PHOTO: JON CASEY
SONG TO DOWNLOAD: "Keep Apnea"
WHY THEM: Under the hot New Mexico sun, Johanne Swanson found her inspiration to start creating music. A 20-year-old Michigan native, Swanson's first musical effort sold out of its first release on cassette almost instantaneously, thanks to the blogosphere. Revery has sweat dripping from its brow, even though it's sitting in the shade. Produced, mixed, and recorded by Wisconsin runner-up Vacation Dad, the album swims through woozy tape echo and humid synth lines. Yohuna composes lazy lo-fi synth pop straight from her heart, capturing her experiences on the lower half of the country. Listening to it is like wandering through a New Mexico desert on your hands and knees, nearly at your last breath, in search of an oasis, or at least a mirage. In one of the final closing phrases of the album, Swanson simply states, "I'm gonna die in the desert." Never has something so warm and happy expressed such dismay.
ALSO CONSIDERED: Glowhouse — Albuquerque's darkest and most ambient indie project sounds like Band of Horses on Ketamine.