1. “Good Advice (feat. Jeff Goldblum)” – FEVERHIGH. Come for the “what? for real? Jeff Goldblum?” (Yes, it actually is.) Stay for the female-fronted, Fatboy Slim-esque dance music.
2. “Window” – Magic Giant. The folk-pop-rave mash-ups that Magic Giant creates are just ludicrously fun. Add to this a simply ridiculous (in the best of ways) music video and you’ve got a undeniably fun experience waiting for you.
3. “Gentleman” – The Curious. Thank goodness that the UK turns out a steady stream of perky guitar-rock bands a la the Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines. This tune has crisp, chiming guitars and soaring vocals in spades.
4. “Eliza” – Lauran Hibberd. Fans of Laura Stevenson’s blend of folk, indie-pop, and indie-rock will immediately recognize the enthusiastic songwriting of this track. Hibberd’s sensibilities are finely tuned here to pull in the best of each genre and discard the overdone elements of each. The result is a sort of super-charged Regina Spektor or a new tour mate for Stevenson.
5. “Move On” – The Brixton Riot. This punchy, high-quality guitar-rock that is carefully written, perfectly played, and expertly engineered (J. Robbins). It’s crunchy without being relying on distortion as a crutch. The vocal performance is stellar as well.
6. “Opinionated” – New Luna. Reminds me of old-school Bloc Party: frenetic vocals, carefully constructed rock arrangements reminiscent of late-night urban environs, and a healthy dose of paranoia.
7. “35 Year Olds Dancin’” – Romeo Dance Cheetah. Being closer to 35 than to 18, I appreciate this fantastic glam rock parody of the not-so-pretty transition from hipster to hip injury.
8. “Aphrodite” – Zorita. Try to create a triangulation between ska, klezmer, and indie-rock, and you’ll end up with this svelte, suave track. The low-toned vocals in the chorus are evocative and addictive.
9. “Big G” – Neosho. Here’s a really fascinating mix of spacey synths, trap-inspired beats, electro-pop vibes, lush instrumental arrangements, and rhythmic vocals. The band pulls off this unusual sound in a totally sophisticated and impressive way.
10. “For the Last Time” – Two Sets of Eyes. Mashes together the plaintive emotion of ’00s emo, the saxophone of smooth jazz, the cascading guitars of indie rock, and a few surprises I won’t spoil into an impressive, unique stew. I’m very excited for their future work.