Hamburg-based BOY — Swiss-born Valeska Steiner and German-born Sonja Glass — makes warm, not-too-cynical indie folk. Their debut full-length, Mutual Friends (Nettwerk), has finally washed up on our shores and it’s half Feist-y, mildly St. Vincent-ish and charming as all hell. Lots of peppy snares, chimey synths and odes to young confusion. BOY plays World Café Live on Wednesday. Scream for “Drive Darling,” if it seems like screaming is appropriate.
A bit Dilla, a little Skrillex, the self-titled debut from Flume — aka 21-year-old Australian Harley Streten — suggests a post-dubstep take on the something-for-everyone, pop-happy mentality of prime Chemical Brothers and Basement Jaxx. While Streten’s shimmery broken beats will get heads nodding, the real star of Flume (Mom+Pop) is the abundance of freely pitched ’n’ spliced vocals, including guest spots from Dido-ish lounge-cheese chanteuse Moon Holiday, moaning rock-dude Chet Faker and absurdly named New York rapper T.Shirt.
—K. Ross Hoffman
Not to be confused with Kate Foust’s Philly band of the same name, this Lady is actually two ladies — big-voiced R&B vets Terri Walker and Nicole Wray — tag-teaming their way through a spunky, good-natured self-titled bow on Truth & Soul. Their soul is unambiguously retro, but it’s tough to pinpoint specific referents beyond a loose turn-of-the-’70s window; you’ll hear peak-era Motown punch, Philly International polish and a touch of conga-abetted blaxploitation funk, beefed up with gleaming production and never-overstated, hip-hop-indebted muscle.
—K. Ross Hoffman
Most critics wrote off Andrew Dominik’s “political cartoon” Killing Them Softly (Anchor Bay) as heavy-handed, but set aside the bourgeois fetish for subtlety and a galvanizing polemic emerges, shot and acted with thrilling gusto. In a bigfoot parody of cutthroat capitalism, the movie’s lowlifes — gloriously scuzzy Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn, oily enforcer Brad Pitt — pledge fealty to the almighty dollar without realizing every one of their associates has done the same. Killing Them Softly may not have a light touch, but when you’re hunting big game, sometimes a shotgun is the best weapon.