Monday, September 12, 2022

Monthly Mix: August 2022


(1) Martha - "Baby, Does Your Heart Sink?"
(2) Alvvays - "Easy On Your Own?"
(3) The Reds, Pinks and Purples - "Saw You At The Record Store Today"
(4) First Aid Kit - "Out Of My Head"
(5) Maggie Rogers - "Anywhere With You"
(6) Boys World - "So What"
(7) BLACKPINK - "Pink Venom"
(8) The Killers - "Boy"
(9) Cory Branan - "When In Rome, When In Memphis"
(10) 2nd Grade - "Me & My Blue Angels"
(11) Camp Trash - "Church Bells"
(12) Tigers Jaw - "Old Clothes"
(13) Wild Pink - "Hold My Hand" (feat. Julien Baker)
(14) Death Cab For Cutie - "Foxglove Through The Clearcut"
(15) The Mountain Goats - "Mark On You"
(16) Margo Price - "Been To The Mountain"
(17) The 1975 - "Happiness"
(18) Jake Tittle - "Nose Bleeds" (feat. Illuminati Hotties)
(19) The Beths - "Knees Deep"
(20) The Wonder Years - "Old Friends Like Lost Teeth"
(21) Mo Troper - "Play Dumb"
(22) Phoenix - "Tonight" (feat. Ezra Koenig)
(23) Röyksopp - "Oh, Lover" (feat. Susanne Sundfør)
(24) Ducks Ltd. - "Head On" (feat. Illuminati Hotties)
(25) Arctic Monkeys - "There'd Better Be A Mirrorball"

Monday, August 8, 2022

Monthly Mix: July 2022


(1) The Beths - "Expert In A Dying Field"
(2) The 1975 - "Part Of The Band"
(3) Wild Pink - "ILYSM"
(4) First Rodeo - "Pucker Up, Amelia"
(5) Rat Tally - "Longshot"
(6) Plains - "Problem With It"
(7) Alvvays - "Pharmacist"
(8) Jessie Ware - "Free Yourself"
(9) Hot Chip - "Eleanor"
(10) Martha - "Beat, Perpetual"
(11) 2nd Grade - "Strung Out On You"
(12) Dazy - "Rollercoaster Ride"
(13) Mountain Goats - "Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome"
(14) Pinkshift - "I'm Not Crying You're Crying"
(15) Alien Boy - "Wondering Still"
(16) Future Teens - "BYOB"
(17) Teens In Trouble - "Decomposing"
(18) Pool Kids - "That's Physics, Baby"
(19) Snow Coats - "Chevy"
(20) PONY - "Did It Again"
(21) Lee Bains + The Glory Fires - "(In Remembrance Of The) 40-Hour Week"
(22) Cory Branan - "O Charlene"
(23) Titus Andronicus - "(I'm) Screwed"
(24) Tegan And Sara - "Yellow"
(25) Voxtrot - "Fifteen Minutes"

Monday, July 11, 2022

Monthly Mix: June 2022


(1) Beyonce - "Break My Soul"
(2) Camp Trash - "Lake Erie Boys"
(3) Jimmy Eat World - "Something Loud"
(4) Cool Original - "U And Me Both"
(5) Bartees Strange - "Wretched"
(6) Black Sherif - "Kweku The Traveller"
(7) ME REX - "Lager Door"
(8) The Beths - "Silence Is Golden"
(9) First Aid Kit - "Original"
(10) Ondara - "An Alien In Minneapolis"
(11) The Umbrellas - "Write It In The Sky"
(12) High Vis - "Fever Dream"
(13) MUNA - "What I Want"
(14) Christine And The Queens - "Je Te Vois Enfin"
(15) Spielbergs - "Every Living Creature"
(16) The Wonder Years - "Wyatt's Song (Your Name)"
(17) Short Fictions - "You Will Never Be The Best At Anything You Try (Surely Not)"
(18) Future Teens - "Same Difference"
(19) Pale Waves - "Reasons To Live"
(20) Voxtrot - "Kindergarten"
(21) Fime - "White Collar Gold"
(22) Ogbert The Nerd - "A New Kind Of Borkulator"
(23) Julia Jacklin - "I Was Neon"
(24) Strange Ranger - "Raver Explanation"
(25) Royksopp - "Unity"

