This Texas five-piece might still be billed as a "hot new band," but fact is, they've been making music since 1997. Made up of four siblings and one cousin, Eisely has fine-tuned their musical chops by supporting big-timers like Coldplay and Hot Hot Heat on tours. Their latest LP, The Valley, is filled with such powerful, head-bobbing tunes that it's hard to pick a favorite. However, the fact that we've had the title track on repeat all afternoon gives "The Valley" that honor. LIZA DARWIN
The latest from these Missouri rockers is total easy listening- and we don't mean that in a weird, elevator-music kind of way. With strummy guitars, silvery smooth vocals, and slinky harmonies, this single is the perfect way to glide into the weekend. LD
If there's any proof that you don't need to have thrashing, in-your-face vocals to still make compelling music, it's Lower Dens. Fronted by Jana Hunter (known for her collaborations with Devendra Banhart), this folksy fourpiece has perfected the art of quiet power. "Tea Lights" has a shadowy, faraway vibe that's relaxing, intriguing, and just plain good. LD
YACHT, "Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire)"
YACHT's forthcoming album, dubbed Shangri-La, won't be out for a couple months. But for those anxious to return to that psychic city, the band's giving out a little teaser. Called "Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)," the track is definitely bizarre on the first listen. But play it again, and we bet you'll warm up to it (we certainly did). ALI HOFFMAN
Aretha Franklin, "Mockingbird"
Okay, so this may not mesh with the rest of today's picks. But in honor of today being the Queen of Soul's birthday, we couldn't resist paying her some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (pun intended). We picked this one hoping you haven't heard it before (and because it's really an amazing one). AH