Akron/Family - "Until the Morning"
The second single off Akron/Family's gloriously heavy Sub Verses
slumps and shimmers through a sleepless night--the kind where half-conscious yelps bubble forth, sharing grief and disclosing sins until a slumbering, snoring bass line dissipates with the morning sun. MELISSA GIANNINI
Small Black - "Free at Dawn"
I'll admit that it was Scarlett Hooft Graafland's album art that really convinced me to give this vibrating, cascading, life-affirming synth-pop track a few spins. But really, how can you ignore a tastefully nude couple embracing (yet painfully, physically estranged) at the top of a stepladder, while a smiling crocodile creeps by below? MG
The Features - "This Disorder"
It's tempting to get lost in the LCD-esque rhythms that open "This Disorder." A catchy melody and beats that change just enough to keep one guessing lull the listener until suddenly, at the 1:11 mark: "The problem here is plain to see, commonly known as an LCD." Wait a second: Is this entire song about my addiction to gadgets? I mean, sure, I get separation anxiety the second I'm away from my phone, and maybe I did pick out my iPad case before I actually owned an iPad, but I surely don't have a disorder—right? As I sweat through the next minute, I start to hear a hint of Super Mario Bros.--or is that just my imagination? All right, Features, you're on to me; consider me diagnosed. LINDSAY MEOLA
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - "The Nothing Pt II"
Straight off Lady Lamb the Beekeeeper's recently released debut full-length,Ripely Pine
, "The Nothing Pt II" sounds like a folky, jaded love song--that is, until you watch the video. A mix between a feigned horror film and maybe even a lost Girls
episode, a masked kidnapper, in fencing gear no less, tortures his hostages with pie. The correlation, while slightly unexpected, works perfectly. Pain, monotony, sudden celebration--it all sounds a bit like trying to figure out what you want in a relationship. After all, love isn't always as sweet--or as easy--as pie. LM
Psychic Twin - "Dream State"
"Dream State" begins with a slow, synthesized buildup of gentle hits that seem to emulate the tossing and turning you experience just before falling asleep. Introduce Fein's airy vocals to seduce you to the dream state. Fein and Brett Sanderson, the masterminds behind the Psychic Twin moniker, have altruistic intentions--to soothe you into REM with light lyrics and hypnotic synthesizers. To follow is the kind of dream that has you barefoot and happy, your head in the clouds. JESSICA CHOU