If you want something brand new:
"No Better Blues" - Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment
"How Can You Really" - Foxygen
"No Better" is as new as it gets - Chance posted his latest song to SoundCloud yesterday, a simple and soulful meditation on getting trapped in a malaise. "How Can You Really" isn't that new (the single was released in late July), but it's a standout track from Foxygen's 24-song (!) album that came out on Tuesday.
If you're sick of the original:
"Slow Motion" (Sylvan Esso Remix) - PHOX
"Just One Of The Guys" (Acoustic) - Jenny Lewis
Sylvan Esso and PHOX put out two of the most unique, interesting albums of 2014 (PHOX's self-titled is a calm, soothing collection of harmonic folk-rock; Sylvan Esso's self-titled features a distinctly modern electronic sound). This remix replaces the twee, twangy guitars of "Slow Motion" with Sylvan Esso's trademark icy synths, to fantastic effect. Meanwhile, Jenny puts a refreshing acoustic spin on one of 2014's indie rock anthems...that your local NPR affiliate has probably played to death by now.
If you don't know, now you know:
"Some People Will Tell You" - Sarah Jaffe
"Eyes of the Muse" - King Tuff
Speaking of NPR - thank you, All Songs Considered, for introducing me to these two great songs. "Some People" is a synth-heavy pop song that chooses to breathe and softly expand, rather then overwhelm the listener with overproduction. "Eyes of the Muse" finds garage-rockers King Tuff making their sound more accessible, with a sunny, shimmering guitar riff that serves as an instant head-turner.
If you've been avoiding Childish Gambino's double-mixtape:
"Retro (Rough)" - Childish Gambino
"Dream/Southern Hospitality/Partna Dem" - Childish Gambino
Don't! It's solid, and it's free (well, half of it, anyway). I'm partial to "Retro" and the neo-soul stylings of Kauai over the aggressive beats of STN MTN, but "Dream" is a particularly cool cut from the latter - a faux-radio rip complete with classic DJ overdubs and sound effects.
If you missed it in 2013:
"Take It As It Comes," J Roddy Walston And The Business
"Crime," Real Estate
Thanks to KUTX, we've got a couple of free downloads - honoring the 2014 Austin City Limits lineup - featuring bands on victory lap tours for albums from aaaaallllll the way back in 2013. (Feels so long ago, doesn't it?) Real Estate's easy breezy chill-out rock perfectly contrasts with J Roddy's head-slamming soul-rock anthems. Both have really nailed down their niche.