This is a perfect album made up of 10 perfect songs, clocking in at a brisk 42 minutes. You really don’t need any more information. It’s ‘80s-inspired electronica-meets-‘70s bubblegum R&B with startlingly unique production. The songs are spectacular, and the recent single and title track “Love Letters” sounds much better in the context of the album, if anyone was worried. As a whole, Love Letters rewards with repeated listens but is also instantly enigmatic. I’d say the band has found its footing, but its last two albums are just as good. This is the best of spring’s indie-darling releases. Prime Cuts: “Monstrous,” “Reservoir,” “Never Wanted” —Dominik Rothbard
After three releases of noisy, semi-experimental synth-pop, these Baltimore contenders muscle down on the songwriting, add some soul to their frosty grooves and remember to have fun. This could be some outreach after moving to a major label; it might also be boys growing up and learning to better deal with life’s contradictions. Regardless, the best surprise here is that singer Samuel T. Herring is no longer the wan electro wallflower of yore but a confident belter in the vein of Fine Young Cannibals’ Roland Gift. Glossy, machine-tooled surfaces are always better with some messy grit in it. Prime Cuts: “Seasons (Waiting on You),” “Back in the Tall Grass,” “Spirit” —Dan Loughry
For those who think Die Antwoord is too edgy, this debut from duo Karmin is tailor-made for you. Aimee Heidemann and Nick Noonan are good time kids offering radio-friendly pumped-up kicks on Pulses, which is exactly what this record does—13 mostly banging cuts that mix electro, pop, reggae and rap (in that inimitable way that white kids rap). Hooks are courtesy of Heidemann’s electro-femme vocals, brief earworms that nestle into your brain. Substance is on the light side, but fun is at a premium here. Prime Cuts: “Gasoline,” “Puppets,” “Acapella” —D.L.