shake, rattle, and roll to the best new music!
photo by dan curwin
English singer-songwriter Charlie XCX's irresistibly catchy new single sounds like a "Lucky Star"-era Madonna covering Nicki Minaj's "Superbass." (Wait...can we actually make that happen?) The indietronica princess's "Boom Clap" might just be the only thing that gets us to peer up from our wads of tear-soaked tissues during The Fault in Our Stars. Ah, young love! ALEXA PEARCE
Have to admit I hadn't really thought much about what a contemporary power ballad might sound like until this week. But now, thanks to Twin Shadow's epic "To the Top," the necessary components are quite apparent: Bold song-starting harmonies, soaring For Emma-esque verses, intermittent '80s-references, and a crashing drums fireworks finale. MELISSA GIANNINI
It doesn't take too much detective work to understand why so many Alpines songs have been featured on episodes of Crime Scene Investigation: The combination of Catherine Pockson's sultry vocals and the sublime futuristic beat of "No Other Lover" results in trip-hop perfection. AP
It's been a while since we've heard from these neo-new wave, post-post-punk Omahans, long enough for a (kinda) new genre (synth-punk) to gestate and mature in their wake. It makes sense, then, that their sonic return would heave with more than half a decade of untapped energy infused into each static-y second. Everything about this video for one of their new album's first singles is oversaturated, from the fuzzed-out speakers at the start to the glowing neon lights in the middle to the blaring blood-red filters at the end--everything stretching the tightrope the band traverses between the body and the electric. MG
Xeno & Oaklander's "Interface" blends sparkly iterations of '80s synth with cool and airy vocals, creating an ethereal luster that shimmers over club-ready bass. Nostalgic but not stale, "Interface" is retro with an edge--the song that might have piped in during a more scandalous ending of The Breakfast Club, with Molly Ringwald's character losing her virginity at a seedy bar called "The Football Field." ROBERT LIABRAATEN