Test Spin: DeVotchKa

If you like your music to wander, A Mad and Faithful Telling is for you. The track, “Blessing in Disguise,” for example, blends an almost circus-like drumbeat with a strong strings-based chorus, and then tops it off with Nick Urata’s emotive vocals. And if Urata’s voice captures you, as it almost certainly will, be sure to listen to “Undone.” Its poignant lyrics and emotional delivery are probably the strongest on the album. If you prefer a more playful mood, however, “Basso Profundo” and “Head Honcho” deliver the same vocal potency, but with added zest from the instruments.

Test Spin: Austin Leeds

Although his work can be heard on over thirty electronica and dance albums, Miami DJ Austin Leeds refused to produce a solo album until now because he wasn’t offered full creative control. ,em>Dirty Sound II/ Love Machine, however, has given Leeds the chance to create his own songs as well as remix popular dance beats. While rhythmic complexity varies throughout the album, every song is infused with energetic, tightly-merged beats. The album’s first single, “I Can’t Get Away,” provides the best example of this by combining bold, fast-paced baselines and crisp foreground rhythms. Unlike many recent electronica albums, no two songs on Dirty Sound II/Love Machine are alike.