HOLLY AND THE NON-ITALIANS: Self-titled: CD

I will admit that from the hand-drawn cover of this CD (featuring a painting of Emma Goldman) I’d pegged this as folky right away. But the first track kicks in with solid guitars and drums and it knocked me for a bit of a loop. A good loop. And, thankfully, this avoids the dreaded, boring female singer-songwriter curse. As the album goes on, things get a little folkier, but in a catchy, feisty way that I really dig. This album has guts. Surprising and cool. I feel like a preteen girl who just discovered her babysitter playing awesome songs with her friends in her garage.

 –jennifer (Self-released)