Rick McNulty – Host “Left of the Dial” Fri. 7p-11p
Pom Poko – “My Blood” and “Follow the Lights”
This is by far my favorite band of the year and they have yet to release an album. Fortunately, this Norwegian quartet released two singles that are equally amazing. A wall of elephantine guitars, flying trapeze melodies, and hooks around every corner. They sound unlike anything I’ve heard before. If I ran the circus, Pom Poko would be a household name.
Walker Lukens – “Baby”
Just on the sumptuous verge of yacht rock, Austin’s own Lukens has struck gold with an unconventional love song. It’s all bad advice: let’s make out in public, max out our credit cards, report them stolen, tell your boss she’s awful, and so on. It’s the kind of romance Bonnie & Clyde were after, just without all the killing.
Rubblebucket – “Fruity”
They’ve been on my radar ever since I heard their stunning cover of the Beatles’ “Michelle.” As luck would have it, it seems Rubblebucket does some amazing stuff with their own material. These New Yorkers have a talent for making a huge production sound modest and sneaking in a pack of earworms in the most tasteful manner.
U.S. Girls – “Velvet 4 Sale”
Meg Remy has written some provocative songs on her new album, and this is by far my favorite. It’s from the perspective of a woman who wants to flip the script on abusive men and “instill in them the fear that comes with being prey.” As in it may be time to arm yourself to make men behave with a bit more civility. And oh, those harmonies!
Janelle Monae – “Make Me Feel”
Not only is it the best Prince song of the year, but it was my favorite song of the summer. Ms. Monáe finally delivered on her promise of greatness and there is nothing not awesome about this track. A real classic and a delightful reminder of her killer set at the ACL Fest.