1. The National – “Afraid of Everyone” In “Afraid of Everyone,” Matt Berninger keeps it hauntingly baritoned down, as expected. Interestingly enough, Sufjan Stevens’ backing harmonies never come off as overambitious.
2. Fol Chen – “In Ruins” Tourmates/friends of Liars, native Californians Fol Chen channel the Knife with their tribalistic vibe, which is billed as a post-apocalyptic dance number.
3. Rooney – “I Don’t Wanna Lose You” The new Rooney sometimes sounds even more like a blood relative of Coconut Records. Aside from their self-released EP last year, it’s quite the departure from their foray into children’s television.
4. Chiddy Bang – “Breakfast (ft. Kate Nash)” Following the instantaneous breakout of The Swelly Express (where he incidentally rapped over Sufjan), Chiddy Bang continues their love affair with indie pop on Air Swell, this time rapping over Kate Nash’s skeleton of keys and vocal curlicues.
5. Feldberg – “Dreamin” This Kitsuné-approved jam from Icelandic duo Feldberg dreamweaves together a grooving bass line, an alternating boy-and-girl duet, and a slew of bouncing handclaps.
6. Power und Beauty – “Lavender” Four girls beautifully harmonizing over four-and-half minutes of a Yann Tiersen fairytale that would make even Amélie glow in the heart. Fittingly, the EP is named The Gnome.
7. Secret Cities – “Boyfriends” Listing Brian Wilson as a major influence, it’s no surprise that the three-piece from North Dakota deliver one of the longest, most rewarding whistle-driven melodies ever.
8. I Am Arrows – “Nun” Razorlight’s former drummer, Andy Burrows, borrows sunshine from the sky to craft a three minute ditty so lyrically and musically punchy, it hurts so good to fly solo.
9. Sensual Harassment – “Fever” Like their almost provocative name suggests, Brooklyn’s Sensual Harassment tries so subtly (and successfully) to win you over with MGMT-like echoes and psychadelicate synths.
10. Deerhoof – “Hitch Hike”
For the soundtrack to Rules to Rock By, Deerhoof gladly picks up where Sweden’s LiLiPUT left off. There’s no better feeling than listening to good music for a cause.
Download the full mix here.