Miho Hatori

The last time 3hive.com saw Miho Hatori, she was singing some samba with Smokey Hormel. But that was ’04, and things have moved on a bit. On Ecdysis — Miho’s debut solo album released on Rykodisc last October — the multilingual chanteuse hops from genre to genre and continent to continent. Looking for Caribbean rhythms? How about Southeast Asian? African? Just keeping skipping through the tracks on the album; eventually you’ll get there.

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Elf Power

There’s more than a passing resemblance between Elf Power’s latest, an organically trippy tempest in a teapot, and very early REM. But those who’ve grown to love Elf Power for their subtle vocal lullabies over inventive pop-folk arrangements will know that the resemblance is far from a ripoff. Elf Power are simply building on the “Athens Sound” – a genteel southern intellectuality that allows for fantastic sonic experimentation but keeps it as personal as a front-porch jam.

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If Ladytron had gone to my high school, they would have been those ultra-stylish new wavers who never went to class and never associated with the decidedly less-stylish new wavers like me. So, I should have written them off as some aloof, unironic Human League tribute band just to make myself feel better. But the fact is, they’re more than that and even if they weren’t, we’re talking Dare-era Human League and, frankly, you could do a lot worse… If you can’t tell, I’m fighting back a bit of a crush and not just on the ladies of Ladytron, Helen and Mira, but the whole lot of them. Their latest, Witching Hour, features a lot more guitar than ever before, which is a welcome expansion to their sound. That said, I will always be a sucker for their soaring synths as showcased on the monster single, “Destroy Everything You Touch.” The video is nice, too. See what I’m saying, though? They’re ice queens/kings, even they admit it.

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