1. Chairlift – “Bruises” and "Planet Health” Dream pop and lofi have started to re-infiltrate the indie scene and I am quite happy about it. Chairlift delivers indie pop songs drenched in trippy synthesizer sounds and a lead singer with a voice that resonates and rises above the sea of electronic fuzziness.
2. M83 - “Teen Angst” and “Don’t Save Us From the Flames” Both of these songs are about four years old, but they are still regulars on my mp3. They sound as though they were made 25 years ago and remixed to appear more modern. M83 seems fascinated with the 1980s: a decade that he barely lived through (he's 23). However, that has not stopped him from pursuing his eighties nostalgia through his music.
3. Zaho - “C’est Chelou” and “la Roué Tourne” I discovered Zaho over the summer of 2008, and I quickly became attached to her music. She is of Algerian decent and resides in Montreal. Her songs have become quite popular in France and Quebec. She has been featured on many Francophone rappers' singles, adding to her overall hype (check out the rapper Cheb Mami's song "Halili" in Arabic and French). I can't say I analyze her songs that much, or contemplate the chord progressions, but its light and fun.
4. Yelle – “Ce Jeu” Another Francophone, Yelle, has created a lot of buzz over her debut electropop album, “Pop Up,” and it deserves all the press it gets. The beats are fresh and Yelle’s snarky lyrical presentation is enjoyable to listen to.
5. Ida Maria – “Oh my God” and “Stella” The first song portrays a woman in the midst of a panic attack: "Oh my God! So you think I'm in Control!? Oh my God! so you think its all for fun!?" The other song is about a night a prostitute spends with God. Whats not to love?
6. These New Puritans – “Elvis” Another band riding on a big wave of hype, I can’t say I have heard “Beat Pyramid” in its entirety (although it was released 6 months ago…) but I have heard their first single, and it’s good.
7. Plushgun - "How we Roll" and "Just Impolite" They were both featured in the Internet mini sitcom, "We Need Girlfriends" and they are definitely worth checking out. Plushgun remains mostly under the radar. However, with a song on the barf-tastic series, "The City," and with a song or two on another lame MTV "drama," Plushgun may soon scratch the surface of the mainstream.
other songs worth checking out:
Rainer Maria - ''Catastrophe" Not a new song but I rediscovered it deep in my computer's music collection.
Los Campesinos! - "You! Me! Dancing!" I never get tired of this song...
the Go! Team - "Grip like a Vice"-- also a rediscovered song from my computer...
Illa J - "We Here" Charles Hamilton is the New Lupe; Kid Cudi is the new Kanye. This guy has been compared to Common, but I don't think he sounds like any of them. However, he will eventually be the next big thing. Give it a year.
K'naan - "ABC's" and "Waving Flag" What made M.I.A so exciting in 2005 with her debut record, "Arular," was the idea of hip hop going global. K'naan is another hip hop ambassador: this time via Somalia.