American Princes, “Other People” (Yep Roc Records, April 14) Far and away the best record yet by Little Rock's favorite upwardly mobile rockers, “Other People” retrofits the Princes' whip-smart lyrics and taut instrumentation (now with a third guitarist, Will Boyd!) with nods to your favorite '80s music — new wave, post-punk, even a little Tom Petty open road.
The Good Fear, “Dirty Lowdown Adventure” (Max Recordings, April) Where the Little Rock/Fayetteville collective's debut, “Keep in Touch,” made its bones on epic Southern rock anthems, look for the followup to tread into equally epic territory with a long song-cycle filled with a wealth of pop experimentation.
Isaac Alexander, “See Through Me” (Max Recordings, April/May) Perhaps Little Rock's most prolific bandleader takes a break from his collaborative work (Big Silver, the Easys, Boondogs) with this solo debut. Expect rich, pop-rock goodness.
607 and Mr. Morbid, “Nobody But Us” (Self-release, May 23) The 2008 Showcase winner teams with his brother for a “light, fun summertime album” that he plans to release at Riverfest, where he'll be performing. This is ahead of schedule for 607. To maintain his quarterly pace, he's not due for another record until June, after releasing two albums at the end of last year.
Loch Ness Monster (Untitled) (Max Recordings, June) Yep, Max Recordings gets a lot of love in this list, largely because no one else gives local acts more shine. The latest addition to the label's roster, Loch Ness Monster, has been around for a minute, playing supremely catchy post-punk. We're counting on more of the same here.