Every time a really good art-rock bell rings, David Byrne gets his wings (or smiles mysteriously, at least).
The Fresh & Onlys, ”Animal of One”
San Francisco psych rock excellently updated, with extra reverb.
A mod-goth mood piece as horizon-spanning as singer Erika M. Anderson’s native South Dakota.
Swans, ”Screen Shot”
Bow down to the dark overlords of post-rock (and say hi to guest vocalist St. Vincent).
Courtney Barnett, ”History Eraser”
The wry Aussie’s surreal, loping ode to wayward youth is pure slack-rock poetry.
Ridiculously crisp flow and popping bass to make you “lick your fingers like Fritos.”
Vic Mensa, ”Down on My Luck”
The Internet’s latest gift: a 20-year-old whiz kid rapping silkily over house beats circa the year of his birth.
Ratking Feat. King Krule, ”So Sick Stories”
Because why wouldn’t Harlem’s heavily hyped rap crew enlist a U.K. indie wunderkind?
Robyn & Röyksopp, ”Do It Again”
So much Sweden! So many synths! So hitting the repeat button again.
La Sera, ”Storm’s End”
Girl-group harmonies and Tarantino-movie guitars straight from a SoCal garage.
Ray LaMontagne, ”Pick Up a Gun”
The gauzy melody sounds like he’s weaving daisies into his beard; the lyrics are brutal.
Amen Dunes, ”Lilac in Hand”
A spare, clattering CinemaScope folk dream that unfolds more with each listen.
Damon Albarn, ”The History of a Cheating Heart”
Heartfelt balladry is a new look for the older, wiser Britpop hero. He wears it well.
Alice Boman, ”Waiting”
A song so fragile and forlorn, you’ll wonder if summer even comes to Sweden.