Patti Smith

Album: Patti Smith and Kevin Shields, The Coral Sea (PASK)

Kevin Shields' first sustained original work since My Bloody Valentine's last record, 1991's Loveless, is entirely in the service of Patti Smith's long poem in memory of her early lover, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died of Aids.

Album: Dead Air, Dead Air (Reveal)

Dead Air is the nom de disque of Rainy Orteca, the guitarist whose stints with the likes of Lou Reed, Joan Osborne and Antony & The Johnsons led to her current position as Joan Wasser's right-hand gal in Joan As Policewoman.