1. “When You Think of Me” – Little Cinema. I was enjoying the Generationals-style pop AND THEN A WICKED SAX SOLO APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE.
2. “Carriages” – Li Xi. Fuzzed-out riffs get shoved under perky vocals, triumphant synths, and a shuffling beat, creating a memorably odd, dreamy indie-pop tune.
3. “Give a Little Love” – Lunchbox. Quirky, cheery, eccentric Elephant 6-style pop somehow morphs into a Burt Bacharach string arrangement and lounge vibes, which is an impressive trick.
4. “Drench You in the Sun” – The Watanabes. Not as sunshiny as you might think; way smoother than you probably guessed. Some real nice indie-pop with horns here.
5. “Sleep” – Summer Heart. Was the phrase hypnagogic pop a non-starter? If so, then here’s some great, peppy chillwave. Great melodies and vibes throughout.
6. “Age of Isolation” – Mystery Pills. Twee meets chiptune. SIGN ME UP.
7. “Worth Your While” – Wonderful Humans. Somewhere, Vangelis is rejoicing that his style is alive and well. Vintage ’80s synth-pop matched up with modern indie vocal lines and melodies. Awesome.
8. “Jack and the Giant” – A Love Like Pi. You know that lovely feeling when you’re about to drift off to sleep in the arms of someone you love, and all seems right in the world even if just for a moment? This is what that sounds like.
8. “Safety” – Jasia. Starts out as not much: spare clicks and pops meeting some keening falsetto. But Jasia molds, shapes, and crafts the parts into a booming, M83-like track by the end. Whoa.
9. “Wyn” – Ashan. Do you need eight minutes of ethereal ahs over clicky chillwave-inspired electro? Of course you do. I can see myself both chilling out to this and getting my dance on in a real hip club.