"Arms Of A Tree" by Testa Rosa
Dreamy Milwaukee pop-rock trio Testa Rosa is another '80s-inspired band, but that shouldn't be a turn-off—its self-titled debut sounds like a gem that might've been lost in the shuffle back when R.E.M. signed to Warner Bros. and quirky college music became radio-ready alternative rock. Really, though, it's just a well-crafted tribute to a bygone era. Light, unassuming, and refreshingly devoid of the too-stylish artifice that normally accompanies '80s revival records, Testa Rosa is also a lot of fun, with English and German versions of the standout leadoff track "Ollie And Delilah" and a warm-and-fuzzy Christmas tune tacked on as a hidden track. Elsewhere, singer-guitarist Betty Blexrud-Strigens makes shimmering ballads like "Easy For You To Say" and "Arms Of A Tree" sound like hymns with her haunting, echoing vocals.