The Cheeksters started out as a duo—Mark Casson and his wife, Angie—in Knoxville in the early '90s before moving their British Invasion-influenced project to Nashville and finally Asheville, N.C. Now a full five-piece band, they're coming back to support the 2008 album Movers & Shakers.
Belle and Sebastian The Life Pursuit (Matador, 2006)
One of the best pure pop records I've heard in the last few years—fantastic and funny songwriting delivered with panache by this great Scottish band.
The Impressions This Is My Country (Curtom Records, 1968)
Curtis Mayfield had the sweetest of soft falsetto voices I have heard to date. The songs on this record are recorded with true soul. Great melodies and blasting horns give these songs a way to blast off to heaven.
The Kinks Something Else by the Kinks (Reprise, 1967)
Just rediscovered this one. So many good songs on one record, from "David Watts" to "Waterloo Sunset." It captures the giddy spirit of London in 1967.
Aimee Mann @#%&*! Smilers (SuperEgo, 2008)
I really like her low, soulful, soft-spoken vocals on "Freeway" and "31 Today." Tasteful and sparse production values make these songs shine.