(2) Yaeji - “Passed Me By”
Something old, something new, etc. etc. Let’s start this month with two songs I love for completely opposite reasons.
Gaslight Anthem are back with their first new music since 2014 and it sounds … exactly like Gaslight Anthem. Which is great! I wouldn’t want them to sound like anything else. They sound a little bit older … because they are. "Positive Charge" builds on Brian Fallon’s recent solo work (compare it to songs like “Rosemary”) while calling back to some of the band’s more mid tempo classics (compare it to a song like “High Lonesome”). It’s not 2009 anymore, and that’s okay. There can be great comfort in the familiar.
That said, Yaeji: I’ve never heard anything like this. Or maybe I have, just not as fully realized. With A Hammer feels like its own little world, one of those places where it’s fun to be a tourist as long as you’re comfortable with being out of place and lost almost all the time. Honestly, those are the best places.
(3) Indigo De Souza - “Losing”
(4) Wednesday - “Quarry”
Checking in on my two most anticipated albums of the month … they’re both great. Wednesday’s Rat Saw God is already one of this year’s critical darlings, and they deserve every bit of that praise. De Souza’s All Of This Will End has been saddled with some good-not-great reviews that I think are a bit unfair since many of them seem to devolve into the reviewer explaining the album they wanted De Souza to make. Well, we have this one.
Just a huge year for North Carolina indie rock.
(5) MUNA - “One That Got Away”
Operating at the absolute height of their powers right now. Truly can do no wrong.
(6) Jessie Ware - “Freak Me Now”
My theory is that it’s actually impossible to make a disco record that sounds good on Airpods while stuck late at the office looking out at gray skies during one of the coldest springs on record. I’m confident that a day is coming soon where That! Feels Good! will sound like the best music ever made, but it is not today.
(7) King Isis - “im fine, thx 4 asking”
Pretty confident this was my most-played song of the month. Oakland!
(8) Liquid Mike - “American Record”
Their new album is 11 songs and 18 minutes long. So yeah, listen to it a few times in a row.
(9) Militarie Gun - “Very High”
Slowly talking myself into their May 17 show at Cinetol.
(10) Kicksie - “You’re On”
That thing that Canadian bands do where they pull you in with these almost-too-sweet pop-rock songs with cutesy little spoken-word vocal sample drops and then you look at the lyrics and it’s all:
where is ur god?
they must be quiet today
today or every day
and it’s ur fault
Truly the duality of man.
(11) Bethany Cosentino - “It’s Fine”
Until recently, I just assumed Best Coast was already a Bethany Cosentino solo project. So now, days after I learned that there was in fact another guy in the band, she goes and releases her first actual solo single. Always staying one step ahead.
(12) A Place For Owls - “17/24/33”
I don’t think the title is actually a reference to the song “Stevie Nix” by The Hold Steady (“Lord to be seventeen forever / Lord to be thirty-three forever”) but let’s just say that it is because it’s more fun that way.
(13) Downhaul - “The Riverboat”
Small Albums picked this one as their #1 song of Q1 2023. I don’t think I’d go quite that far, but I get it.
(14) Dagny - “Heartbreak In The Making”
Norway checking in.
And now, four artists whose admirably consistent output this year has left me with absolutely nothing new to say about them, apart from that they keep making great music and you should check it out.
(15) Hannah Jadagu - “Admit It”
Fourth single from Aperture, out May 19.
(16) Arlo Parks - “Blades”
Third single from My Soft Machine, out May 26.
(17) Bully - “Hard To Love”
Third single from Lucky For You, out June 2.
(18) Christine and the Queens - “True Love” (feat. 070 Shake)
Second single from Paranoïa, Angels, True Love, out June 9.
(19) Origami Angel - “Thank You, New Jersey”
When I think New Jersey, I think surf-rock harmonies.
(20) Dragon Inn 3 - “I Can’t Stop”
Like opening a time capsule from 2011, a level of nostalgia that seems juuuuuust a bit premature.
(21) Jake Shears - “I Used To Be In Love”
The man put his 15-year-old dog on the cover art, this is the closest I’ve ever come to saying “I feel seen” unironically.
(22) Mo Troper - “For You To Sing”
Is there something more lo-fi than lo-fi? This is the lowest-fi.
(23) La Fonda - “Kaleidoscope”
Kinda just trusting No Earbuds on this one.
(24) The Clientele - “Blue Over Blue”
The Clientele: Yes!
Songs By The Clientele That Sound Like Deliberate Eels Homages: Eh, jury’s still out.
(25) The National - “The Alcott” (feat. Taylor Swift)
I don’t have all that much invested in The National anymore, but it’s still kind of a bummer that at this point they pretty much just serve as a backing band for more interesting artists (Taylor, Phoebe, Sufjan …)