The Weight (Dine Alone)
You might not expect the side project of Yukon Blonde’s Jeffrey Innes to be something that would sound good on a playlist with M83 and Chromatics, but the lush synthetica of “The Weight” is just that.
Nicki Minaj feat. Soulja Boy
Yasss Bish!! (Young Money)
Sorry, Soulja Boy, but even keeping the company of Roman Zolanski doesn’t make you any less of a punch line. As for Nicki Minaj herself, she spits enough fire to make us forget you’re even there.
Flavor (National Anthem)
If you want some flavour, try the Lamplighter Inn—that’s on Highway 2 near Lewis Fork. Damn good food. Diane, if you ever get up this way, that cherry pie is worth a stop. Also, Chicago’s Twin Peaks makes some tasty power pop.
You Are Your Mother’s Child (Nonesuch)
The Bright Eyes main man delivers what at first seems like a wistful observation of a child growing up, but it’s all building toward the final line’s emotional gut-punch. (No spoilers here, but don’t worry—nobody dies.)
How to Dress Well
See You Fall (Weird World)
Move over, Antony Hegarty: How to Dress Well does piano balladry with enough heart-pulling panache to make sensitive saddos think it might be time to officially switch allegiances.
Something in the Water (Carpark)
A disorientingly glitchy opening gives way to warm synth washes and vocals more ethereal than Enya on a fog-shrouded day. This is the kind of song you wish the art students of Warpaint would make.
Archie Bronson Outfit
Love to Pin You Down (Domino)
For reasons that transcend the beautifully analogue production job, “Love to Pin You Down” manages to leave you wondering whether Blur, Sonic Youth, or James Brown is the primary reference point, the most probable answer being all three.
Not My Pig (eOne)
Dearly Beloved gives the world a synth-buzzed, dark-and-brooding bruiser that recalls the glory days of early-’90s alt-rock, when Trent Reznor was still a Young Turk and Garbage was insanely chic.
Expensive Dog (Iron Lung)
We’re guessing the guys in Total Control have some Wire and Mission of Burma records in their collections, and that’s just fine with us, because we like postpunk just as much as your rebellious grandparents did.
Muscle & Bone
Song for the Broken Road (Black Numbers)
Hitting a sweet spot at the intersection of downbeat cowpunk, downbeat emo, and equally downbeat college-rock jangle, “Song for the Broken Road” is a tuneful ode to drinking oneself into an early grave. Told ya it was downbeat.
Gully (Bad Blood)
Over a club beat seemingly beamed in from the early ’90s (but in reality pro-vided by Kid Kamillion and Boys Noize), Spank Rock holds forth on… Well, who knows, but the terms cum stain and big nuts come into play. So, ick. Great beat, though!