As summer draws to a close, crank up the AC and the volume and listen to this week's "Freshly Spilt Milk" with hot new tracks from old favorites including Speedy Ortiz and The Tallest Man On Earth, as well as promising new artists like Toy Cars and Space Mountain.
1. “Hidden Driver” - LVL UP: Warm, lo-fi goodness with clear emo influences that you’d expect from LVL UP, but with the polish of a record coming out on indie big-name Sub Pop on September 23.
2. “Tides” - Dinowalrus: Dinowalrus also hail from Brooklyn, like LVL UP, and their album Fairweather is also out on September 23. They make some solid psych rock that sometimes verges on synth pop, and sometimes on punk, with “Tides” coming in firmly on the side of the former. This song feels like laying in the sun and floating along with, well, the tide.
3. “Lost My Way” - Cheena: “Lost My Way” is the last song on Cheena’s recent Sacred Bones release Spend The Night With… and hits a running start with some nice, thick guitar. A rock song with mainly beachy melodies, the occasional darker-toned vocals evoke the hardcore backgrounds of the band’s members.
4. “Death Note” - Speedy Ortiz: Sadie Dupuis continues to absolutely shred the game. Released on the Foiled Again EP that came out June 3, “Death Note” is named after the anime of the same name, and, as Dupuis told Stereogum, it is a song about writing as a way of dealing with depression.
5. “Bjork” - Toy Cars: Toy Cars’s Bandcamp bio simply says “A bunch of rambling boys,” which I think is accurate. The only catch is that this is actually a good song, and that’s coming from someone with a severe aversion to dude rock. “Bjork” is a song off of the Sleeping Patterns EP coming out September 16, on a record label probably ironically called Sniffling Indie Kids.
6. “I’m Done” - The Julie Ruin: The Julie Ruin is Kathleen Hanna’s new project this decade. “I’m Done” is playful and rebellious and summery. It’s Hanna with a bit of her edge taken off, though certainly still anthem material.
7. “Mama Gold” - North By North: North By North blend rock, punk, and pop in a way that doesn’t sound like something you’d see at Warped Tour in 2008. This song is fast, urgent, and exhilarating, and definitely belongs on my workout playlist. “Mama Gold” is a single from their album Last Days of Magic, out October 14.
8. “Kingdom” - NAATIONS - “Kingdom” is a certified banger that I could picture hearing on the Top 40 countdown but actually enjoying. I listened to this while biking to my first class of the semester, which of course was at 8 in the morning, and I arrived pumped, confident, and ready to go, albeit a bit sweaty.
9. “Daylight” - Disciples: Disciples have gotten some recognition as of late for their feature on Calvin Harris’s track “How Deep Is Your Love.” I actually, honestly, listened to Calvin Harris in 2010 before he was a big name producer, and that’s what “Daylight” reminds me of: disco-influenced electronic pop with a kick to it.
10. “Letting Go” - DJMopTop ft. Dominique: “Letting Go” is a sweet, carefree pop song dominated by the ethereal voice of Dominique, whoever she may be. DJMopTop’s beats give the song its foundation, but the vocals give it complexity and make it more than just a little bite of candy.
11. “Some Sunsick Day” - Morgan Delt: Airy indie pop that feels like laying in the grass on a breezy summer day, “Some Sunsick Day” is the last track on Morgan Delt’s Sub Pop debut that came out last week. Listen to this for happiness and contentedness (I’m not in the business of making sad playlists for the world to see).
12. “Rivers” - The Tallest Man On Earth: Beautiful, acoustic, folksy, and tender, “Rivers” is a single that came out two weeks ago and hopefully signals a forthcoming album from The Tallest Man On Earth.
13. “Faded Blue” - Space Mountain: Space Mountain’s self-identifies as “dad rock,” and this song sounds like if indie rock grew up in deep America wearing light wash denim and driving along dirt roads every day, which, if you couldn’t tell, is a good thing. “Faded Blue” is on the album Big Sky that came out last week.
14. “Morning Rain” - Adam Torres: “Morning Rain” is cleansing and refreshing despite being a bit sad, like sun must be shining through the clouds because this doesn’t feel at all like waking up to dark, thundering skies and begrudgingly rolling out of bed. Beautiful violin and acoustic guitar stir up something fluttery inside.
15. “Summer Rains” - Wymond Miles: “Summer Rains” has an orchestral pop-rock feel to it that propels it forward. Despite being an overtly “slow” song, it doesn’t drag. Miles builds the energy into intensity rather than chaos, and it’s heavy without being crushing.