(1) Tigers Jaw - "I Won't Care How You Remember Me"
Title track from my favorite album of the month. I honestly can't say enough good things about this record.
(2) Future Teens - "Guest Room"
Self-described "bummer pop band from boston," they are severely underselling themselves, because there's a lot more here than just sadness.
(3) Harmony Woods - "Good Luck Rd."
Earlier this month, a few in-the-know people I follow on social media started talking about this secret album that was about to drop, and how incredible it was. People started speculating on what big-name indie band it might be. It turned out to be Harmony Woods' Graceful Rage, which was a slight disappointment to me since I had never heard of Harmony Woods and so, by definition, any album they put out was a secret album to me. That disappointment lasted about ten seconds into album opener "Good Luck Rd." This is a fantastic record start to finish.
(4) Adult Mom - "Breathing"
Kind of a midpoint between Waxahatchee and Imogen Heap, which is right in the sweet spot for me.
(5) Rostam - "4Runner"
Rostam's music always has a dreamy quality to it, and it's interesting how often he matches that with lyrics explicitly about falling asleep ("Bike Dream," "Osaka Loop Line," etc.)
(6) beabadoobee - "Last Day On Earth"
As Bea explains it, "'Last Day on Earth' is about all the things I would have done had I known we were going into a lockdown." It begins with lyrics about killing someone and burning down a church, so ... I guess you can interpret that however you want.
(7) Grrrl Gang - "Honey, Baby"
(8) Japanese Breakfast - "Be Sweet"
As always, I love it when indie artists make straight-ahead pop music.
(9) Mannequin Pussy - "Control"
More polished than their previous work. That said, it still turns into a wall of noise in the best way. As Philly as they come.
(10) Elle King - "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)" (f/ Miranda Lambert)
(11) Hiss Golden Messenger - "If It Comes In The Morning"
A nice vibe for our fake spring, real cabin-in-the-forest music.
(12) Ratboys - "Go Outside"
One of at least three songs on this month's list with fairly overt pandemic/lockdown imagery ("Breathing," "Last Day On Earth"), but they all work because they aren't explicitly tied to a particular time and place. Themes of isolation and longing are eternal, and I think all of these songs will work in whatever future awaits us.
(13) Taylor Swift - "You All Over Me" (f/ Maren Morris)
Honestly, I'm surprised by the lukewarm reaction to this one, but maybe I'm just a sucker for anything with a harmonica.
(14) Signals Midwest - "I Used To Draw"
"I SPOKE TO THE CITY AND IT SPOKE BACK"
(15) Foxing - "Speak With The Dead" (f/ WHY?)
Any seven-minute song will be a test of my attention span, but the highs here are well worth it.
(16) Meet Me @ The Altar - "Hit Like A Girl"
I still love them and everything they stand for, and this is a solid song, but it is going to be very hard for them to keep releasing singles as part of weird Facebook PR campaigns and still stay on the right side of things.
(17) Fresh - "Girl Clout"
It seems like about half the songs on this month's list are women expressing their fury at society as a whole, and ... honestly there should probably be more.
(18) Bachelor - "Stay In The Car"
Jay Som side project, doing everything they can to bring the Pixies back, which is a good goal.
(19) Evan Greer - "The Tyranny Of Either/Or"
On the one hand, it's exciting that so many trans artists are vocally standing up for their rights. On the other hand, it's horrifying that they still have to do that.
(20) Worriers - "Letter From An Occupant"
One of my all-time favorite bands covers another of my all-time favorite bands. Nowhere near as good as the original, but who cares? All I can think about is how much fun Lauren and co. sound like they're having.
(21) St. Vincent - "Pay Your Way In Pain"
I trust Annie Clark's vision, but this is right on the line where homage becomes imitation. You're not going to out-Bowie Bowie.
(22) Kero Kero Bonito - "The Princess And The Clock"
As hyperpop continues to expand in influence, KKB have gone from the fringes of pop weirdness to something more mainstream without really changing their sound at all.
(23) No Rome - "Spinning" (f/ Charli XCX and The 1975)
Apparently I like this one more than anyone else.
(24) Sydney Sprague - "Object Permanence"
The Alternative called her "pastel goth Kacey Musgraves," which is about the highest compliment I can imagine giving anyone. Not sure she fully lives up to that, but this month's maybe I will see you at the end of the world is absolutely worth your time.
(25) Palette Knife - "Hungover Brunch At Tiffany's"
Scans as bratty pop-punk, with a joke title, and yet it has lyrics like:
This year’s rеsolution consists of saying “hey man, I love you”
In a way that is neithеr cringy nor ill-timed
Relearning to find comfort in intimacy
So I honestly have no idea how seriously I'm supposed to take any of this. It's good, though.