Public Service Broadcasting
FILE UNDER: Sociopolitical art-pop
WHAT’S DIFFERENT: This U.K. prog-pop duo set aside cheeky nostalgia for at least one album to address a more serious topic: the rise and fall of the coal industry in Wales. A niche subject, to be sure, but one they bring emotional weight to through smart use of samples and guest vocalists like James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers) and Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura).
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: In spite of the somewhat dour tone of this album, there’s plenty of musical depth and light to be found throughout. PSB ably mixes blisteringly in-your-face volume with more nuanced expressions, like on “They Gave Me A Lamp,” where the group is joined by the rich, expressive work of traditional folk ensemble Haiku Salut.
OUR PICK: “All Out”