Friday, June 10, 2022

Monthly Mix: May 2022

(1) Martha - "Please Don't Take Me Back"
(2) Camp Trash - "Pursuit"
(3) Snow Ellet - "Can't Hear The Phone"
(4) Ethel Cain - "American Teenager"
(5) MUNA - "Home By Now"
(6) Veronica Maggio - "Heaven Med Dig"
(7) The Mountain Goats - "Training Montage"
(8) Craig Finn - "The Amarillo Kid"
(9) Say Sue Me - "Around You"
(10) Pinkshift - "Nothing (In My Head)"
(11) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Spitting Off The Edge Of The World" (feat. Perfume Genius)
(12) Carly Rae Jepsen - "Western Wind"
(13) Wynonna & Waxahatchee - "Otherside"
(14) Kevin Morby - "Bittersweet, TN"
(15) Sky Ferreira - "Don't Forget"
(16) Pale Waves - "Lies"
(17) G Flip - "Get Me Outta Here"
(18) Rina Sawayama - "This Hell"
(19) Miranda Lambert - "Music City Queen" (feat. The B-52s)
(20) Ian Sweet - "Fight"
(21) Santigold - "High Priestess"
(22) Jamie T - "The Old Style Raiders"
(23) Momma - "Lucky"
(24) Spielbergs - "When They Come For Me"
(25) The Wonder Years - "Summer Clothes"

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Monthly Mix: April 2022


(1) Craig Finn - "Birthdays"
(2) The Wonder Years - "Oldest Daughter"
(3) Camp Trash - "Let It Ride"
(4) Joyride! - "St Mary's"
(5) MUNA - "Kind of Girl"
(6) Church Girls - "Telepathic Mind"
(7) Oceanator - "The Last Summer"
(8) ME REX - "Toilet of Venus"
(9) Prince Daddy & The Hyena - "Keep Up That Talk"
(10) Florence + The Machine - "Free"
(11) Drive-By Truckers - "Every Single Storied Flameout"
(12) Joyce Manor - "Don't Try"
(13) Fresh - "Going To Bed"
(14) Momma - "Speeding 72"
(15) Maggie Rogers - "That's Where I Am"
(16) Tove Lo - "No One Dies From Love"
(17) Spiritualized - "The Mainline Song"
(18) Phoebe Bridgers - "Sidelines"
(19) Semler - "Raise Up"
(20) Bartees Strange - "Cosigns"
(21) Pkew Pkew Pkew - "Drinking In The Park"
(22) Queen of Jeans - "Hiding In Place"
(23) Arcade Fire - "Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)"
(24) Wild Pink - "Q. Degraw"
(25) Wilco - "Falling Apart (Right Now)"

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Monthly Mix: March 2022


(1) PUP - "Relentless"

Revisiting our Album of the Year rankings:

2. String Machine - Hallelujah Hell Yeah
3. Superchunk - Wild Loneliness
4. Big Thief - Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You
5. The Reds, Pinks and Purples - Summer at Land's End

That gap between 1. and 2., though ... it is vast. I just love this album so much. Could have chosen just about any song for this spot, but let's go with the one featuring Sarah Tudzin backing vocals.

(2) Prince Daddy & The Hyena - "El Dorado"

Starts with Madchester dance-vibe drums, ends with a massive emo-pop chorus, covers a lot of ground in between. Probably in my top five songs of the year so far.

(3) Craig Finn - "Messing With The Settings"

In news that will surprise absolutely no one, Craig Finn gives a heck of a eulogy. 

(4) Lee Bains + The Glory Fires - "God's A Workin', Man"

Of the many, many strains of American Christianity, the only one I am even remotely interested in is Class War Christianity. 

(5) Dazy - "Pressure Cooker" (feat. Militarie Gun)

In which a new generation runs around robbing banks all whacked on the Scooby Snacks.

(6) Oso Oso - "Computer Exploder"

"It's fine if the love and the money run out / If the drugs run out I'll die"

(7) Pkew Pkew Pkew - "Maybe Someday"

"As you get older it's harder to correct / Being an idiot"

(8) Koffee - "Shine"

Reggae! Still a thing!

