byADAM OFFITZER < @aoffitzer >
"Alexandra" - Hamilton Leithauser
"Impossible Request" - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Two standout tracks from two of the year's most underrated albums — one a joyous barrage of layered vocals and handclaps, the other a melancholy piece entirely without handclaps (but from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah).
"Giving Up" - HAERTS
"Turn It Up" - Stars
Ironically enough, "Giving Up" is louder than "Turn It Up," a relatively chill, nostalgic strum-along from Stars' upcoming album. HAERTS, on the other hand, go for the sweeping stadium anthem, and it's another reason to get excited for their debut full-length. Both albums come out in October.
"Girl" - Landlady
"Don't Just Sit There" - Lucius
Stellar live performances from two up-and-coming art-rockers, both built around tight harmonies and pop experimentation. Landlady's debut album, Upright Behavior, is marked by frenetic energy and frequent left-turns, which "Girl" perfectly encapsulates in its three and half minutes. Lucius features the stunning dual vocals of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who are in perfect sync on this free, live NoiseTrade EP.
"Saturday's Song" - Hiss Golden Messenger
"California (There Is No End To Love)" - U2
Two variations of "dad rock" for two types of dads – one song for those who really miss the Grateful Dead (from Hiss Golden Messenger) and another for those who really miss U2 (from U2). Look, I know U2 is lame, and "California" clearly rips off Arcade Fire—it's the "Ready To Start" riff!—but it's still pretty solid. And you don't need to listen if you don't want to! But the whole album is already in your iTunes. And you don't have any choice about that.
"Terrified" - The Rural Alberta Advantage
"Class Historian" - Broncho
Chanted "oos" paired with guitars drive both of these songs in very different ways - in "Class Historian," the "oos" are playful, carefree fun, breezing along with a childish innocence. "Terrified" uses eerie, ominous "oos" in the song's bridge to capture a much more mature theme - a vague portrait of love growing old, and going wrong.