1. Charli XCX – “Stay Away.” Charlotte Aitchison’s “Stay Away” baffles me for the fact that it isn’t a hit song that started slowly (like “Somebody That I Used To Know” or “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and ended big, with radio success and the artist on SNL. It’s got that 90’s feel, meets The Knife or something Lovefoxxx-approved, from Drive.
2. Santigold – “Go!” Feat. Karen O. Master of My Make-Believe, the latest from Santi White is everything you could want from a sophomore album. It’s different but not so different that you have trouble identifying and all the songs are top-notch experimental frenzies, everything M.I.A. wishes she’d done with MAYA.
You could easily download “Never Enough” or the single “Disparate Youth” but “Go!” is perhaps the number one must-hear. Friend Karen O told Spin, “She’s the real deal, a badass artist. She throws herself into the depths of her work without a safety net or fire escape. And she’s also got the best hooks!”
3. Garbage – “Man On a Wire.” Again, I can hardly choose one song from my co-favorite band. It’s been seven years and felt like 15. This, “Automatic Systematic Habit,” and “Control” are the hardest songs where Shirley Manson really brandishes her teeth and the band shows that they deserve a place at the top of the rock spectrum. Not that I ever doubted it.
4. Jen Miller – “Doo da Doo.” Remember Jen Miller? My first interview, singer of epic YouTube covers like “Grenade” and “Cupid’s Chokehold?” You can now buy her EP of original material on iTunes for $3,96. So cheap, and you’re supporting an immensely talented unsigned artist.
5. Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness.” Nothings changed since January when Born To Die came out. I’m still doing my Lana impression in the living room, except not to “Video Games” or “Queen Of The Gas Station” now it’s to “Summertime Sadness.”
Her next single may be “National Anthem” but I’m still stuck on this one, and it couldn’t be during a more fitting season. I’m feelin’ electric tonight…Got that summertime, summertime sadness.”
6. Lena Meyer-Landrut – “Satellite.” Go Germany, you’ve produced your first awesome thing since Volkswagen! This song won the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Norway, so it’s a little dated but I just discovered it so I demand that you do so too if you haven’t already.
7. Silversun Pickups – “Skin Graph.” Neck Of The Woods (which you can buy for 4.99 on Amazon) is the best entire album I’ve heard from a band with a male lead singer in a long time (though his voice is pretty femme).
8. SOSO – “Happy People.” Go Sophia Somajo. You self-released your album T.T.I.D.S.D.I.E.U.I.C. under your record label, Do It Yourself Bitch Productions! You’re like, the next Robyn but less awkward. Watch the video for “Happy People” and learn more about her HERE.
9. Morgan Page – “In the Air” feat. Sultan, Ned Shepard, BT & Angela McCluskey. Fans of Skrillex, Calvin Harris, SBTRKT, and Deadmau5 need to check out two-time Grammy-nominee Morgan Page. He is the king of remixes, frequent Tegan & Sara collaborator and the one guy who might make you say “Wow, this techno-sounding shit is actually GOOD.”
The first single off their fifth album, Synthetica, out June 12 is good, like “Help I’m Alive” but I’m waiting for something even better. This is too familiar somehow, too classic-rock-meets-2012’s-keyboard.
[Notable mentions – Nicki Minaj’s “Pound The Alarm,” “Vowels = Space and Time” by Grimes, “Make It bun Dem” by Damian Marley feat. Skrillex, “Dougou Badia” by Amadou & Mariam feat Santigold, and “Flux and Flow” by Lights.]