Ally Schweitzer

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hannah Lew is already a familiar name on the indie-pop scene: The San Francisco native used to play bass in the great-but-dormant Grass Widow.

With "Transition," the techno group Underground Resistance sought to inspire self-actualization in black, working-class Detroit.

The Richmond, Va., psych-rock quintet Avers is a supergroup of sorts, with players from folk-pop heavy hitter The Head And The Heart and established Richmond bands Mason Brothers, Hypercolor, The Trillions and Farm Vegas. On its 2014 debut LP, Empty Light, Avers twists those bands' sensibilities into a wicked amalgam of rock from the '60s and later.

Michael "Mikey" Hodges began his music career the way thousands of other songwriters start out: by moving to New York. Hodges split from his home state of Indiana in 2009 and landed in Brooklyn, moving in with a musician buddy from back home. He bounced around the Brooklyn scene, bartending, performing with friends' bands and making pals everywhere he went — but on his own, he'd begun to record a batch of pop songs that would mark his debut as a solo artist.