Winter break’s most overlooked releases

From Grouper’s magnificent ‘Paradise Valley’ 7” to Brian Eno’s return to ambient music, these are a few significant works that fell under the radar over the holidays.

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ remains the defining holiday classic

The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s beautiful score to the classic TV special remains the jewel in the crown of a genre full of horrors, oddities and low points.

‘Slop’ marks Forth Wanderers as one of the best young indie bands in the country

Though some of their members are barely out of high school, this Montclair, New Jersey quintet is crafting some of the most quietly sophisticated punk in America.

A final look at the life and career of Leonard Cohen

A brief examination of the singular legacy of the legendary Canadian singer/songwriter, who died last week at the age of 82.

Julian Koster to bring ‘The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air)’ to the Iron Horse next Monday

‘Welcome to Night Vale’ side podcast, starring Neutral Milk Hotel member, will be performed live in Northampton.

‘Homeworlding’ cements Fraternal Twin as one of indie rock’s up-and-comers

On his second release with Fraternal Twin, Quarterbacks bassist Tom Christie quietly asserts himself as a creative force.

Bon Iver brilliantly deconstructs itself on “22, A Million”

Opaque and obtuse, “22, A Million” is an anxious, fractured, but ultimately rewarding listen.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds deliver an unforgettable elegy

“Skeleton Tree” is a monumental work of grief, love and resilience in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘E.MO.TION: Side B’ perfectly effortless and bright

Even a collection of outtakes from the Canadian pop star can rival most artists’ regular studio albums.

of Montreal and Toro y Moi to co-headline Pearl Street this weekend

Veteran psychedelic rock band and a critically acclaimed electronic musician will join forces in Northampton.

Sonic Youth’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ still stands as crucial career turning point

A reissue of the New York punk legends’ second full-length album sheds light on the band’s development, 30 years later.

Death Cab for Cutie delivers the necessary goods on ‘Kintsugi’

Indie institution offers few new developments, but retains its strengths on first album in four years.

Sufjan Stevens delivers an emotional tour de force on ‘Carrie & Lowell’

Idiosyncratic singer/songwriter returns with a vulnerable, ultra-personal masterpiece.

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ is a wild, unpredictable masterpiece

The Compton rapper’s third album is an experimental but extraordinary achievement.

Modest Mouse reclaims its sound, but not its essence

Indie rock legends’ first full-length album in eight years sounds familiar, but often underwhelming.

Noel Gallagher stays in his comfort zone on ‘Chasing Yesterday’

Former Oasis guitarist and songwriter hints at some new sounds, but ultimately sticks to his trademark stadium-rock sound.

Gang of Four loses its essence on dreary ‘What Happens Next’

Legendary English punk band, down to one original member, fails to excite on new release.

Twin River unveil infectious, exciting debut LP

Vancouver garage-rock trio debuts with a set of fun, summery and catchy tunes.

Jose Gonzalez returns with graceful “Vestiges & Claws”

Swedish singer/songwriter’s third album is a strong collection of all-original songs.

Björk gets personal on breakup album, ‘Vulnicura’

The Icelandic singer’s ninth album shows her at her most vulnerable and introspective.