Thanks to the polar vortex, it’s slated to be an extra-brutal summer. While you wait on the inevitable sweaty radio bangers, stay cool with some of our favorite tracks from the final days of spring.
Ought “Habit” Every time a really good art-rock bell rings, David Byrne gets his wings (or smiles mysteriously, at least).
The Fresh & Onlys “Animal of One” San Francisco psych rock excellently updated, with extra reverb.
EMA “3Jane” A mod-goth mood piece as horizon-spanning as singer Erika M. Anderson’s native South Dakota.
Swans “Screen Shot” Bow down to the dark overlords of post-rock (and say hi to guest vocalist St. Vincent).
Courtney Barnett “History Eraser” The wry Aussie’s surreal, loping ode to wayward youth is pure slack-rock poetry.
Le1f “Hey” Ridiculously crisp flow and popping bass to make you “lick your fingers like Fritos.”
Vic Mensa “Down on My Luck” The Internet’s latest gift: a 20-year-old whiz kid rapping silkily over house beats circa the year of his birth. [Not on Spotify; stream it here]
Ratking feat. King Krule “So Sick Stories” Because why wouldn’t Harlem’s heavily hyped rap crew enlist a U.K. indie wunderkind?
Robyn & Röyksopp “Do It Again” So much Sweden! So many synths! So hitting the repeat button again.
La Sera “Storm’s End” Girl-group harmonies and Tarantino-movie guitars straight from a SoCal garage.
Ray Lamontagne “Pick Up a Gun” The gauzy melody sounds like he’s weaving daisies into his
beard; the lyrics are brutal.
Amen Dunes “Lilac in Hand” A spare, clattering CinemaScope folk dream that unfolds more
with each listen.
Damon Albarn “The History of a Cheating Heart” Heartfelt balladry is a new look for the older, wiser Britpop hero. He wears it well.
Alice Boman “Waiting” A song so fragile and forlorn, you’ll wonder if summer even comes to Sweden.