Before They Were Cool

Drowners
Drowners
{Frenchkiss}

Looking across the pond, the hottest new Brit band features a Welsh singer who used to be a male model and sounds like a crooning, punked-up second coming of Velvet Underground-era Lou Reed (RIP). Oh, by “across the pond” we mean the East River. Drowners, perhaps the most British sounding pop-punk band we’ve heard in years, is from Brooklyn. Singer Matt Hitt moved from South Wales to Manhattan six years ago and formed Drowners in 2012. A perfect mix of pissy and poppy, mopey and modish, listeners who found themselves disappointed with The Strokes’ recent albums will want to check out this self-titled LP or stream The Cure-channeling, hipster break-up anthem, “A Button on Your Blouse.” We fully expect Hitt to be dueting with Daft Punk in a decade or so.

FIRST AID KIT
Stay Gold
{Columbia}

The Swedish Söderberg sisters, Johanna and Klara, (who play under the name First Aid Kit) have put out two great folk albums since their 2010 debut, playing Lollapalooza and Coachella along the way. This latest album will be released June 10. The new songs still prominently feature the sisters’ soaring harmonies, but with a fuller sound thanks to the Omaha Symphony Orchestra backing them up. The single “My Silver Lining” sounds like the ladies from Fleetwood Mac scoring a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. And it won’t hurt that they recently signed to Columbia Records, the legendary recording label that broke artists like Adele, The Civil Wars and some fella named Bob Dylan. Like the sound? We have good news: The ladies are playing Webster Hall on June 11.