1. Nada Surf – “Electrocution (Bill Fox)”
The first song since 2008’s Lucky, “Electrocution” is off Nada Surf’s upcoming covers album (taking a page out of Peter Gabriel‘s songbook), If I Had Hi-Fi, which will only be available at their shows.
2. Ellie Goulding – “I’ll Hold My Breath”
The penultimate track off Goulding’s recent debut album, Lights, is a dancey number that manages to stay up to par with her pre-release singles, ��Starry Eyed” and “Under the Sheets“, thanks in part to Starsmith‘s flawless production.
3. Neon Indian – “Mind, Drips (Summer Dregs Remix)”
Summer Dregs mellows out the psychedelic video-game feel of the original, substituting reverberating synths and vocoded layers for super washed-out harmonies and a Múm-like intro.
4. K’naan – “Wavin’ Flag”
Sure, you may recognize this song as the theme for FIFA World Cup 2010, but that’s just a testament to the power of the lyrics, the tribal drums, and the catchy as hell pre-chorus (and chorus) in an all-around solid import.
5. Foals – “Spanish Sahara”
A drastic departure from the riff-heavy psychedelia of Antidotes, “Spanish Sahara” from Foals’ upcoming sophomore album is a slow-burning build-up of ethereal lines in both form and content. Total Life Forever is due out on May 10.
6. Kisses – “Bermuda”
The LA-based duo’s first single “Bermuda” sounds like a less glitzy Cut Copy, with similar dreamy vocal licks and lush instrumentals — straight-up radio pop at its best. Look out for the single dropping on April 27.
7. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
This one is already touted as the “next song of the summer,” it’s not hard to see where the hype is coming from. The head-bopping chord progression, catchy chorus, and whistling (cue Victoria Bergsman) will hold you over until May.
8. Alex Winston – “Animal Baby”
With heartfelt lyrics and an endearing charm that’s reminiscent of The Cardigans, “Animal Baby” is something to fall in love with. Alex Winston, a new member of the New York music scene by way of Detroit, is definitely here to stay and not just because she’s currently working on her debut album with LES’s The Knocks.
9. Mondrian – “Tofu Farmer”
It almost seems like they’re speaking in a foreign language, but it doesn’t matter; thanks to their dueling keys, complementing recorder (!), and strumming ukulele, you overlook it.
10. The Pass – “Crosswalk Stereo”
“Crosswalk Stereo” self-righteously borrows from the working formula of Phoenix’s “1901”: with a shredder of an introduction, alternating falsetto licks, and the trademark Thomas Mars yelp. this Louisville, Kentucky-based four-piece suit rocks the eff out.