Laura Snapes

There's a word that follows Chris Forsyth's music around and makes the Philadelphia guitarist uncomfortable. "I have a complicated relationship with transcendence," he tells NPR. He understands why his guitar epics invite the comparison: Channeling Television, Pere Ubu and kosmische questers past, they race towards some receding target like a rocket aiming for Mars, or greyhounds hurtling hungrily towards a stuffed rabbit.

The starting point for "Moonshine Freeze," the lead single from Bristol-Paris folk band This Is The Kit's forthcoming Rough Trade debut of the same name, was a children's clapping game that got stuck in lead songwriter Kate Stables' head. The rules are simple; repeat the word "moonshine" three times, then freeze.

On May 5, the Louisville songwriter Joan Shelley will release her fifth album of poetic folk minimalism. This time, it's self-titled. "I'm all for adding only what is required, so in a way this was trying to get away with less," she tells NPR. "This particular collection of songs feels somehow central in relation to what I've done so far and what'll come next. It also didn't feel necessary to slap a title on it.