The Mississippi rock group went under the knife and found they were infected with dreamy melodies and teary-eyed poetry, traits you’d expect from art lovers armed with red wine and David Bowie vinyl. But the groove rolled into bass lines and enchanting choruses fondled by the spellbinding nature of the wilderness suggests otherwise. The Cradle is crafted by basement rockers with an ear for Pearl Jam and a secret love for indie tattered in innocence and guilt that lets loose with heartbreak funk. The dip into each underplayed genre is brave, admirable and the ideal substance to nurse for years to come.
Download: “Our Names”, “Everything Is The Same”
Sleigh Bells / Treats / N.E.E.T.
What happens when you arrange a blind date for an ex-Poison The Well guitarist and a dame with rebel fairy dust vocals? You get a clusterf*ck of noise rock dripping in hip hop sweat, eager to implode your senses with the motion to dance like it’s your birthday. The Brooklyn duo of guitarist Derek E. Miller and singer Alexis Krauss take the strut of M.I.A. and polish it with piercing riffs sharpened with youth. The chemistry is startling, as seen in “Infinity Guitars” and the breezy, charming number “Rill Rill” that invokes heartwarming memories and resets the onslaught of vicious pop.
Download: “Rill Rill”, “Crown On The Ground”
Punchline / Delightfully Pleased / Modern Short Stories
Pop punk, even punk in general, hasn’t really been happy lately. It’s been distraught with minor heartaches and angst against those who spark hatred. That’s changed now with Punchline’s second Modern Short Stories release Delightfully Pleased, an album jam packed with joyful undertones that entice one to embarrasingly sing (or mosh) along. The Pittsburgh quartet don’t leave you with tracks your iPod will cherish like a growth-stunted puppy, but it does manifest flashbacks to a time where cheesy, lovesick lines could land you the boy or girl of your dreams.
Download: “21 Forever”, “Whatever I Want. Whenever I Want”
Best Coast / Crazy For You / Mexican Summer
Bethany Cosentino’s sun-drenched voice echoes similar to a stoner wailing in his living room because he can’t find his lighter, but that’s what makes her so enthralling. The screw-lemons-give-me-a-guitar-and-my-cat approach is working for Best Coast’s leading lady as actor Bill Murray is just one of the patrons who enjoys a tall glass filled with surf pop and spiked with adorable daydream ramblings. Crazy For You has a lazy side sounding like a forgotten broken record at times, but it’s the sand-in-your-toes feeling that makes it a California classic without the Hollywood glitz.
Download: “Goodbye”, “Summer Mood”