Once upon a time, the only way you could find out about new music was by being a mag head. Flipping through pages took you away from the Top 40 and introduced the Modest Mouses, the Title Fights and the De La Souls of the world. For most, nothing felt better than throwing a new artist onto their third generation iPod and falling into the deep end of a different sound, and that’s where this feature comes in. Every month, we’ll mess with nostalgia and generate a staff-selected mix of new tracks and re-works that you may have missed, introducing a goodie bag of vices that deserve a spot in your rotation. Unboxing every genre, here are 20 Songs You Need To Listen To Now.
LIGHT YEARS – “NICE TO KNOW YOU”
Saving souls with “pop punk for grown-ups”, the Cleveland foursome craft songs that will make your heart bleed.
BASS DRUM OF DEATH – “CRAWLING AFTER YOU”
John Barrett’s one-man garage show has produced the only fuzz-soaked love song you need to hear this summer.
WEED – “SET ME BACK”
Don’t let the name fool you; the Vancouver sludge rockers send an axe to the wall with their grainy single.
WISE BLOOD – “UNIVERSE IS BLESSED”
There are producers, and then there’s Christopher Laufman, a rare oddity that streamlines polished experimentation.
BLACK HIPPY – “U.O.E.N.O. (REMIX)”
Flexin’ the TDE brand, Kendrick Lamar and co. just popped the pristine cherry of rap nerds and you ain’t even know it.
MOUNT KIMBIE – “YOU TOOK YOUR TIME (FT. KING KRULE)”
Complimented by Krule’s stoned ramblings, the British duo trap electronic music in a haze of colour and darkness.
HOODED FANG – “BYE BYE LAND”
Echoing like a blown-out amp in between songs, the Toronto rippers push garage pop to an unprecedented height.
BENT SHAPES – “BEHEAD YRSELF, PT. 2”
Formerly known as Girlfriends, the Boston trio give a short lecture on indie pop songwriting with this no-filler gem.
RUN THE JEWELS – “BANANA CLIPPER (FT. BIG BOI)”
El-P, Killer Mike and Big Boi? It’s not quite 2003 but this collab rips down walls to expose the elephant in the room.
ELLIE GOULDING – “TESSELLATE (ALT-J COVER)”
Slow-rolling with a soulful touch, the songstress gets confessional next to Xaphoon Jones’ titillating production.
THE WEEKND – “KISS LAND”
Abel’s wordplay is his foreplay: “Go ‘head girl, strip it down, close your mouth / I just wanna hear your body talk”.
EARL SWEATSHIRT – “GUILD (FT. MAC MILLER)”
Even trippin’ on a cloud-nine, lyrical-happy cassette beat, Earl still finds time to rap about faded fros and Gil Scott.
DISCLOSURE – “YOU & ME (BAAUER REMIX)”
Home is where the heart is, and Baauer’s massive rework of Disclosure takes you from the club to the bedpost.
CHVRCHES – “GUN”
The Scottish trio catch you off-guard with a stylistic display of how bite-sized electro pop can infect you.
CROCODILES – “COCKROACH”
No one in the indie world will shut up about the San Diego rockers’ upcoming LP, Crimes Of Passion, and here’s why.
SMITH WESTERNS- “3AM SPIRITUAL”
The Chicago outfit are back and there’s a lot to swoon about their single that lightly dusts off guitar psychedelia.
DEAFHEAVEN – “SUNBATHER”
The title track from the duo’s sophomore record dines on reverb and noise, and politely throws itself out a window.
TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN – “ALWAYS LIE”
Dissecting space, TDM come out of hiding to gnash their way through the hues of larger-than-life shoegaze.
DESTRUCTION UNIT – “SONIC PEARL”
Remember that band that played under a bridge at SXSW? Their new single will shred the cartilage in your knees.
TASHA THE AMAZON – “SCALLYWAGS (FT. COLA OF WIFETAKER)”
Spearheading Toronto’s freshman class, Tasha The Amazon uncrates a whole new side to north-of-the-border rap.