The Elected "Babyface"
In Rilo Kiley, Blake Sennett was often upstaged by Jenny Lewis, but on his third album as The Elected, he steals back the spotlight and makes it clear that Rilo Kiley was very much a group effort. Bury Me in My Rings, which comes out next week, is his finest album yet — so good, in fact, that picking just one song for Good Listener is next to impossible.... But we finally opted for "Babyface," a guitar-pop blast of sweetness and sincerity that will have you singing along in seconds. ELLEN CARPENTER
The Soft Pack "Fences"
This song came on this morning while I was riding my bike to work, listening to Siruis XMU on my iPhone (oh the joys of modern technology). The lyrics were instantly familiar, but it took me a while--huffing and puffing over the Williamsburg bridge--to put my finger on the fact that it's a cover of the Phoenix track, "Fences"--defaced and distorted with dirty fuzz and deadpan delivery as is has been by San Diego garage band, The Soft Pack. And that's not a bad thing. Once I got to the office, I found out it was given away as a free download on RCRD Label back in 2009, and it's still available today. Once again: oh the joys of modern technology. NATALIE SHUKUR
Timothy Bloom (Feat. V) "Til The End of Time"
Timothy Bloom’s soulful croon is filled with a melancholic allure that’s both smooth and seductive. The bluesy, R&B tune off of his debut EP, The Budding Rose, makes you melt like ice cream on a hot summers day -- that is until V. joins in to give the ballad a powerful edge. It’s a poignant song that’ll have you swaying to the catchy “lalalalala” chorus and, like the expressive song laments, “I want you to remember me,” it’s a tune hard to forget. MELISSA ZMIJEWSKI
Shaggy Feat. Rayvon – “In The Summertime”
You might remember Shaggy from his 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me,” but he’s been around since the early ‘90s making people “wind up pon the dancefloor” (even if you don’t know what that means). “In The Summertime” embodies the carefree and playfulness of the summer -- you can almost smell the sunblock and saltwater coming through the speakers. The combination of Shaggy’s deep baritone voice and Rayvon’s sweet vocals are the musical version of rum and punch. Just try listening to this song and see if you don’t smile. JAMILA ROWSER
Mesita – “A Million Shades Of Sky”
This track, the first on 22-year old multi-instrumentalist James Cooley’s new album Here’s To Nowhere, boasts a complex layering of melodies that both invigorates and soothes. Cooley’s soft falsetto makes a brief appearance at the beginning of the song and is followed up with some seriously killer finger picking. Acoustic smoothly meshes with electric, reminding us of Caribou’s early days and leaving us eager for more. CAITLIN SMITH