Bristol-based songbird Allysen Callery constructs a unique mélange of psychedelic folk and starry night fairy tales, evidenced in her mesmerizing 2010 self-released full-length, Hobgoblin’s Hat, which garnered some international attention (through platforms like folkradio.co.uk). Choice cuts “Tiny Armageddon,” “Button Boots,” and the title track are indeed lullabies to paralyze; the sound is equal parts haunting and cozy. A Berlin-based label released Callery’s 2011 follow-up, the Winter Island EP, another set of stirring folk ballads, with her nylon stringed finger-plucking further complementing the ghostly vocals. Catch Callery at Firehouse 13 on June 29; she’ll return to Java Madness in Wakefield the following morning to serenade the breakfast crowd.
RUNNERS-UP: “Suicide” Bill Cole, US Sam, Brian McKenzie