(9) MUNA - "Anything But Me"

Probably my favorite song that begins with an argument about horse size.

(10) Charli XCX - "Sorry If I Hurt You"

My hot take is that the four bonus tracks from Crash are collectively better than any combination of four songs from the proper album.

(11) Beabadoobee - "Talk"

Beatrice Laus will never stop remembering the nineties, which is awkward since she was born in 2000.

(12) Angel Olsen - "All The Good Times"

The drum fill at 2:34 is worth the price of admission on its own.

(13) Soccer Mommy - "Shotgun"

If you haven't noticed, there is a lot of nineties remembering on this month's playlist, though I am pleasantly surprised that Sophie Allison decided to throw "Natural One" by The Folk Implosion into the mix.

(14) Camp Cope - "Jealous"

Indie Band Embraces Pop Music is the surest recipe for success there is.

(15) Beach Bunny - "Fire Escape"

This month's Potential Breakthrough Band: Like Spoon in January and Florence and the Machine in February ... do I finally get Beach Bunny now? I guess we'll see.

(16) Lucius - "Dance Around It" (feat. Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow)

I have just learned that Sheryl Crow recently released a collaboration with TobyMac from dc Talk, and if I know that piece of information, then Shay has to know it, too. Sorry.

(17) Harry Styles - "As It Was"

It feels like a lot of artists have been aiming for this specific vibe lately, and Harry just nails it on the first try.

(18) Superchunk - "City Of The Dead"

I've talked about Wild Loneliness in this space before, but I just keep coming back to it and finding a new favorite song almost every time. For this month, its the opening track, which neatly sums up the pandemic years in four lines:

Well, you can walk for miles
In the evening to clear your head
But still wake up each day
Oh, in the city of the dead

(19) Big Nothing - "A Lot Of Finding Out"

Another record that has been a source of comfort for me this year is Big Nothing's consistently wonderful Dog Hours. They don't sound like a typical Philadelphia band but, since they're a band and they're good ... you probably could have guessed.

(20) Caracara - "Colorglut"

Hey, another Philadelphia band! What are the odds?

(21) Tree River - "Journey Proud"

Big-hearted, sing-along indie from Brooklyn.

(22) Spielbergs - "Brother of Mine"

Temporarily taking over the title of my favorite Norwegians. Your move, Sløtface.

(23) Walt Disco - "How Cool Are You?"

Over the top campy glam-rock from Glasgow, what's not to love?

(24) The Linda Lindas - "Talking To Myself"

Drummer Mila de la Garza is currently eleven years old, which sounds insane, but not as insane as the fact that they opened for Bikini Kill three years ago. When she was eight. Eight. How do you do something like that and then, just, like, go back to third grade?

(25) Arcade Fire - "The Lightning II"

As far as comeback singles go, this one is way better than I thought it was going to be (which still might not make it good, I just had incredibly low expectations). I'm actually looking forward to the new album now.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Monthly Mix: February 2022


(1) Big Thief - "No Reason"

Big Thief's Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is indie rock's big important artistic statement of 2022. Twenty songs, eighty minutes, it is a lot in every sense of the word. It's also great, and it works as an album that is much more than the sum of its parts. I know this because they released eight singles before the album, and none of them really caught my attention. In listening to the album for the first time, the two tracks that immediately jumped out to me were "No Reason" and "Change" ... both of which were singles. Why do they sound better in context? I have no idea. But they do.

(2) String Machine - "Churn It Anew"

Big Thief might have made the most important album of the new year, but my favorite album of the year so far is absolutely String Machine's Hallelujah Hell Yeah. It sounds exactly like you would expect an album called Hallelujah Hell Yeah to sound.

(3) Caracara - "Strange Interactions In The Night"

Jimmy Eat World are, somehow, from Mesa, Arizona. If they were from Philadelphia, as they probably should have been, they would sound like this.

(4) PUP - "Matilda"

Rapidly becoming one of my favorite bands. Ilana and I are going to be in California in April, and we're going to see PUP, Pinkshift, and Sheer Mag at The Warfield. If you are in town, you need to be there.

