1. “Seventeen” – 3D Friends. A wistful power-pop tune that kept me on the edge of my seat for a lot of the song, wondering “What’s going to come around the corner?”
2. “Damage” – TeamMate. Dance-oriented indie rock that’s somewhere between MGMT and Grouplove. In other words, it’s the audio equivalent of a confetti cannon.
3. “Walk Away” – Delta & Dawn. There’s some Bastille in this punchy pop song. The more obscure reference (but one that I can’t shake) is a distinctly Relient K-esque mesh between the chorus vocal melody and the electric guitars.
4. “Darkerside” – //AMISTAD//. Attitude-laden rap-singing leads the way through an ominous electro-pop environment; it’s not the type of thing I’m generally into, but the vocals just fit so perfectly against the synth backdrop.
5. “Quiet” – MILCK. Pulls off the neat trick of seeming more like an electro-pop tune than it actually is, as this piano-led pop tune is built on a trilling chorus vocal melody, thumping percussion, and strong female empowerment lyrics.
6. “Go There” – Small Forward. This is all the best elements of ’90s and early ’00s indie-rock thrown into one great tune: hazy guitar chimes, sweetness in the vocal melodies, punchy drums, quiet/loud/quiet dynamics, and an overall mood of slackery but good-natured chill. It’s just fantastic. Also, the band name is a basketball reference and I dig it.
7. “Faux Depart” – Cyclope Espion. I’m on a French kick recently; the rhythmic patterns of their language are different than English, which intrigues my ear. This folk-pop/pop-rock tune sounds like early Counting Crows, but with a saxophone and (yes) French language lyrics.
8. “Alcaline” – Laura Lefebvre. This French-language tune pours the rhythms into American indie rock-style melodies; if you don’t listen too closely, you can’t even tell its French. The arrangement is tight and lithe as well–particularly in the percussion–making this an impressive indie-rock tune.
9. “Pages” – Magana. Fans of Wye Oak will love this subtle, textured, serious, female-fronted, guitar-oriented indie rock.