1. Angry Angles “Things Are Moving”
In 2010, the world lost too soon the super talented musician Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., better known by his stage name Jay Reatard. At 18 years old Jay released as The Reatards his first album, Teenage Hate, a memphis garage rock album that at first blast outshined his experienced peers. Jay had energy and talent that seemed limitless. In 11 years he had 9 projects, a solo career and was touring constantly. Angry Angles was formed in 2005 with Jay and then girlfriend Alix Brown. Jay intended to make this band his priority, but their relationship ended before they finished the album. Now a decade later, Goner Records is releasing what exists and what’s left and unreleased this May. This is the teaser and it’s vintage Jay Reatard.
2. DMA’s “Too Soon”
The Australian heirs to the Oasis throne are back in my top 10 with their first full length Hills End. Their previous 2015 release, a self titled ep, had my favorite song of the year, “Your Low.” This track doesn’t have the bite that “Your Low” had, but it does show their range. This is more of a straight ahead ’90s brit bop banger. I can’t wait to see this band live, and I have a feeling that their profile is going to grow exponentially this year. (DMA’s play Great Scott in Allston, Massachusetts on 3.29)
3. Savages “The Answer”
I am new to the Savages bandwagon. This song is a tour de force that is as personal and sonic as a punch in the face. I love songs that make you want to hit replay right afterward as if once and twice isn’t enough. This is that for me out of this batch. “The Answer” is off the band’s new album Adore Life out now on Matador Records. I hope their live shows are as chaotic as this music video. (Savages play The Paradise in Boston on 4.1)
4. Animal Collective “Golden Gal”
It feels like forever ago since Animal Collective played the old beloved The Living Room in Providence. Here is the single off their 10th studio album, Painting With. It’s a great mix of psychedelic dance with a twinge of strange, but not so much that it seems out of place. It’s reminiscent of psychedelic pop cross-over act Super Furry Animals. And with the “Golden Girls” sample to start the song, its nice to reminisce about one of them golden gals while listening along.
5. Kanye West “Facts (Charlie Heat Version)
Love him (I mostly do) or hate him (I sometimes do), Kanye West is one of the most talented artists of his time. When he is on point, he is unstoppable. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a hip-hop album masterpiece. But not only is he an artist, he’s also a provocateur. His desire to share with you his music comes with an overwhelming desire to share with you his often strange and sometimes out of wack views of life and circumstance. His new album, The Life Of Pablo, which currently isn’t for sale or available and may or may not ever be, is full of Kanye’s ranting and anger. Too much. I feel like his anger is distracting him from his talent. This track “Facts” is a good example of Kanye’s battle with everything and everyone. Here he goes at Michael Jordan, Drake and Future, Phil Knight and Nike shoe and boasts about selling emojis. While the rest of the album his anger feels lost, at least this track seems to be close to focused.
6. Macklemore And Lewis “Light Tunnels (featuring Mike Slap)”
Vintage clothing song pioneers Macklemore and Lewis are back with the follow-up record from the Grammy winning album The Heist. Their new record, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, has a ton of hip-hop collaborations on it ranging from legends like Krs One & Kool Moe Dee to recent comers like Chance The Rapper, Anderson .Paak, & Rhode Island’s own Mike Slap. Mike Slap, who recently changed his performing name from Symmetry to his birth name, was 2015 Motif‘s Hip-Hop Artist of the Year. No better way to celebrate the switch than with a big high profile like the one on this track. Mike is working on his first album under his own name; expect big things. (Macklemore and Lewis play The Agganis Arena in Boston 4.17)
7. Quilt “Roller”
Ahhh. Some nice blissful indie dream pop from Boston. The track starts off like it’s gearing into my favorite guilty pleasure genre of Yacht Rock, then travels into more of a Liz Phair meets Stereolab vibe. This is off their brand new album, Plaza. I hope they make the 45-mile trip south soon.
8. Two Inch Astronaut “Good Behavior”
If this track from Maryland’s Two Inch Astronaut reminds you of Jawbox / Dischord Records ’90s stuff, its for good reason. The band sought out musician / indie producer J Robbins from Jawbox to produce their 2016 “Personal Life” record.
9.The Dirty Nil “Zombie Eyed”
Here’s this month’s grunge-drenched punk song on the list. The Dirty Nil hail from Hamilton, Ontario and this track is off the excellent release Higher Power. While this is my favorite song off the record, the song title “Wrestle Yu to Husker Du is certainly my favorite song title in quite some time. (The Dirty Nil play Great Scott in Allston, Massachusetts on 4.9)
10. Yo Gotti “It Goes Down In The DM”
This song is pretty funny. The sort of funny you know is pretty low brow but still makes you giggle regardless. 2016 is a different place and so much of the courtship of affection goes down in the dm. Finally a hip-hop song about the desperate and dirty side of the social media courtship. Beyond being entertaining, the beat is pretty good and the song is certainly a hit. Try not to listen to this around impressionable children, it already came on shuffle in the car with my 13-year-old and was certainly an awkward moment til I hit next… (Yo Gotti is playing exclusively in the DM)