I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I haven’t been this behind on singles in a while either. It’s time for a mixtape.
1. “Zambezi” – Tinashé. Not new, but this incredible, enthusiastic pop tune is new to me.
2. “It Goes On” – Tin Can Radio. Mid ’00s dance-rock meets Tokyo Police Club-esque pop-rock. And they’re Australian!
3. “Lady Percy” – King Charles. If you don’t hear summer in this, I don’t think summer is in you. It’s either the steel drums or his impeccable clothes.
4. “Burn Out” – Youth Sounds. Cheery, dream-haze synth-pop cut through with direct vocals and pushing drums, which takes it to the next level.
5. “Samar” – The Clouds (Jakarta). Jangly, airy and lightweight, the Indonesian indie-pop band’s name matches this tune.
6. “Jukebox” – Oceanics. Remember The Cribs? Perky British mid ’00s indie-rock? Take out some of the sneering, and here’s your Aussie equivalent. Fun track.
7. Black Horses – Charlotte & Magon. Haunting indie-rock that has silent movie drama, trip-hop tension and enveloping female vocals.
8. “Love is a Devil” – Laneway. These Aussies know how to make pitch-perfect, dark American country music. Shiver-inducing.
9. “Kingston” – Corduroy Kids. When Jack Baton’s voice is in his low register, he can make a folk song sound ominous and mournful at the same time.
10. “Zambezi (Mbira Version)” – Tinashé. The energetic tune gets a quiet, pensive rendition via the gorgeous, mesmerizing tones of the mbira.