Staff Picks: An icy cover, a Greek-blues singer, and a tool that makes everything sound better

Ásgeir, “Heart-Shaped Box”

Iceland’s prodigious pop-musical output includes its share of moody and forlorn affairs, music that resonates as you stare at the ceiling in your darkened bedroom. I’ve been listening a lot to the Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir of late, in particular, his cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.” This is a track that contains the lyrics, “I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black,” and that Kurt Cobain once described as making him “sadder than anything I can think of.” Ásgeir begins his cover with just his piano and Bon Iver-like falsetto, then layers it with Moog synthesizers and electronic backbeats, and it’s all gloriously haunting, piercing through you with its icy aural daggers. [Kevin Pang]

Sotiria Bellou

Among the many legendary women of rebetiko, Sotiria Bellou stands apart. Rebetiko, often compared to the blues or fado, is a song form born out …

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