1.) “Everyday Robots,” Damon Albarn (Everyday Robots). “Everyday robots just touch thumbs, swimmin’ in lingo they’ve become.” The first track from the yet to be released album. The track begins with a sample from Lord Buckley, an interesting choice but somehow it works. The song is a haunting. sparse piece driven by lonely strings and a glum wind chime. A dispirited take on our human condition in the face of ubiquitous technology.
2.) “Lion’s Share,” Sisyphus (Sisyphus). “Banks had the loot stashed in the safe in a backyard in the Buckeye state. He picked and picked, moon lights the air.” A laid back cut that combines a stark, thick bass line with electronic beats and slick wordplay.
3.) “Hunter,” Pharrell Williams (GIRL). “Taxidermy is on my walls with a full description of the kill and cause.” Tight and uptempo, this track is unsubtle send up to the artist’s sexual prowess. Delivered with a Prince-like swagger that would make his Purple Majesty proud.
4.) “Coming of Age,” Foster the People (Supermodel). “You know I try to live without regrets, I’m always movin’ forward and not lookin’ back. But I tend to leave a trail of debt while I’m movin’ ahead.” Atmospheric synths and breezy guitar riffs drive this summertime song. Mark Foster proves that he really can sing.
5.) “Do It Now,” KXM (KXM). “I must confess, I was impressed. You had my full attention.” Hard hitting nineties era guitar driven rock. No surprise when you see the cast of characters: Doug Pennick (Kings X) on vox and bass, George Lynch (Lynch Mob, Dokken) on lead, and Ray Luzier (Korn) on the skins. Rock does, in fact, live.
6.) “Black Stone,” Ume (Monuments). “Never see the cries of another. Never did see the wars till the rubble.” Hailing from the music hotbed of Austin, TX, Ume are a melodic yet sludgy throwback to the grunge scene. Lead singer, Lauren Larson, is not afraid to push all the bands chips to the center of the table.
7.) “Knock It Loose,” The Soft White Sixties (Get Right.). “Gotta go but you can’t quite leave. Friends sayin’ things you don’t want to believe. You pass the blame but it’s still on you.” This track was actually released in 2012, but is included as a bonus track on their latest offering. Fuzzy, thick guitars kick off this spirited track. The rhythm section keeps this toe tapper from straying. A tightly coiled jam that wants to punch you in the face.
8.) “Move With the Season,” Temples (Sun Structures). “Lend your young ears to the sound of day.” An eerie, plodding cut with a distinct Beatles influence. Make no mistake, Temples are no watered down Beatles. This is seasoned psychedelia, so heavy on feedback you can practically smell the patchouli.
9.) “Say Goodbye,” Beck (Morning Phase). “Bones crack, curtains drawn on my back and she is gone.” By far the best Beck album to date. This song is but one reason for the high praise. Upon listening the audience is treated to an intimate yet ambitious work of art.
10.) “Candy,” Wake Owl (The Private World of Paradise). “Oh, this candy world is getting to me, and I need someone, but you ain’t got what I need.” A melancholy, yet hopeful tune. Colyn Cameron’s falsetto dances atop the delicate guitar riffs that haunt this track.