Strum by emotive strum, a kind of music is coming out of Portland as pungent and ethereal as steam from morning espresso, recalling the lachrymose folk confessionals of ’70s troubadours like Nick Drake or even Carole King. Weepycore would be forgettable enough if the cooing of northwesterners like the Spinanes and Elliot Smith didn’t represent some of the past year’s most indelible sounds. Their esthetic may be self-absorbed, but as much spleen as heart adorns their sleeves.

BEDHEAD are not from Portland, but fans of weepycore will still find the band an exquisitely unhappy dream come true. Their latest effort, Beheaded (Trance Syndicate), presents the Dallas group as a study in melodramatic understatement. Three guitars are needed to emphasize the restraint of their minimalism, and their delicately interlocked plucking is only occasionally disturbed by a cymbal crash. Cosongwriter Matt

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