1. “Whatever, Wherever” by Band of Horses
This is a casual and breezy tune that’s perfect for a quiet day. It’s about singer Ben Bridwell’s four daughters, which makes it
2. “Don’t Make a Scene” by Atlas Genius
On the same album as their radio hit “Trojans,” this upbeat track also shines. Plus this is good weekend advice for us all.
3. “The Violet Hour” by Sea Wolf
Ignore the fact that it was exclusively released as part of the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack. This song was the best thing to come out of that movie.
4. “Loose Change” by Royal Blood
It’s hard to believe that this British band is actually a duo consisting of just a drummer and a bassist. Songs like this one are so powerful you don’t notice how sparse they actually are.
5. “Mr. Know-It-All” by Young the Giant
One of the strongest and most fun tracks on their recently released album Home of the Strange, this song paints an all-too-familiar narrative of modern youths faltering in their identity search.
6. “Bad Blood” by NAO
NAO uses the term “wonky funk” to describe her sound, which is exactly the right term for songs like this one, that beautifully fuse R&B and electronica.
7. “Portugal” by Walk the Moon
Crazy to think, but Walk the Moon actually has songs other than “Shut Up and Dance” and many of them are a thousand times better. Anyone who went abroad last semester and met a special friend, this one might be for you.
8. “I Should Have Known It” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
There’s currently a four-hour long Tom Petty documentary on Netflix, but if you’re normal and that’s too long for you, here’s a lesser-known track to get to know first.
9. “Sean’” by Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters has begun announcing summer 2017 festival dates via a virtual passport on their website, and people will be excited to hear tracks such as this one from their most recent release. This song, from a five-song EP, is a standout.
10. “The Space Program” by A Tribe Called Quest
This trio made a poignant comeback this month with their final studio album, which was recorded in secrecy and was their first in almost 20 years. The album opens with this track expressing a serious call for revolution.
11. “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” by Weezer
A surprisingly serious cut from one of alt-rock’s cheekiest groups, as evidenced by lyrics like “And in your place an empty space/Has filled the void behind my face.”
12. “Punks and Poets” by Elliot Root
It’s amazing that “Punks and Poets” is the work of just one man. Elliot Root’s song features his especially captivating voice and
13. “My Blood” by AlunaGeorge
A dragging slow-jam that fits perfectly into today’s cache of electropop while standing out with its tangible emotion.