(5) ME REX - "Robotswalkonwater (The Floor Is Made Of Lava)"

It is now March 7, 2022, and I am still refusing to shut up about this band that no one likes but me.

(6) Foxes - "Growing On Me"

I hear this as a CRJ song, Ilana hears it as a HAIM song. Either way, I have a pretty good sense of who reads this blog and I would say that if you (yes, you) are going to listen to one song on this list, it should probably be this one.

(7) HAIM - "Lost Track"

Speaking of the Haim sisters, it turns out they can do more than just act! (It also turns out that they are turning into Vampire Weekend at exactly the same speed that Vampire Weekend is turning into HAIM. Win-win.)

(8) Caroline Polachek - "Billions"

She has such a clear path to pop stardom right now, and she's actively choosing weirdness instead, and I love that so much.

(9) Florence and the Machine - "King"

Like I talked about with Spoon last month, Florence and the Machine is another one of those bands where the gap between "I can see why people would love this" and "I love this" has been impossible for me to cross (likely because I've never seen them live). "King," though, is awesome. This is my new favorite Florence song.

(10) Bartees Strange - "Heavy Heart"

Just got back from two weeks in Mexico, and if you're wondering who vacations on the Oaxacan coast, it turns out that the answer is almost 100% Canadians. So, given that, it's not surprising that a song featuring the line "we should go to Toronto more often" was stuck in my head for pretty much the entire time. Also it's a great song and Strange is the odds-on favorite to be the breakout indie star of 2022.

(11) Signals Midwest - "Gold In The Grey"

Debut album came out in 2009, I discovered them last year. Thanks for your patience, guys, this is great.

(12) Oceanator - "Bad Brain Daze"

Elise Okusami adds horns to her endlessly shape-shifting musical universe.

(13) Oso Oso - "Pensacola"

The man can write a chorus.

(14) Lucy Dacus - "Kissing Lessons"

Dacus recently threw her back out and, instead of cancelling tour dates, she has been performing her shows while lying on a couch. It turns out that "hardcore" can sometimes be very soft.

(15) Obongjayar - "Try"

After his star turn on Little Simz' "Point and Kill," Obongjayar keeps the groove going on his latest solo single.

(16) Lucius - "Heartbursts"

Can you compare something to both HAIM and Prince at the same time? Is that possible?

(17) Sharon Van Etten - "Porta"

A synth-ier SVE than we're used to, but it works.

(18) Hurray For The Riff Raff - "Saga"

Allow me to co-sign a Ryan Joyce recommendation: this album is lovely.

(19) Gang of Youths - "Spirit Boy"

If, like me, you think "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" is the best U2 song in at least twenty years, you are going to love this Gang of Youths album. You may love it anyway.

(20) The Rural Alberta Advantage - "CANDU"

They do basically one thing, and they do it incredibly well.

(21) Riverby - "Birth By Sleep"

A bit like Lucy Dacus' "Thumbs," Riverby's first new single "Baseless" was so emotionally raw that I could barely listen to it, which I guess counts as an impressive artistic achievement, but probably not something I'm putting on a playlist. "Birth By Sleep" is only a little less vicious, but that little bit counts.

(22) Pillow Queens - "Hearts & Minds"

Of the "discovered during Covid" bands, Pillow Queens are near the top of the list for who I'm most excited to see in concert (May 16 at Cinetol!).

(23) Ex-Void - "No Other Way"

Friends of Martha, Part One.

(24) Big Nothing - "Accents"

Friends of Martha, Part Two.

(25) Wet Leg - "Angelica"

Your new favorite song about bringing lasagna to a party.

(26) Madi Diaz - "Resentment (New Feelings Version)" (feat. Waxahatchee)

Somehow the third version of this song - Diaz originally wrote it for Kesha, then released it on her own solo album, then released it again with Katie Crutchfield sharing vocals. Not surprisingly, I much prefer the Crutchfield version.

(27) Samia - "Born On A Train"

In my opinion, "100,000 Fireflies" by The Magnetic Fields is the saddest song ever written. "Born On A Train" is the counterargument that it might not even be the saddest Magnetic Fields song, and Samia's cover is just as heartbreakingly beautiful as the original.

