Feist: Metals (2011)
4 out of 5 stars
Feist is a Canadian who stretches my preconceived notions about what "pop" means. There are no big dance hits here: Metals is full of simmering tunes that are sometimes vulnerable, sometimes angry, and always beautiful. While she touches on R&B, I've included this record here for the many Americana and blues touches. She's not afraid to make it heavy for a brief moment or two, either. Feist wouldn't be out of place sharing a stage with Sarah McLachlan or Chelsea Wolfe; a midpoint.
Jarboe: Sacrificial Cake (1995)
3 out of 5 stars
When I picked this up, I thought it would fit the dark Americana category a little better. There is a bit of acoustic guitar, piano, and folksy vocals, but it's really an eerie combination of dreampop and industrial. And also one song that sounds like 60's pop (but awesome) for some reason. A few songs are great, but on the whole Jarboe's Sacrificial Cake survives on the creation of atomsphere. For what it is, 61 minutes is too long.
Chelsea Wolfe: Apokalypsis (2011)
4.5 out of 5 stars
I can't believe how long I was missing out on Chelsea Wolfe. Apokalypsis begins with a scream any black metal vocalist would envy, and goes in a dozen different directions after that. Heavy and slow, punk, drone, and all kinds of dark acoustic. Of course it's not as legitimately dumbfounding as Wolfe's most recent album, but this was certainly enough evidence to prove she had the potential to create something like that.