Here’s a link to the playlist. The play buttons embedded here will play 30-second clips if you’re not logged into Spotify in your browser, which is probably the best way to listen to the tracks while reading this article.
Hello! I’m writing this from vacation in the mountains on Halloween. Not very many of these tracks are spooky, but I think they’re all wonderful, and I hope you enjoy them.
White Flowers — Night Drive
Off Day By Day, released June 11, 2021
This record from White Flowers is perfect, and this track is an exceptional example of how amazing it is. I am a huge fan of this spacey, cinematic vibe; a shoegaze with a huge punch, rounded out by a vocal take from Katie Drew with a healthy amount of reverb thrown on top.
Drug Store Romeos — Vibrate
Off The world within our bedrooms, released July 9, 2021
Dang, this is a cool song. I really love that stripped-down vibe that kicks the song off. Sarah Downie’s vocals are perfect, always breathy, with a more urgent double-track laying behind on the second section. There’s some cool layering later in the track on the keys, but I love how it’s mostly just vocals, drums, and a bass; it’s an extremely cool tone that comes together perfectly.
Deerhoof — We Grew, and We Are Astonished
Off Actually, You Can, released October 22, 2021
Typically, my favorite tracks from Deerhoof are the frenetic, energetic ones, but this slower shuffle really stood out to me from their brand-new record. As always, Satomi Matsuzai’s vocals are a delight, and the lyrics surprising and poignant. Are you ready to go straight to video?
Virna Lindt — Once
single, released May 14, 2021
Another single coming out of a 34-year break, Lindt provides us with a fun electronic-feeling track with more traditional instrumentation. The layering on Lindt’s vocals are the centerpiece of the track, putting together a nice, bouncing energy that feels like something that’s great for behind the wheel.
Samuel Hällkvist feat. Kavi Kwai — Sustain
single, released April 23, 2021
I really love every track that Kavi Kwai features on, and I’m eagerly awaiting for her to release more work.
This is a more downtempo, cyclical jaunt; it’s a more atmospheric piece that tends more toward art rock without veering down the lane of distraction. But Kavi Kwai’s vocals are, as always, what make it for me; this is a great vocal performance, just like all her other tracks.
Chad VanGaalen — Starlight
Off World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener, released March 19, 2021
Chad VanGaalen has a very specific tone that he produces, and this record is not too much of a deviation from it, while still feeling fresh.
There’s a fair amount of layering on this track that’s built to add to the wall of sound, even coming down to raking across the non-tonal parts of a guitar, creating harmonic stabs that still seem to fit into the soundscape.
The Antlers — It Is What It Is
Off Green To Gold, released March 26, 2021
This is a nice slow jam from a new record from longtime indie folkers The Antlers. It has a nice, sweet tone to it, with a powerful rising guitar and some fun horns providing the extra oomf.