The Head and the Heart, “Living Mirage” (Reprise) With a penchant for earnest pop melodies — “Living Mirage” literally includes a song titled “People Need a Melody” — and a sunburst vocal blend, this Seattle-forged band has come to represent the best of mainstream music in this moment. On their latest, the band continues to find unique arrangements and adornments for their affirming hooks.

Carly Rae Jepsen, “Dedicated” (604/Schoolboy/Interscope) The pop princess even skeptical music critics can agree on, Jepsen offers up her fourth record. The artist continues to mine the best of retro sounds while living close to the contemporary, cutting edge.

The National, “I Am Easy to Find” (4AD) The National remains one of indie-rock’s truly titanic forces. On its latest, the band continues to play with lush musical textures and creeping lyrical dread. The record features a coterie of guest vocalists that includes Sharon Van Etten and Lisa Hannigan.

Operators, “Radiant Dawn” (Last Gang) Led by Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, this Montreal band pursues an electro-pop sound that retains a certain edginess while still swinging for the fences with a hopeful, anthemic sound.