Back in his teenage years, Nic Hessler’s limited-run lo-fi recordings as Catwalk were inspiring enough to earn him a deal with Captured Tracks. The young California singer-songwriter inked a deal in 2009 at age 18 and was preparing for his first tour in 2011 when he was stricken with Guillain–Barré Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder similar to Multiple Sclerosis. He was partially paralyzed and unable to play guitar, so his future as a musician seemed bleak. But Hessler overcame the disease, and four years later he’s back with a tremendous new album under his own name. Soft Connections is a sparkling collection of guitar-driven power-pop, and lead single “Heart’s Repeating” beautifully exemplifies its appeal. Shimmering guitar parts and crystalline vocal harmonies abound, and a brisk pulse carries the song forward with a rush similar to riding a bicycle down a hill with your hands raised to the heavens. A lot of big names in indie-rock have announced new projects today, but you’d be wise not to let Hessler’s genius slip past you in the frenzy.