The best songs I’ve heard so far this year (with a handful that fell through the cracks in the run up to Christmas). Indie rock, dreampop, indiepop, psych-pop, alt-folk, chill-out. You might hear influences spreading from the 50s to the 90s, from Roy Orbison to Boz Scaggs to Magazine, from Ghanian highlife to chilled out house to new wave and post-punk and psych-pop. And a Bob Marley cover too.
Tokyo Police Club ‘Argentina Parts I,II, III’
Amazing powerpop tripartite epic from Ontario indie rockers (part III is my favourite).
[Tokyo Police Club]
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks ‘Chartjunk’
I’m a massive Stephen Malkmus fan but never found much of a connection with his last album, the Beck produced Mirror Traffic (2011). New album, Wig out at Jagbags is a different story with a similar feel (produced by long term Pavement soundman, Remko Schouten) but stronger songwriting. This one seems to take a cue from the 70s and Boz Scaggs’ ‘Lido Shuffle’ in particular (with maybe a little bit of Steely Dan thrown in for good measure too).
[Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks]
Hospitality ‘Rockets and Jets’
Second track to be released from their soon to be released second album Trouble (on Merge). A more ambitious post-punk feel to it than their (brilliant) debut. It has an almost Magazine-like flavour to it.
Hibou ‘Hide Away’
Self proclaimed “ethereal surf poppy love” from Seattle based Peter Michel.
Tacocat ‘Bridge To Hawaii’
Lo-fi, indie surfpop (sometime self-described as “feminist sci-fi” and “equal parts Kurt and Courtney”) from Longview, WA four piece. Second album NVM out at the end of next month on Hardly Art.
Morgan Delt ‘Obstacle Eyes’
Lovely, fuzzy psych-pop from Los Angeles. Debut self-titled album due out at the end of the month on Trouble In Mind Records (home of the similarly inclined ITP favourite Jacco Gardener).
Sun Kil Moon ‘Ben’s My Friend’
The genius of Mark Kozelek, a song about middle aged malaise, professional jealousy, melltdown’s, inspiration, family, friendship and going to see the Postal Service (that’s Ben Gibbard referenced in the title).
[Sun Kil Moon]
+/-‘The Space Between Us’
The tricky to Google +/- (plus minus) make feather light, super melodic indie rock.
Nina Perrson ‘Animal Heart’
First track from debut solo album of Cardigans and A Camp frontwoman.
Silversun Pickups ‘Cannibal’
New track from the LA alt-rock and shoegaze informed band’s singles box set.
Warpaint ‘Keep It Healthy’
One of the highlights of the post-punk inspired LA art rock band’s new eponymous album.
Bleeding Rainbow ‘So You Know’
Female fronted 90s indebted, shoegaze flavoured indie rock from Philly. Hints of Pretty Girls Make Graves. First featured here back in August 2012 with ‘Pink Ruff’ (ITP #15), this one is from their forthcoming album Interrupt.
The Casket Girls ‘Day to Day’
Ryan Graveface of Graveface Records and Black Moth Super Rainbow teamed up with sisters Elsa and Phaedra Greene to create eerie electronic pop. Recommended for fans of Cults, Sleigh Bells and School of Seven Bells.
[The Casket Girls]
Jim James ‘Turn Your Lights Down Low’
Cover of the Bob Marley track (from 1977’s Exodus) by the My Morning Jacket frontman from the forthcoming Starbucks comp Sweetheart 2014 which also features the likes of Vampire Weekend, Beck, Thao, Sharon Jones and Fiona Apple covering classic love songs.
Angel Olsen ‘Hi-Five’
Fuzzed up guitars, a lyric nodding to Elvis and high, warbling vocals recalling Roy Orbison from the Missouri born singer-songwriter’s forthcoming second album, Burn Your FIre For No Witness, due out next month on Jagjaguwar.
Dum Dum Girls ‘Too True To Be Good’
Shimmering, jangling indiepop with a frosty edge from the forthcoming Too True album.
[Dum Dum Girls]
Real Estate ‘Talking Backwards’
Jangling indiepop from the New Jersey band’s forthcoming third album, Atlas.
Eternal Summers ‘Gouge’
This female fronted Virginia trio take elements from indiepop, dreampop, shoegaze and post punk to make catchy indie rock. First featured back in May 2012 on ITP #8 with ‘Millions’, this new track is from their forthcoming album The Drop Beneath due out in March on Kanine Records.
Monkey Safari ‘Coming Down’
German club duo with suitably titled come down slice of chilled out house.
Damien Jurado ‘Silver Timothy’
Beautiful, spacey, psych-tinged classic rock from the prolific, under-appreciated indie rock staple Damien Jurado. Taken from his forthcoming eleventh(!) studio album (and third in collaboration with serial career revitaliser Richard Swift), Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son.
Marissa Nadler ‘Was It a Dream’
After ‘Dead City Emily’ (featured back in November on ITP #46) this is the second track from the folkster’s forthcoming album July (her seventh), due out next month on Sacred Bones / Bella Union.