The Smashing Pumpkins
Who even knows (or, frankly, cares) who the Smashing Pumpkins are anymore, apart from Billy Corgan? All that matters is “Tiberius” has some pretty killer guitar and synth lines in it, and it’s presumably about James T. Kirk.
Lick My Wounds (Siamese Squid)
The Dø sounds like Beach House would if Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally moved to Paris in a fit of depression and ditched the guitars in favour of an all-synth-all-the-time format.
Goth Bomb (4AD)
Peter Murphy himself would give the stamp of approval to this grimy lo-fi slab of dark-hearted garage goth. Actually, he’d probably find it too grimy and dark-hearted, which only makes it seem all the greater.
La Balance (SaskMusic)
Presumably not related to the Indigo Girls, Indigo Joseph offers a refreshing break from indie rock by updating old-school tropical-tinted jazz. Think Bembeya Jazz National and you’re at least in the right section of the record store.
Lunch Money (GOOD Music)
Over a Kanye West beat that sounds like three different video games being played simultaneously while David Letterman ponders the vagaries of Funkmaster Flex Night, King Push boasts about taking other rappers’ lunch money in a scarily convinc-ing fashion.
Shadow (Italians Do It Better)
If you ever want to picture yourself in the closing scene of some sad Euro art film, as the camera slowly pulls back from your lifeless body lying on a field of blinding-white snow, Chromatics’ Johnny Jewel has your soundtrack.
Cold Dead (Warp)
It takes a certain type of mad genius to come up with a song that seemingly references the Locust, David Sanborn, the Minutemen, Yanni, and a dying Atari game console in a minute and a half. Take a bow, Flying Lotus, for a job well done.
The Budos Band
The Sticks (Daptone)
Here’s something the world totally needs more of, especially at a time when everyone with an iPhone or similar handheld device is making shot-at-home blue movies: ’70s-style porno-soundtrack music. Welcome to the party, Budos Band, and feel free to remove your clothes.
Tyler, the Creator
Diaper (Odd Future)
What the hell is this song about, and why is it called “Diaper”? Why does the beat sound like it’s coming out of a blown speaker? Let’s ask Tyler: “RANDOM SONG LAYING AROUND THOUGHT WHY NOT PUT IT SOMEWHERE.” Well, okay then.
Every Age (Mute)
José González’s first solo song in several years (he’s been busy fronting Junip) is a beautifully spare meditation on the passage of time, but you really oughta check out the video, which was made by sending a balloon-mounted camera into space. A real trip!
Ice Princess (Prospect Park)
Over a crystalline backdrop of chimes and cellos, Azealia Banks drops lyrical refer-ences to tundras and glaciers (and, uh, Ice Cube), making us wonder what the Frozen soundtrack would have sounded like with more hip-hop and less Adele Dazeem.