Jessica Lea Mayfield, 'Make My Head Sing. . .' (April 15th)
Alt-rock prodigy Jessica Lea Mayfield appreciates the two albums she recorded with producer and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, but it's her forthcoming Make My Head Sing that really defines her. "While my last two records have done well, I would be embarrassed to hear them," she says. "But if I was out and heard something off the new record, I'd be like, 'OK, people are hearing this.' I think it's like the first record I've ever made. I'm older and I don't want to hear the teenage me." Far from sounding adolescent, Make My Head Sing. . . shows just what Mayfield, 24, can do with an array of crunchy, gooey, shimmery guitar sounds and heart-on-sleeve lyrics, like the ones in the languorous "Party Drugs." "That song is about how nothing good comes from getting too fucked up," she says. "You think you've got your life together and you're married and you got your career and then you've got to be careful because if you get too fucked up, you can throw it all away."