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've been surprisingly busy lately, but here's some great songs that are new to me this month.
Field Music — No Pressure
Off Flat White Moon, released April 23, 2021
Field Music are so good.
That round, fuzzy bass fits so well with the clever vocal chorus and key overlays. I can't quite put a finger on what this track reminds me of. Maps & Atlases? A David Byrne song? Either way, it's clearly uniquely their own, and it's just so good.
Squid (with Martha Skye Murphy) — Narrator
Off Bright Green Field, released May 7, 2021
This shouty, mathy song is incredibly energetic. Typically, I'm not a fan of clashing instruments coming together to sort of paint a chord across the soundscape of a track, but Squid take this to the platonic ideal with the dancing guitars supporting the vocal lines.
All 508 seconds of this track are doing something; it's not a distracting song, but it's not exactly something you can forget is on in the background, either; for me, it's more of a song to rock out to while I'm getting something done, with really progressive peaks and valleys blending together.
Billy Nomates — No
Off Billy Nomates, released August 7, 2020
Don't let the title fool you — this is actually kind of a positive song, but it also oozes cool. The chorus is incredibly well put together, and the way all of the tracks layer together encourage you to blast this song as loud as you can.
Amyl and The Sniffers — Guided By Angels
Off Comfort To Me, released September 10, 2021
You may find this song to be too punk. If so, you should get over it, because this song rules.
I wish I would have heard this song for the first time at some small house show. Instead, through the magic of the internet, this ripping three-part bop is blaring in my headphones.
Maybe I'd be a bit scared to go to an Amyl and The Sniffers show. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I love this song.
Julia Shapiro — Come With Me
single, released August 10, 2021
I love this soft, sad, serenading song, with its ringing guitars and string-like overtone layering. The harmonized vocals are fantastic, really setting the capstone on the tone.
Darwin Deez — The Birthday Song
single, released April 6, 2021
I mean, Darwin Deez definitely does not need the exposure of some random guy's music blog. This relatively recent song of his plays well in the Deez tradition; a punchy lo-fi instrumentation that makes you want to pick up a guitar, paired with immensely clever, technical, sonorous vocals.
The way this whole track comes together is something special, though; it's just a good song.
Beak> — Ah Yeh - Full Length Version
single, released September 1, 2021
It's hard to describe this one — it's punchy, with a million different drums playing together, covering over a chord structure I can't quite pick out — but it's also downtempo, with a clever, single, wavering tone hitting the top of each measure, shifting your perspective and making the track feel otherworldly. It's certainly a fantastic experience.
A Certain Ratio — Keep it Together
single, released April 6, 2021
Dang, that percussion is punchy, all the way down to the claps.
A Certain Ratio have been around for a long, long time, but they're clearly evolving and continuing to build on the institutional knowledge they've created over the course of their career. The result is an incredibly hip track, one that you'll almost certainly hear spun by the coolest DJ you know very soon. It definitely has a very Love Injection vibe.
If you like funky, danceable tracks, this one's definitely for you.
Jeff Parker and The New Breed (feat. Ruby Parker) — Soul Love
single, released May 13, 2021
There's so much going on in this track. It's a jazzy, no-quite-electronic song; it's a little fast for a ballad, but it definitely feels like a powerful one. Ruby Parker's vocals have this very slight distortion on them which kicks up a little bit in the chorus, and I think it rounds out the soulful feel of the track so well. There's even a little bit of improvisational riffing near the end, mostly coming from the guitar, but a little bit on the drums too, and it makes this feel like an actual, real song, not the processed, packaged thing that we've come to know in the internet age. This track really should be a new standard; it's amazing on its own, but it belongs in your fake book, too.
Khazali — Better with the Devil
single, released September 15, 2021
I've been on a real Kitsuné kick lately. This new track from their frequent collaborator Khazali isn't (as far as I know) out from the Kitsuné label, which might explain the more downtempo feel, a bouncing, club-like style that sinks low and feels sad and cool. The instrumentation is exceptional, matched perfectly by the vocal sylings of Khazali himself.