Friday Mixtape (September 18, 2015)


(Picture by Nolan J. Downs)

Throughout the week I keep track of all the new songs that I hear and love and every Friday I put them all here. Most of these songs are brand new, but sometimes I’ll miss a song from before and finally hear it this week.

The Lemon Twigs – “Soothe”

I saw the latest addition to Winspear Records this week when they opened for Diane Coffee and they blew me away. Imagine if Foxygen sounded more like The Zombies or Cream.



Luhx – “Stay for the Night”

A power-pop ballad with dreamy vocals, coming straight outta Boston.


Liris – “Iridescent Love”

Fans of Björk will love it, but this song has enough soul to appeal to any listener that might find Björk off-putting.


Sego – “Townland”

A sunny jam that would fit right in with any ‘Grand Theft Auto’ soundtrack.


Chromatics – “Shadow”

I think I’ve posted about Chromatics each week. I’m ok with that.

Ezra Furman – “Androgynous (The Replacements cover)”

Westerberg would be proud.


Beach Slang – “Young & Alive”

[see Chromatics note]

Marcioz – “Love Me, Tender (It Will be Alright)”

An Elvis song turned into a creepy lullaby that sounds like an Amnesiac B-side. I dig it.


IGBO – “Creamy”

If the latest Blur album was more funky.


Year Of Glad – “Umbro Season”

Another winner from Lame-O Records, one of my favorite Philly labels.


Iman Omari – “Addicted”

Bonus points for sampling Once Upon A Time In The West (I think?).


TV Ugly – “QC”

The best guitar pop always comes from Canada.

Funeral Advantage – “Not In My House”

This is from way earlier this year, but it still sounds so great.


Dynamo Royale – “Modern Western”

Hey Dynamo Royale: please write the new James Bond theme song instead of Sam Smith. Please and thank you.


Phil Cook – “Frazee, Minnesota”

This album is 4 years old, so I think we need a new Phil Cook album. Like right now.

The Kickstand Band – “Anxious Love”

Shout out to this Detroit band for making me smile with some great power-pop.


Have a good weekend everyone!

Playlist: 20 Songs For August 2015


1. Lyla Foy – “Impossible”

2. The Rolling Stones – “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”

3. Donnie Iris – “Ah! Leah!”

4. Nada Surf – “Blonde On Blonde”

5. Timber Timbre – “Hot Dreams”

6. Bruce Springsteen – “Land Of Hope and Dreams”

7. Langhorne Slim & The Law – “Changes”

8. Youth Lagoon – “Highway Patrol Sun Gun”

9. Sibylle Baier – “Colour Green”

10. Among Savages – “New York City”

11. Jefferson Starship – “Jane”

12. Apanhador Só – “Mordido”

13. Gabor Szabo – “Love Is Blue”

14. One Direction – “Little Black Dress”

15. Beach Slang – “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”

16. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Gimmie Love”

17. Beach House – “Sparks”

18. Mac Demarco – “Another One”

19. Arbes – “Key Largo”

20. Small Black – “No One Wants It to Happen to You”

Friday Mixtape (August 21, 2015)


(artwork and GIF by Nolan J. Downs)

Throughout the week I keep track of all the new songs I hear and love and every friday I put them all here. Most of these songs are brand new, but sometimes I’ll miss a song from before and finally hear it this week.

Note: my computer broke two weeks ago and it took me a week to repair it, so some of these songs are older than usual. But it’s all good, because they still sound great.

SALES – “big sis”

A Dreamy sound that takes me to a beach at sunset.


Timber Timbre – “Hot Dreams”

This song is over a year old but I was overseas when it came out, so I heard it for the first time this week. This song is best heard while looking out at the LA skyline at night.


All Dogs – “Skin”

I’ve written about All Dogs a couple times before, but you should really be ready for August 28th when their debut album Kicking Every Day comes out. You can stream the new album via the New York Times.


Foxes in Fiction – “October (For J)”

This song doesn’t really have a chorus, but it’s so moving that you won’t mind six whole minutes of listening to this kaleidoscope sound. The musician behind Foxes in Fiction also runs Orchid Tapes.



Beach Slang – “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”

I’ve been waiting for a new Beach Slang album ever since January when I heard one of my new favorite songs, and this first single off their upcoming October release does not disappoint.


Kero Kero Bonito – “Chicken”

It might sound gimmicky at first, but stay till the chorus and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


Medasin. – “Coffee (Ft. Masego)”

Along with Miguel’s latest hit, 2015 might be the year coffee became sexy.



Bueno – “Assed Out”

I saw these guys last month at Shea Stadium and I was blown away by their live energy, even as the lead singer casually sings about George Costanza. Bonus points for also not sounding like every other indie rock band.


Junior Pande – “Bubbz”

I’ve been saying it for years, but more hip-hop producers should sample my nonexistent home phone.

Sheer Mag – “Fan The Flames”

This is another great song that for whatever reason I missed when it came out in April. But don’t worry, because I will never miss another Sheer Mag song.


That’s it for now, enjoy the weekend and I’ll see y’all Tuesday.


My Favorite Albums And Songs Of 2015 (So Far)

2015 2

This isn’t so much a list of the few albums and songs that I loved more than anything else in 2015 as it is a list of the music that I’ve listened to the most and have the strongest associations to this year. When I think of 2015, I think of these albums and songs.

Also, to say that the following albums and songs are “the best” is dumb, so I’m going to say that these are my favorites of 2015 so far aka some music from 2015 that you should check out if you haven’t already.

Here are my 10 favorite albums, in alphabetical order:

Alabama Shakes – ‘Sound & Color’



Belle & Sebastian – “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’



Courtney Barnett – ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’



Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’



Jeff Rosenstock – ‘We Cool?’



