12. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, 'Ears'
On this expressive suite of Technicolor bubbles, a slew of consonant harmonies, clashing rhythms and voice-modulated alien melodies combine into twinkling, burbling beauty. Using the Buchla Music Easel (with accents from the pastoral worlds of classical guitar, piano and freak-folk), Los Angeles–based Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith wrangles flute-like twinkles and sax-like honks into a bubbling stew of slurps and buzzes. Her unique vision collates the electronic gurgle of Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air, the atmospheric melodies of Sixties British folk, the deep impassioned drones found in the private press New Age revival and the pop-experimental edge of occasional collaborator Suzanne Ciani. Disorienting and gorgeous.