It’s release season, which means that there are literally more things coming out than I can possibly review. The way I can best make sense of this is by dropping massive singles lists and then augmenting with reviews of the very best stuff. So here’s part one of a massive amount of singles.
MAXIMUM SINGLENESS (cheery part)
1. “Rahh!” – Pepa Knight. I’m generally anti-congas, but Pepa Knight makes them sound so delightful in this jubilant indie-pop/pop gem.
2. “Murphy’s Law” – Clockwise. JUST START DANCING NOW. ALSO GET READY TO CLAP. SUMMMMMEEEEERRRRRRR
3. “Suns Out Guns Out” – Concord America. Garage rock needed a shot of the Beastie Boys’ mid-’80s total abandon, and Concord America delivers.
4. “Melody” – Plustwo. This song was a hit in 1983, at the tail end of disco. Now it’s been redone and re-released. Since it sounds pretty much like it could have been written today, it’s now time to say: DISCO IS ALIVE, FOLKS.
5. “Gold Soundz” – Ray and Remora. Respectin’ their indie elders with a low-key indie-electro verzion.
6. “Dirty Mouth“- Killing Kuddles. Here’s a folk song that just couldn’t contain all the raucous energy it had, so it turned into a punk song. Excellent slice of folk-punk here, complete with wicked guitar solo.
7. “Faucet” – Samuel Cooper. Tons ‘o dudes doing the hazy-indie-pop thing, but not so many can do it with such endearing vocal tone and strong melodies.
8. “Running Game” – Awning. Melding ’90s pop to gentle electro to acoustic-pop, Awning are doing something a little different than the rest of us.
9. “When You Call” – July Child. Sometimes R&B is too limp for me, but the energy and strong vocal performance here make this track wistful without being wimpy.
10. “I Can’t Wait (to Get My Hands on You)” – Kelly Lee Keel. Fun, raw, lo-fi, female-penned alt-country ode to the female libido.
11. “Better Ride” – Curtin. Sometimes I hear a song and think, “damn, s/he must have been writing songs for a long time.” This chill alt-country tune just smacks of experience and expertise. Absolutely gorgeous.