Teenage Exorcists (Rock Action)
This almost seems like the result of someone defying those chin-stroking postrockers in Mogwai to make a three-and-a-half-minute rock song with verses, choruses, and hooks. They did it, and it’s really a beautiful thing.
City on Fire (Independent)
Its inspiration was the Stanley Cup riot of 2011, but local tunesmith Willoughby’s sombre-yet-catchy meditation on civic unrest seems especially timely now, considering what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri.
New Soundgarden! Actually, a new recording of one of the oldest Soundgarden songs, from a 1985 demo. Sub Pop Records didn’t even exist until 1986! It may be ancient, but it crackles with primal rock energy, and that’s timeless.
Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment
Sunday Candy (Independent)
Based on the title, cover art, and organ-saturated gospel vibe, we’ll guess this is about using starlight mints as communion wafers or something. In any case, it’s a sweet, organic-sounding showcase for Chance the Rapper’s more melodic side.
Some downtempo synth fuckery from a brother-and-sister duo out of Edmonton, "Lay-By" is a reminder that a) Edmonton exists, b) mellow doesn’t always equal easy-listening, and c) you should always fasten your seat belt when driving.
Swing Hop (Urbnet)
Starts off cribbing the drum intro to Iggy Pop’s "Lust for Life", and then shifts into something vaguely resembling k-os and Kanye West swapping lines at a circa-’82 Cure concert. Yes, it’s that great.
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
How to Avoid Huge Ships (Dine Alone)
Where ...And You Will Know Them By the Length of Their Name once took cues from Sonic Youth, "How to Avoid Huge Ships" is symphonic in a postrock-meets-chamber- pop way. If you loved them back then, you won’t be complaining now.
Indian Ocean (Nettwerk)
A former Be Good Tanya leaves the alt-country homestead and tries her hand and slow-burning Muscle Shoals–style soul. If you don’t tear up right around the two-minute mark then you obviously aren’t listening.
Ghost Rider (Nettwerk)
As much as we love the doomsday piano and Bristol-jazz vocals, it’s hard not to feel that things would be even better if Nicolas Cage rode right through the middle of the song on a motorcycle, his gleaming, grinning skull fully ablaze.
Girls at the Mall (eOne)
Back when alternative music meant something, Garbage was, with good reason, the coolest band on the planet. Continuing with the compliments, Shirley Manson would approve of the moody distorted synths and tough-cool vocals on "Girls at the Mall".
Boston Brats (Stomp)
Can’t wait for that upcoming collaboration between Jack White and the Roots? Cue up "Boston Brats", which features a seven-nation-army worthy guitar line with some of the illest raps this side of The Tipping Point.