Though she’s often characterized as a soft, indie flower child, Cat Power delivers a hauntingly intimate vocal performance that refuses to be contained by generic buzzwords. Best known for her cover of Phil Phillips’ “Sea of Love,” Power is more than just a folk-guitar artist, too.
Her most recent album, Sun, covers a wide range of sounds, from the Atlanta blues of her childhood to the free jazz scene of early ’90s New York. The album is unlike anything Power has composed before, an impressive feat considering that she has been making music for the past two decades. Using looped electronic beats and layered vocals, Power jolts her music with dynamic energy.
But make no mistake: She is not the cliche of an indie artist going pop. Electronica and drum beats aside, Power is still the earnest, raw storyteller she has always been. She is not interested in genre conventions or fleeting musical trends, freeing her to create music that is entirely unique and entirely her own. Alexa Lee
With Jade at 8 p.m., Sunday, June 25, at the Fillmore. $37.50; thefillmore.com
Champagne pairs perfectly with AIR’s music, according to keyboardist Jean-Benoît Dunckel. Like sparkling wine that goes right to your head, the French electronic duo — who produced the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola’s cult-classic, The Virgin Suicides — has a sound that is “light and resonating, with melodies going higher and higher.” Listen closely to “La Femme D’argent,” the lead track off AIR’s retro-futuristic debut Moon Safari, and you can even hear the fizzy sound of bubbles popping.
Unfortunately, after seven albums and 20 years together, Dunckel and his musical collaborator, guitarist Nicolas Godin, can’t stand one another. “As it became more intense, it became impossible to work together,” Dunckel says. “It’s really weird. Now, it’s impossible to do music together.”
For now, the pair are splitting ways to pursue solo projects, which Dunckel says he is looking forward to because he’ll be able to do things his own way. Quentin Quick
At 8 p.m., Friday, June 23, at the Masonic. $39 and up; sfmasonic.com
Electronic producer Daedelus is so skilled in the art of crafting music that he once partook in a documentary film where he was given $5 to buy albums at a thrift store that he then had to mix in as samples in tracks.
The Los Angeles native, who has released music through labels like Brainfeeder and Anticon, got his start on the internet radio station Dublab, and through epic sets at Daddy Kev’s weekly electronic music nights Low End Theory. In fact, in 2008, the two collaborated and released Live at Low End Theory, a 15-track live album recorded during a July 2007 show at the famed east Los Angeles party.
Though his music runs the gamut from murky and moody to lush and eclectic, there’s always an undeniable groove in the background of Deadelus’ tunes.
In addition to solo work, he is one-half of The Long Lost, a folk-rock duo he formed with his wife Laura Darlington. Jessie Schiewe
With Shobaleader One, at 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 27, at the UC Theatre in Berkeley. $27.50; theuctheatre.org
Calvin Harris’ upcoming fifth studio album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, has no shortage of big featured artists: Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Kehlani, Future, Young Thug, Nicki Minaj, and Ariana Grande. And somehow, up-and-coming singer Jessie Reyez — who hasn’t even released a debut — managed to get a feature on it as well.
The Colombian singer, who was raised in Toronto, has a crackly, muscular voice that, at times, sounds like the female equivalent of Chance the Rapper’s murmur.
In Kiddo, her debut EP from April, Reyez gravitates toward empty, sparse production that puts emphasis on her voice and on her clever, heartfelt lyrics. In “Shutter Island,” she flips the oft-heard male insult “you’re crazy” into a compliment, belting lines like, “My straight jacket’s custom-made though (with fucking rubies) / I’m crazy just like Galileo.” She gets subversive in “Fuck It” — “You’re lucky I didn’t blow your brains out” — and flip-flops between rapping and whisper-singing in “Gatekeeper,” a subdued trap tune about sexism and misogyny in the music industry. Jessie Schiewe
At 8 p.m., Thursday, June 29, at Rickshaw Stop. $13-$15; rickshawstop.com