Nikki Lane “Right Time” http://youtu.be/lzS3vU6wZa4
We’re starting this week’s playlist a little differently. Every once in a while, a little country is just what the doctor ordered. Nikki Lane is a self-professed “high class hillbilly,” and she is an up and comer. Her new album was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, and it is a spicy piece of Nashville sass.
Lucius - Don’t Just Sit There (Live) http://youtu.be/mr6BzLMbUKU
Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig share lead vocal duties in the band Lucius. Their debut album, Wildewoman, showcases their beautiful harmonies and exceptional songwriting. “Don’t Just Sit There” might be my favorite, though there are so many amazing tracks to choose from that it’s a tough call to make. Check out “Turn It Around” and “Go Home” as well.
Panama “Always” http://youtu.be/UylPrMcurB8
Panama are an electro-indie pop group on the Future Classic label out of Sydney, Australia. That’s all I can tell you. Oh yeah, and this song is really pretty.
MØ “Walk This Way” http://youtu.be/r7BEbZNabC0
MØ is the Danish word for “maiden” or “virgin.” While her style is certainly youthful, virginal might be pushing it. If we were casting a dark teen comedy, MØ would be the burnout smoking in the girls’ room, and that seems to be the audience she wants to cultivate. Her look is harsh and much darker than her music. Maybe Danish style just doesn’t translate, or maybe I’m just old. The songs, however, are undeniably catchy.
Indiana “Solo Dancing” http://youtu.be/WSrktmE963I
A bit of dark disco for your aural pleasure. Indiana is another act I know very little about. She’s a Brit, and this is her first big single. Oddly, it was co-written by Corinne Bailey Rae, of “Put Your Records On” fame. Who knew she had a dark side?
Zed’s Dead feat. Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy “Lost You” http://youtu.be/VJm7IPrBmLY
I found this song when searching for Twin Shadow. I have to say, his new single “To the Top” pales in comparison to this collaboration. It doesn’t officially get released until July 1st, but this colorful, animated nightmare is here for your enjoyment now.
Tourist “I Can’t Keep Up (feat. Will Heard)” http://youtu.be/w5RB0Zkf4Lw
I am a fan of everything HAIM, so my first exposure to Tourist was his remix of HAIM’s “The Wire.” Honestly, it was fine, but not outstanding. Then I stumbled onto his third EP, Patterns. Though only 4 songs long (plus an awesome dub remix of “I Can’t Keep Up”), each track is solid and memorable. There is an emotional depth to Tourist’s disco that sticks with you. And I love the way this track builds to its manic crescendo.
Betty Who “Heartbreak Dream” http://youtu.be/KzUz0sfxcMo
When I heard Betty Who’s first big single, “Somebody Loves You,” I honestly thought it was a new Katy Perry song, catchy, but not much depth. Then I heard “Giving Me Away” on a mix that a friend made. She’s got the makings of a Top 40 pop star, but she might have some decent songwriting chops too. “Heartbreak Dream” is the addictive second single, and in my opinion, a step up from “Somebody Loves You.”
Pains of Being Pure at Heart “Until the Sun Explodes” http://youtu.be/IBdbbBDOwv4
Current kings of sensitive shoe-gaze rock, Pains of Being Pure at Heart are at the top of their game on their third album, Days of Abandon. My favorite thing about this new album is the breadth of sonic variety that they’ve developed. The opening track, “Art Smock” is a beautiful, simple, acoustic ballad. In fact, there is much less of their trademark fuzz on the album. This track is perhaps the loudest of the bunch. It proves that although their fuzzy wall-of-sound trappings were part of the charm, the songs hidden underneath were always pretty great regardless.
Lykke Li – “No Rest for the Wicked” http://youtu.be/Hh-0y8Qe0SwLykke Li’s latest album is a beautiful downer. I am absolutely addicted to this single. She just released a remix EP, and, since I am also addicted to remixes, here is your bonus link to the best one, the Klangkarussel Remix: http://youtu.be/euD5s7QrkKA