(28) Stars - "Pretenders"

Speaking of historical sadness, let's talk about Stars. We often talk about "outgrowing" music as a bad thing, and sometimes it is, but sometimes I think about how often I listened to Stars' Set Yourself On Fire in the 2004-2007 time period, and how rarely I listen to it now, and how this is almost entirely due to the fact that I am losing touch with how terrifyingly lonely I felt back then, and it just makes me feel so incredibly grateful for how my life turned out.

(29) Maren Morris - "Background Music"

Maybe our most self-aware pop star, Morris sings:

Maybe all we'll ever be to them in a hundred years
Is three minutes in a car, in a bar, that says we wеre here
If that's you and mе when it's all said and done
Hard not to see we're the lucky ones
Not everybody gets to leave a souvenir

As someone who actually has a song that will likely still be played in a hundred years ("The Middle" currently has almost 1.2 billion plays on Spotify).

(30) The Reds, Pinks and Purples - "New Light"

Summer At Land's End is just as charmingly dreamy as I hoped it would be, go check it out.

(31) Gregor Barnett - "Driving Through The Night"

The man can write a bridge.

(32) Proper. - "Huerta"

If you're an American, your ancestors probably came from somewhere else, and you've probably thought about what your life would have been like if they hadn't. Erik Garlington considers the many possible paths of a third-generation Mexican-American.

(33) Porridge Radio - "Back To The Radio"

Just a captivating vocal performance.

(34) The Beths - "A Real Thing"

Paradiso April 23!

(35) Illuminati Hotties - "Sandwich Sharer"

Paradiso May 21!

(36) Hannah Diamond - "Staring At The Ceiling"

"Retrofuturism" is the name given to depictions of the future produced in the past (like Jetsons-style flying-car stuff). Even when predictions turn out to be inaccurate, it's still fascinating to see how prior generations thought the world to come would turn out. Anyway, PC Music is basically retrofuturism now.

(37) Charli XCX - "Baby"

Just including this here so Charil won't yell at me on Twitter. It's fine.

(38) BANKS - "Holding Back"

Sounds like an early-200s chipmunk-soul Kanye beat, which I was not expecting, but I'm certainly not mad about it.

(39) Niliufer Yanya - "anotherlife"

Album of the year for people who really want to talk about the nuts and bolts of how albums are made. A lot of people on Twitter talking about how well this has been mixed, who am I to question them?

(40) Superchunk - "Wild Loneliness"

Title track from a consistently solid album.

(41) MJ Lenderman - "You Have Bought Yourself A Boat"

I never really got into Lenderman's band Wednesday because they weren't quite melodic enough for me. I guess he was saving the catchier songs for his solo record?

(42) Belle and Sebastian - "Unnecessary Drama"

Should B&S songs have this much harmonica? Early signs point to ... maybe not. It's still good, I just have impossible expectations for them.

(43) Spoon - "My Babe"

Well, I thought we had a Spoon epiphany last month, but it turns out that maybe I just love "Wild." This is fine.

(44) Mdou Moctar - "Nakenegh Dich"

Bonus track from the deluxe version of Afrique Victime, his hot streak shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

(45) Mici - "Respond" (feat. Sun-El Musician)

There is no stronger guarantee of quality in a new song than seeing "(feat. Sun-El Musician)."

(46) Kurt Vile - "Like Exploding Stones"

As The War On Drugs continue to take over the world, it seems only fair that Kurt Vile gets a piece of that action.

(47) Good Looks - "Vision Boards"

Your new favorite song about how vision boards are stupid.

(48) The Weather Station - "To Talk About"

It seems like a lot of bands were just insanely productive during the pandemic. I don't know how The Weather Station has another album out already, but here we are.

(49) Christian Lee Hutson - "Age Difference"

A little too slow and sparse for my tastes, but Hutson is such a great lyricist that I can't leave it out entirely:

Well, you ask so many questions, I'm just making up the answers
"I'd Do Anything For Love" is a response to "Tiny Dancer"

(50) Black Country, New Road - "Good Will Hunting"

This month's aspirational song, I don't quite get BCNR yet, but it seems impossible that a band could be compared to Los Campesinos! this many times without me eventually coming around on them.