Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Little Blu House
As a starter, I felt the first song should be a band that has been on heavy rotation. Unknown Mortal Orchestra … never heard of them until my brother pushed me to listen to them. Reluctantly, I caved. I’m partial to lo-fi, psychedelic rock and this fits the bill. Paired with bass heavy headphones, this song is one to listen to on repeat. It’s catchy, clean, and with horribly messy, muffled vocals (in a good way). Head bobbing guaranteed.
Tame Impala – Sundown Syndrome
Tame Impala is slowly transforming into a band that you hate to love and love to hate. Their newest album is an odd transition into the pop filled radio world where everything is nothing but mass production and synth beats. I still love it. But, their earlier stuff leading up to their rise in fame is what made me fall in love with the band. It’s ’70s psychedelic rock reimagined to grab the attention of Gen X, Y, Z … whatever — today’s youth. InnerSpeaker is a phenomenal album. It’s what I want music to be in regard to spacey, stoner-esque rock.
Beck – Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat
I grew up listening to Beck. He’s definitely talented. Last year, I came across a charity album called War Child Presents Heroes that benefits those in war-stricken areas like Iraq, Congo, etc. The general concept of the album was to have a music legend nominate one of today’s biggest artists to rework a song of theirs. Bob Dylan chose Beck to cover this song — and Beck certainly did the cover justice. Beck + Bob Dylan = What’s not to love?
Angel Olsen – Hi-Five
If Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison had a child and she became a singer, Angel Olsen is what I imagine her to sound like. I stumbled across her listening to NPR and was mesmerized by her voice. The painful, folk driven lyrics and vintage nod to the styles of Johnny Cash won me over this year. Check out her album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. It’s beautifully painful to listen to — there’s a lot of soul and emotion that went into it and that’s what makes it so great.
Miniature Tigers – Coyote Enchantment
I actually do not have much to say about Miniature Tigers except they are a fun, indie band. I came across their album F O R T R E S S while checking out Denton’s own Neon Indian. It’s one of those albums to drive around to with the windows down without trying to annoy other commuters with heavy bass and a million expletives. “Coyote Enchantment” also helps with the flow of this playlist … which I often tend to try to create while picking out songs.
The Dodos – Sleep
I’m also very partial to bands that do remarkable work with just two members. I’ve seen them live more times than I can count and each show has been amazing.
Deerhunter – Nothing Ever Happened
Deerhunter is a band that speaks to the style of music I currently seek out. Each album has a different feel to it, but primarily focuses around noise pop, shoegaze, post-punk bliss. Anything that Bradford Cox touches is gold to me. I have a healthy, unhealthy obsession with his work. It’s just one of those bands where you can listen to one of their albums and find a sense of tranquility at any given time.
The Heligoats – Boil Over
The Heligoats was a band that I randomly stumbled upon by happenstance. A lot of the new music I find is through Spotify’s Discover feature. I heard one of their songs and I was instantly hooked. Catchy folk fueled indie rock.
White Denim – Keys
Another random find through recommendations on Spotify. I’m particularly fickle with my personal taste in music. Though, it doesn’t take much to draw me in once a song sparks my curiosity. Their album D did just that and I haven’t put it down since I discovered it. It’s well orchestrated and thought out. As with the Heligoats, I tend to favor more of the foot tapping, folk rock lately. The strings throughout this song are a nice touch.
Harvey Danger – Cream and Bastards Reprise
It’s a shame that Harvey Danger will always be remembered for “Flagpole Sitta.” Though not a one hit wonder band, Harvey Danger is the perfect definition of my time in high school. They’re an amazing band that follows in the same style of Ben Folds Five, but a little more rock heavy. I love the sound of this reworking of “Cream and Bastards.” It’s got an old western “let’s go to the saloon and drink” feel.
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton – The Bank
Metric will also hold a place in my heart for the fact that I saw them perform live at the Gypsy Tea Room Ballroom months before the venue sadly closed its doors. That show was when Metric was touring their first successful album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? and the band wasn’t to the point of playing large audiences at American Airlines Center and Gexa. Since then, I continued to follow their career, including Emily Haines’s solo career in between. Though not as successful, her solo albums were more jazz and piano heavy compared to Metric’s concurrent style.
Logic – Soul Food
I cannot not make a playlist without hip-hop. Throughout my youthful years, there were long periods of time where all I listened to was punk and old school hip-hop. A Tribe Called Quest. Souls of Mischief. The Pharcyde. Recently, Shaina introduced me to Logic and I was flabbergasted. Melodic. Perfectly executed. Properly wordsmithed. Logic was a breath of fresh air. Under Pressure is a masterpiece.
Nightmares on Wax – 70s 80s (RJD2 Remix)
I typically do not care for remixes Prior to falling in love with Logic’s music, there was RJD2. RJD2 brought life back into the once forgotten style of hip-hop I grew to love. I’ve probably listened to this track a hundred times and still bob my head to it each time. Enjoy.