1. Intro To… The New Pornographers

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    Intro To… is a new series where I take one of my enduring favorite artists and make a meticulously curated mixtape of 20 essential tracks to serve as a primer / intro course for that artist’s discography.

    I’m starting with one of the greatest indie pop bands of this century, The New Pornographers. The Vancouver power-pop supergroup just released their magnificent sixth album, Brill Bruisers. If you’d like to get into the band and want a place to start, or would just like to listen to a rad playlist of infectious Canadian indie pop, follow this playlist on Spotify

    01. Letter From An Occupant (Mass Romantic, 2000)
    02. War On The East Coast (Brill Bruisers, 2014)
    03. Use It (Twin Cinema, 2005)
    04. Crash Years (Together, 2010)
    05. The Laws Have Changed (Electric Version, 2003)
    06. The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism (Mass Romantic, 2000)
    07. Sing Me Spanish Techno (Twin Cinema, 2005)
    08. Myriad Harbor (Challengers, 2007)
    09. Dancehall Domine (Brill Bruisers, 2014)
    10. The Bleeding Heart Show (Twin Cinema, 2005)
    11. My Rights Versus Yours (Challengers, 2007)
    12. Silver Jenny Dollar (Together, 2010)
    13. The Body Says No (Mass Romantic, 2000)
    14. Champions of Red Wine (Brill Bruisers, 2014)
    15. All For Swinging You Around (Electric Version, 2003)
    16. Jackie Dressed In Cobras (Twin Cinema, 2005)
    17. The Fake Headlines (Mass Romantic, 2000)
    18. Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk (Together, 2010)
    19. Twin Cinema (Twin Cinema, 2005)
    20. Testament To Youth In Verse (Electric Version, 2003)

    Brill Bruisers it out now via Matador

  2. The Rural Alberta Advantage "On The Rocks"




    With little more than buzzing keyboards, passionate vocals and a thunderous drum performance, “On The Rocks” by The Rural Alberta Advantage provides 3 and a half minutes of the most thrilling indie rock I’ve heard this year. The Canadian trio will release their third LP, Mended With Gold, next month and I, for one, can’t wait.

    Mended With Gold is out 9/30 via Saddle Creek

    Misun "Goodbye Summer"




    As evident by the recent heat wave, summer isn’t quite over but that won’t keep me from loving this gorgeous surf-pop farewell to summer ballad from DC indie pop quartet MISUN. Listen above and check out more of the band’s excellent recent output via their soundcloud.

  3. musicforants.com’s Decade in Music So Far

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    Last week, Pitchfork shared their best songs & albums of the decade and their writers have been sharing their personal lists as well. This naturally got me thinking what my top picks of the decade would be and so over the weekend, I cobbled this list together.

    As you can see, I haven’t quite embraced hip-hop (or electronic to a lesser extent) as much as the Fork and my tastes tend to gravitate more towards indie rock / pop / folk, but, on the other hand, two of my favorite artist of the decade are Frank Ocean and Kanye West. Anyway, the lists are below and you can listen to my extended favorite songs list via this Spotify playlist.

    Favorite Albums of the Decade (so far)

    20. Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn’t
    19. Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On
    18. Beach House - Bloom
    17. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
    16. Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid
    15. Sun Kill Moon - Benji
    14. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
    13. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
    12. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
    11. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
    10. M83 - Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
    09. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
    08. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    07. Spoon - They Want Your Soul
    06. Destroyer - Kaputt
    05. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
    04. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
    03. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
    02. Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE
    01. The National - High Violet

    Favorite Tracks of the Decade (so far)

    20. Chromatics - Kill For Love
    19. Sun Kil Moon - I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same
    18. Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend
    17. Spoon - Inside Out
    16. Destroyer - Suicide Demo For Kara Walker
    15. Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You)
    14. Wilco - One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)
    13. Daft Punk - Get Lucky (ft. Pharrell Williams)
    12. Bon Iver - Holocene
    11. Janelle Monae - Tightrope (ft. Big Boi)
    10. Kanye West - All of the Lights
    09. Japandroids - The House That Heaven Built
    08. Phosphorescent - Song For Zula
    07. LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean
    06. The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio
    05. Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
    04. Vampire Weekend - Ya Hey
    03. Frank Ocean - Pyramids
    02. Sufjan Stevens - Impossible Soul
    01. M83 - Midnight City

    Listen to this playlist on Spotify.

  4. Porter Robinson “Divinity (feat. Amy Millan)”

    Stars is releasing a new album later this Fall but in the meantime, Amy Millan contributed her dreamy vocals to this lush, vibrant electro-pop track from rising North Carolina producer Porter Robinson.

    Porter Robinson’s debut LP, Worlds is out now on Astralwerks

    Porter Robinson “Divinity (feat. Amy Millan)”

    Stars is releasing a new album later this Fall but in the meantime, Amy Millan contributed her dreamy vocals to this lush, vibrant electro-pop track from rising North Carolina producer Porter Robinson.

    Porter Robinson’s debut LP, Worlds is out now on Astralwerks

  5. Alex G "Harvey"




    Today the Pygmalion Festival announced its final lineup / schedule which included the addition of lo-fi up-and-comer Alex G. I had a listen to his debut LP, DSU this morning and it’s filled with wistful, heart-on-your-sleeve pop gems like this endearing track named “Harvey”.

    DSU is out now on Orchid Tapes

  6. You Know How To Whistle, Don’t You?

  7. Tennis "I'm Callin'"




    Indie Pop duo Tennis will be releasing their third album next month and following their excellent EP last year and the exuberant first single “Never Work For Free”, I’m pretty excited to hear it. “I’m Callin’" is the latest track, a delightfully breezy foray into 70’s folk pop/rock. 

    Ritual In Repeat is out 9/9 via Communion Records