schneider TM’s 2002 album Zoomer is one of the most delightful products of this era. Each drumbeat lands as softly as a cat’s paw, and initiator Dirk Dresselhaus twists his vocoders into some really gorgeous melodies, at least when he’s not trying to rap. This soft electro-pop style would culminate the next year with the Postal Service’s Give Up; if you liked that album but wish it went further out on a limb, this is for you.

SOMETHING NEW

In the Cocteau Twins, Robin Guthrie’s guitar was the whirlwind from which Liz Fraser’s “voice of God” spoke. His solo work foregrounds those billowing textures, and his new EP Mockingbird Love adds 12 slight but replayable minutes to his discography. The star is Fraser’s guitar, the supporting cast is his pedalboard, and there’s not much else to distract from Guthrie’s delay-drenched meanderings. The only trick is acknowledging the title and not thinking of something unwholesome; maybe before Shape of Water and Titane, certainly not after.

SOMETHING LOCAL

Joel Shanahan’s Golden Donna project usually sounds like the chord-heavy, slightly time-worn house music that’s come to be associated with the Northwest over the past decade or so. However, his new The Damage Has Been Done EP has different intentions: This is techno that sounds like it’s been rubbed generously with sandpaper. The kicks are harsh and distorted, the synths bleep copiously. There’s nothing to sink your head into, just miles of rugged terrain to cross.

SOMETHING ASKEW

English singer Shirley Collins is a pure storyteller, singing of Britain’s fearful and faerie past in a voice so austere as to be drained of all emotion. She’s well into her 80s and going strong, but her best work dates from the ‘60s, when she recorded both epics like Anthems in Eden, orchestrated by her more maximal-minded sister Dolly, and simple missives like The Sweet Primeroses. She doesn’t shy from dark content, but that comes with the territory in British folk, which reflects eons of syncretism between pagan lore and Christian guilt.