6} Sondre Lerche : Sondre Lerche
Sondre Lerche is one of those destined-to-be-under-appreciated musicians: too quirky and subtle for big mainstream success, too classical and tasteful for hipster cred. It’s okay. There will always be a die-hard audience for pop music this well-crafted. Lerche has delved into spiky aggressive power-pop a la Elvis Costello, suave neo-Cole Porter wordplay with a cool Jazz trio, stripped down solo guitar sets, lushed up orchestral backings, and everywhere in between. His latest, self-titled album is a perfect distillation of the Norwegian’s best qualities: indelible melodies, inventive arrangements, and incredible energy. Just put some headphones on, pour your favorite beverage, listen to “Domino” and envision Paul McCartney and Neil Finn in a no-holds-barred cage match for the songwriting credit.