1. “JJ” by Priests
Just when you think this song will be some kind of recreation of any ‘50s surfing track, lead singer Katie Greer kicks off the lyrics with a growling voice and intense ferocity that makes this new release worth listening to.
2. “Dancing Industry” by The So So Glos
Although “Dancing Industry” was released this year, it has some nice ‘90s ska influences. And what’s a playlist without some fast-paced pseudo rock?
3. “Hellhole Ratrace” by Girls
As the first song on the 2012 album “Album” from Girls, “Hellhole Ratrace” opens with emotional lyrics. Lead singer Christopher Owens sings in a slightly distorted voice, “I’m sick and tired of the way that I feel/I’m sick of dreaming and it’s never for real.” It’s perfectly introspective and gut-wrenching.
4. “Golden Gal” by Animal Collective
Honestly, the fact that this song opens with a sound clip from the ‘80s sitcom “Golden Girls” is reason enough to listen.
5. “California” by PARTYBABY
Yes, PARTYBABY is a pretty stupid name for a band, but I’ve never wanted to go to California more.
6. “Another One” by Mac Demarco
Mac Demarco, chilled out and relaxed as ever.
7. “Seefu Lilac” by Black Moth Super Rainbow
It starts out with the simple strum of a guitar mixed with some static. Next there’s a pause, followed by more strumming. Then a synthesizer and a horn joins the collection of soft sounds. The pattern repeats for the next two minutes, yet the effect is oddly soothing.
8. “Affection” by Cigarettes After Sex
The lead singer of Cigarettes After Sex has such an ethereal voice, and this song is extremely sweet as a result. However, the lyrics reveal a darker side to this affection.
9. “Space Song’” by Beach House
To quote a YouTube comment, “it’s like the song itself is in pain.” Beach House never fails to perform soft and dreamy songs with a mix of sadness.
10. “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem
This song blends love and hate for a place one calls home in such a beautiful way. You don’t have to be from New York to relate.
11. “Multi-Love” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Don’t be alarmed by the subject matter of this song (polyamory).
12. “I Follow You” by Melody’s Echo Chamber
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala worked with Melody Prochet on this debut album. “I Follow You” is a standout, with breathy vocals and a nice guitar solo at the end.
13. “Lonely World” by Moses Sumney
Sumney’s voice travels from devastatingly broken to uplifting and distorted in an absolute journey of a song.