Azekel - "That Feeling"
We've been crushing on this East Londoner's subtly cheeky crooning since "That Feeling" dropped midweek. THNDRLGHTNG Recordings is releasing his debut AA-side single (find "A Song to an Unborn Child" on the flip) on February 25, but we're predicting the SoundCloud will see some heavy streaming before then--on Valentine's Day in particular.
Highasakite - "Son of a Bitch"
"Son of a Bitch" is an oblique indie pop number with an audacious title, and we are absolutely smitten with this catchy little slice of Bohemia. And Highasakite is an appropriate name for a band with lyrics this inscrutable: On "Son of a Bitch," Ingrid Helene asks a "grand jester" to hold her hair back while she, well, vomits, a courtesy for which he must "take the highway to the ceiling" of this Norwegian band's spunky soundscape. Meanwhile, zinging synthesizers and tribal drum rolls keep the hipster whimsy in check just long enough for you to realize that there's also some acid behind the random chorus. But we're okay with the brashness: The song's breathy interludes and rollicking melodies remind us of the summer, and we can't get enough of it.
The 1975 - "Chocolate"
We're guessing that once the bouncy, positively infectious guitar hook cuts in around the 10-second mark, you'll be as addicted to this surprisingly sexy, synth-heavy track as we are. Vagrant is releasing the Manchester natives' final installment of their EP Trilogy Music for Cars
on March 5, just in time for soundtracking last call at your spring break bar of choice.
Cayucas - "High School Lover"
Fans of nonchalant yet punchy indie-pop might want to take note of this almost-certainly-about-to-blow-up Californian outfit, especially as they gear up for a February tour with Ra Ra Riot. "High School Lover," the first single off their debut album Bigfoot
(out April 30 on Secretly Canadian), gives off the vibe of a super laid-back pep rally, and just might inspire you to sign up for surfing lessons.
Bleeding Rainbow - "Inside My Head"
As it belts out a chorus of vulnerable assertions, Sarah Everton's voice nods at Shirley Manson's grungy contralto and Courtney Love's cagey drone, but the allusions are only part of the reason why I can't get "Inside My Head" out of mine. Bleeding Rainbow's syncopated inertia starts with drummer Greg Frantz' forceful timekeeping, an emphasis that moves in fits and starts throughout this song's chugging instrumental and whiny, calamitous builds. The effect belies a cathartic dose of lyrical dystopia straight outta the '90s: "Here again / I'm waiting for this day to end / To forget / It's the same.... / There's no change," Everton croons, announcing the band as a welcome progenitor of alt-rock's lethargic heyday. Don't be misguided by our latent nostalgia, though: When we suggest that Bleeding Rainbow sounds like Garbage, we mean it as a compliment. Find the track in spot number seven on this full album stream.