“Gronlandic Edit” – Of Montreal
This song is what I like to call an Indie Bop. It is very vibey and truly makes everyone move along with the beat. It was released by Of Montreal in their album “Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer” on January 23rd, 2007. Over ten years later this band from Athens, Georgia is still making kids groove. I love the play pitches and sound in the vocals of this song. It’s fun and makes you want to sing along.
“Heading Home” - Gryffn, Josef Salvat
Heading Home has now been one of my favorite song for over a year. I first heard it in an Electric Forest festival and that is when I knew I had to attend that event. It was such an amazing experience and this song never fails to remind me of those memorable nights and the people I shared them with. It is recorded by Gryfnn (Native of New York City ) and Josef Salvat (Native of London ) and released on January 22nd, 2016.
“This World Breaks Your Heart and Makes You Grey” - Ogikubo Station
Ogikubo Station is an acoustic duo that consists of the legendary Mike Park, founder of Asian Man Records/former member of the 90s ska punk band Skankin’ Pickle, and the incredible Maura Weaver, member of the pop punk band Mixtapes. The two members, who live on opposite sides of the country (California and Louisiana), came together to do a series of shows with AJJ last month. I had the privilege of seeing them on the Chicago date of the tour. I had previously been unaware of their existence, but they were the best, most entertaining opening act I have seen in a long time. Since then, I have been addicted to this song. It is from their self-titled debut EP, which was released in March of this year. Check it out if you want to hear political acoustic jams with beautiful harmonies.
“Wendy’s Trash Can”- Rozwell Kid
Rozwell Kid is a 90s-influenced power pop band from West Virginia. I have been a fan of theirs for a while, so I was beyond excited when they released their album, “Precious Art,” this past June. This song, “Wendy’s Trash Can,” is from that album, and I can’t get enough of it. Aside from making music that will shred your face off, the band is known for their creative use of social media— they released a version of the music video that loops for ten hours, so you can dedicate an entire day to enjoying this sick tune. Rozwell Kid seriously rules; do not sleep on them.
“Candy May” -Alex Cameron
“True Lies” -Alex Cameron
Both of the songs I picked are my favorite tracks from Alex Cameron’s new album “Forced Witness.” I recently discovered him, and have been listening to this album NON-STOP. The thing about Alex is that he does character-driven concept albums. In this album, he plays a sleazy, macho male-type character (I HIGHLY recommend reading Pitchfork’s review for a better understanding of this album).
On “Forced Witness,” he has collaborated with Jonathan Rado (of Foxygen), Brandon Flowers (of The Killers), and Angel Olsen, so you already know this album is amazing without even having to listen. Musically, it is so catchy and is already (in my humble opinion) one of the best albums the year. He reminds me of a sleazy, indie-approved Bruce Springsteen (if that makes any sense at all???). Hopefully my vague descriptions lured you into listening to this masterpiece! GO LISTEN, NOW!
“Painful to Watch” – Fours
This song is everything done right about indie pop. It’s got a fast beat made for dancing and lyrics intended to be screamed. The song tells of an awful relationship with no end in sight. It takes an empowering stance with lines like, “I need to be without you to feel alive… and I was made before I meant you.” This British band released the song as a single in 2016. This track heavily rides on Edith Violet’s amazing vocals. If you can find someone who can listen to this jam without dancing, they are not human!
“Nothing’s Real” – Shura
Looking for a song to take you back in time? This is the one. “Nothing’s Real” is the title track off Shura’s debut album released July 8, 2016. The track is 80s inspired, with heavy synths and a bubbly beat. The song juxtaposes a happy feeling with pessimistic lyrics. For a more detailed analysis of the meaning check out Pitchfork’s review. Shura is an English singer most known for the songs “What’s it Gonna Be?,” and “Touch.” I highly recommend this whole album to all fans of Tegan and Sarah or Betty Who.