I’d like to think I’m pretty “with it” when it comes to music; I frequently check blogs, skim through Reddit, scour the Internet for leaks, etc. But, sometimes stuff slips through the cracks and doesn’t reveal itself until my friend is giving me shit because, how have you not heard about this band/artist/song? Once the embarrassment subsides and the how the fuck did I miss this? moment passes, you probably have some pretty good tracks to catch up on, like I did with these.
“Baby”– Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Ariel Pink’s dreamy 2012 cover of Joe and Donnie Emerson’s “Baby” popped up on a friend’s Spotify playlist earlier this summer, and I’ve since described it as the “perfect song.” It’s warm but cloudy, mysterious but satisfying, contemporary but nostalgic. And Pink’s sultry vocals take the track to new heights, hit-single wise and new-depths, heart wise.
“Codeine Crazy”– Future
Sorry, but I had to throw this one on here because I have half ironically, half un-ironically been calling “Codeine Crazy” the best song of 2015, even though it technically dropped almost a year ago on Future’s 2014 mixtape, Monster. What works about the track is it’s versatility — it can be both a banger and a ballad. Never before have I heard the phrase “I just took a bitch to eat at Chipotle” sound so sentimental.
“Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone”– Neutral Milk Hotel
Most Neutral Milk Hotel fans, when prompted, will rave about their 1998 album In the Aeroplane Over The Sea. It’s deeply loved by indie fans and indie critics alike; Pitchfork gave it a perfect 10/10 – not to say Pitchfork is the ultimate authority, but hey, it still means something. Fans of the group are much less familiar with On Avery Island, the album that preceded their magnum opus. However, this track hinted at the gold Neutral Milk Hotel would soon strike, at the potential they were about to unlock.
“In Dreams”– tomemisu
I found this gem hidden at the end of an episode of the web series “High Maintenance” (thank God I always watch the credits) and I haven’t been the same since. When almost every verse begins with “when I look around my heart … ” it’s impossible not to get sentimental. Its bedroom-y feel is only accentuated by the low-quality recording, in which you even hear a chime from the artists cell phone if you listen close enough. Talk about intimate.
“Beach Community”– Joyce Manor
I don’t know what I was doing in 2011, but I know what I should have been doing in 2011: listening to more Joyce Manor. I heard their self-titled LP in high school but never really gave it more than a listen or two. Maybe I’m angstier than I was at 16, but this shit really resonates with me now. The post-punk ballad is loud and angry and that’s just how I like it.