If these upcoming gigs in May by these widely-praised indie music artists are any indication, the summer music season in the city is going to get off to a promising start. Eleanor Friedberger, the former singer of the Fiery Furnaces, has carved a pretty impressive solo career in the last 10 years; her new record, Rebound, might be the best work she’s made so far to date. In contrast to the avant-garde and experimental sounds of Friedberger’s erstwhile band, Rebound is quite accessible as it marries electronic textures and conventional rock to create something quite poppy and engaging (standout tracks from the new record are “The Letter” and “Make Me a Song). Eleanor Friedberger, May 1, Bowery Ballroom
Somewhat similar in that approach is The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, the latest and outstanding album by Wye Oak, the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack. When I saw them play at Boston’s Middle East club in 2009, around the time of their second album The Knot, I was struck by their stark yet powerful guitar-drum rock dominated sound. Fast forward to almost 10 years later and this new album of theirs employs electronic textures across songs that are both anthemic and intimate (key numbers are the title song, “It’s Not Natural,” “Over and Over,” and “Join”). Wye Oak, May 15, Brooklyn Steel
And lastly, Japanese Breakfast, the moniker of musician Michelle Zauner, had a breakout 2017 with her critically-acclaimed, dreamy album Soft Sounds From Another Planet, inspired themes of science fiction and space. That record was the follow-up to her debut Psychopomp, which was recorded around the time of her mother’s death. She once told me in an interview last year: “With these two albums, I really stuck myself in the middle of what I was feeling and waded through it and figured out how I felt and put it into words.” You can’t go wrong either way if you see one or all three of these acts this month—what’s guaranteed is a very resonant and emotional experience. Japanese Breakfast, May 31, Warsaw.