The Good Natured, "Skeleton"
Just like on their previous single "Wolves," the latest from U.K.'s The Good Natured starts out a little bit creepy. This time around, though, Sarah McIntosh and co. have swapped gloomy-sounding synths for thumping drumbeats, and the result is bound to get your heart racing immediately. In other words, this ultra sexy jam off the band's new mini album is just begging
to be blasted on sweaty dance floors everywhere this weekend. Listen to it above (or watch the video here
) and you'll see how being bad has never sounded so great. LIZA DARWINSaint Motel, "Puzzle Pieces"
We admit: when we first heard the snappy piano intro to Saint Motel's new track, we thought we were listening to Matt & Kim. But it didn't take too long to realize that this Los Angeles indie-pop quartet deserves their own time in the spotlight... starting right now. "Puzzle Pieces" is a breezily carefree musical trip that races along at 100 mph. It's filled with joyous choruses and melodies so sundrenched, if you close your eyes you can almost believe it's summer again. Considering these friends first met in film school, it's only natural that frontman A/J Jackson directed the new music video, which premiered today. Let the wild ride begin. LDCasiokids, "The Golden Years"
Given their name, it seems only appropriate that this Norwegian quintet borrowed sounds from the vintage synthesizer Casio CZ-101 in their newest single. Along with this retro instrumental cameo in this toe-tapping jam, we're mesmerized by the group's dancey electro-pop beats and lead singer Ketil Kinden Endresen's easygoing vocals (even though we don't understand the words). It is possible for a song to sound sparkly? In the case of the resonating shimmery vibe of "The Golden Years," we're going to go with a resounding yes. LDLittle Racer, "Little Racer"
After a painfully long field recording of hooting loons and jingling wind chimes, this song kicks in at the 23-second mark sounding like it could easily be a long lost b-side from Is This It, complete with muddled vocals, jangly guitars, and a reverb-soaked bass line. But at the bridge, this new Brooklyn trio—who just signed to Young & Lost Club—turn back the clock to the mid-90s for a little Weezer sunshine: the vocals come into focus and trumpets brighten everything up. It's a great tune and makes us eager to hear more...minus the loons. ELLEN CARPENTERKathleen Edwards, "Change the Sheets"
This is a road song, but not in the typical roll-down-the-windows and sing-along sense. It's about escape—the highway as savior, promising a second chance and a new you depending on where you end up. Country-rock singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards, one of my favorite lyricists, pours her pain out on the pavement. "My life is a stockpile of broken wills," she sings in her clear, but vulnerable alto. A pulsing synth line runs through the song, serving as a sonic equivalent of the white lane markings on the highway. Wherever she's going, she's going fast, and she's not looking back. EC