I've Been Listening to Basshunter, Lights, & Mazzy Star"/>
Basshunter; All I Ever Wanted: Swedish DJ and singer Basshunter (Jonas Altberg) makes music that critics hate and clubgoers love. From a technical standpoint, the 24-year-old artist's success is baffling. A majority of his tracks are created with Fruity Loops--an audio program that can be downloaded by anyone for free off the Internet. Yet Basshunter's simple tracks regularly top dance music charts. He may not use the most advanced equipment, but he certainly has a knack for determining what will stick in listeners' heads. Bonus: He's real easy on the eyes.
Lights; Lights EP: This pint-sized girl (real name: Valerie Poxleitner) comes armed with an angelic voice and a keytar. A couple years ago, I stumbled across her MySpace page by pure chance. At the time she'd only just begun to post some demos, but I was enchanted by what I heard. Obviously, I wasn't the only one, because she's since slowly but surely gained more notoriety. The Toronto native played at this year's SXSW and is part of the lineup for the upcoming Warped Tour on which she's bound to cast a spell on crowds with her blissful and seemingly effortless brand of dream pop.
Mazzy Star; So Tonight That I Might See: Much to many fans' chagrin, the shortlived shoegaze band recorded just three albums before parting ways. Their sophomore effort is by far the best of those three. 1993's STTIMS is filled with melodies that go easy on the instrumentation, with the exception of the occasional guitar or harmonica. Lead vocalist Hope Sandoval possesses a voice so soothing it sounds like she's lulling a baby to sleep. And most impressive, Mazzy Star can deliver songs brimming with romance without ever getting too cheesy.