Juan Wauters – “Who Me?”



Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’



Natalie Prass – ‘Natalie Prass’



Tobias Jesso Jr. – ‘Goon’



Will Butler – ‘Policy’



Honorable Mentions: Algiers (‘Algiers’), Blur (‘The Magic Whip’), Father John Misty (‘I Love You, Honeybear’), Hop Along (‘Painted Shut’), Josh Rouse (‘The Embers Of Time’), and State Champion (‘Fantasy Error’).

And here are my 20 favorite songs, in alphabetical order. To make things more interesting, I didn’t include any songs that came from any of my favorite albums (because most of those songs would be on this list).

Beach Slang – “Too Late to Die Young”


Best Coast – “Feeling Ok”


Carly Rae Jepsen – “I Really Like You”


Chromatics – “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around”


Colleen Green – “TV”


Craig Finn – “Newmyer’s Roof”


Dawes – “Don’t Send Me Away”


Desaparecidos – “MariKKKopa”


Diet Cig – “Scene Sick”


Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – “Sunday Candy”


Downtown Boys – “Dancing In The Dark”


Hop Along – tie between “The Knock” and “Happy to See Me”


Hot Chip – “Huarache Lights”


Kacey Musgraves – “Dime Store Cowgirl”


Leon Bridges – “Smooth Sailin'”


Panda Bear – “Mr. Noah”

(The single came out last October, but I heard it for the first time when I listened to this year’s ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’, so I’m including it on this list.)


Sam Outlaw – “Jesus Take the Wheel (And Drive Me to a Bar)”


Sufjan Stevens – “Death with Dignity”


Titus Andronicus – “Dimed Out”


Tobias Jesso Jr. – “True Love”

(note: this song technically wasn’t on ‘Goon’, so I don’t feel bad about including TJJ on here)


And in case you missed it, here’s a Spotify playlist that I update throughout the year of all the songs that I like this year.

Playlist: 20 Songs For February 2015


February in the Midwest is always a great time to listen to lots of music, since it’s too cold to leave the house. This month’s playlist includes many new songs and some deep tracks from Joe Cocker and Oasis.

Here are my 20 songs for February 2015:

1. Pink Gloves – “80’s Girls”

2. Girlpool – “Chinatown”

3. Taylor Locke – “Running Away From Love”

4. Joe Cocker – “Space Captain”

5. Title Fight – “Your Pain Is Mine Now”

6. Father John Misty – “Holy Shit”

7. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – “No Action”

8. Quarterbacks – “Not In Luv”

9. Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker The Berry”

10. Kevin Garrett – “Control”

11. Drake – “Energy”

12. Blur – “Go Out”

13. Oasis – “Songbird”

14. Passion Pit – “Where the Sky Hangs”

15. Stonefox – “This City”

16. Beach Slang – “Too Late to Die Young”

17. Open Mike Eagle – “Split Pants in Detroit (Or Hyrule)

18. Calexico – “Cumbia de Donde”

19. James Davis – “Better Than You Are”

20. Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers – “Captain America”


Week In Review (1/30/15)

With guitarist and founding member Chris Walla gone, Death Cab For Cutie (almost) sounds like a new band

New album Kintsugi comes out March 31st via Atlantic Records. They’re also going on tour soon.


Mikal Cronin announced his follow up to MCII with, wait for it, MCIII

God bless consistency, both in album names and great songs. MCIII comes out May 5th via Merge.


Electronic music doesn’t get more compelling than Novellus’s “Twenty Eight”

Seriously, when was the last time you hear good, honest lyrics in such a moody, cryptic electronic song?


Nick Leng – “Inside Your Mind (ft. Carmody)”


The Twilight Sad – “The Airport”

Scottish Indie Rock sounds mighty fine.


 Aly Spaltro aka Lady Lamb the Beekeeper continues to be awesome with another taste of her upcoming album

After might already be a candidate for one of my favorite albums of 2015 if it just gets released already.


Make sure to play this Diet Cig song when you eventually breakup with your Ivy League, sweater-wearing partner

Thank you Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman for getting me through this imaginary breakup that I’m going through.


I will share anything that features BADBADNOTGOOD, but this Marvel Alexander track is especially great

Keep your eyes on this guy, as he’ll probably make some big waves soon.


The new Natalie Prass album is finally out

Do yourself a favor and check it out.


Calexico is back with a new single and a new album coming out later this year

Check out their new single from this groovy Latin Americana band.


Colleen Green – “TV”


Make sure to check out Coed Pageant’s latest EP Drag

Indie pop goodness that you can buy on bandcamp for whatever price you want!


Fucked Up’s Ben Cook aka Young Guv released the music video for his tasty lo-fi power pop single “Crushing Sensation”

A little softer than his other band’s music.


This new Only You song needs to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie ASAP

Looks good on ya Rachel Fannan.



…I like the song…but…uh…


 Rye Pines – “Pessimist”


The best part about this new Open Mike Eagle song is that it samples Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl”, even if it does sound like Voldemort.

Listen here via Stereogum.


Hear Glen Hansard cover the late Jason Molina

From his upcoming tribute EP, which will be released this March.


Courtney Barnett announced that she’ll release her proper debut album this year, and now 2015 is already better than 2014

She made one of my favorite albums and songs of this decade so far, so there’s high hopes.


The upcoming Will Butler album sounds better and better with each new song we hear.

First there was the Kinks, and now we hear the Talking Heads influence. I’m excited to hear what’s next.


Beach Slang’s “Too Late To Die Young” reminds me of a Paul Westerberg/Replacements ballad in the best way possible.

Listen here via Stereogum.