Blogosphere mainstays VW push their sound even further into original territory, Ezra Koenig’s vocals skating elegantly over a driving rhythm bed more laptop electro than Afropop.
Lyrics about the death of a grandparent typically arrive with suitably portending music; not so with up-and-comers Local Natives, who turn “Airplanes” into a full-blown celebration full of bouncy percussion and joyous harmonies.
18. Big Boi featuring Cutty – Shutterbugg
Shoulda-been-huge single from Big Boi’s excellent solo effort, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty. And yes, the vocoder beats AutoTune seven days a week and twice on Sunday.
A decade removed from Lovers Rock, yet Sade Adu remains as ageless as ever, with her monstrous comeback single adding just a touch of Portishead-flavored darkness to that smoother-than-silk delivery.
Sun-kissed indie rock as filtered through time-warp nostalgia, with girl group harmonies straight out of the Phil Spector handbook and Bethany Cosentino waiting-waiting-waiting by the phone—and hoping that he’s home.
What makes The National so potent is contrasts, how Matt Berninger’s half-awake baritone seems at odds with the surging drums and insistent build, or that moment when all the wisps of hazy lyrics suddenly consolidate into the most succinct summation of
Initially debuted in hushed chamber music fashion, then recast as infectious club banger, and perfect in both guises. Robyn is one of the very few artists making pop music for adults, smart and hooky all at once; ignore her at your own peril.
For most of
No young band does pure rock better than the Gaslight, as evidenced by American Slang’s opening number, a potent mix of unvarnished guitars, four-on-the-floor beats, and absolute conviction.
The wonderfully haunted standout from Teen Dream lives up to its album’s title, woozy and elusive at first before exploding into the kind of spellbinding sonics that need no translation.