Album: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Advance Base... (Tomlab)

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is the recording guise of Owen Ashworth, a Chicago-based cult hero among fans of introspective synth pop. 'Advance Base Battery Life', a collection of singles and non-album tracks, is a fine primer for the uninitiated. The "fi" is stubbornly "lo" and the mood is one of elegiac romanticism, with echoes of the Postal Service and Laptop. It also includes a number of his covers, such as Missy's "Hot Boyz" and Springsteen's "Born in the USA".

Pick of the Album: It's his party: 'Lesley Gore on the T.A.M.I. Show'