1. AM/FM -- !!!
That's right, the song is called AM/FM and the band is !!! (pronounced chick-chick-chick). They're a conglomerate of people and styles from Brooklyn with this infectious dance tune that caught my ear at first listen.
2. Young Blood -- The Naked and Famous
This might sound like a Passion Pit redo but that's not much to complain about in my book. The band hails from New Zealand where this song debuted on the country's music chart as number one (which was the first time in three years a New Zealand band has done so!)
3. Island Walking -- Tame Impala
4. Desire Be Desire Go -- Tame Impala
Another band from down under -- this Australian group has gained notice for its blend of psychedelic rock full of reverb and dreamy vocals. There's lots of buzz swirling with their debut CD Innerspeaker where these two tracks are found.
5. Everlasting Light --The Black Keys
6. Tighten Up -- The Black Keys
7. Howlin' For You -- The Black Keys
Ohio natives Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney released these tracks on their best selling CD yet -- appropriately named Brothers -- after each dabbling in side projects. "Everlasting Light" starts strong with a fuzzy funky groove while "Tighten Up" lightens up with whistling and cascading guitar riffs. "Howlin' For You" continues the laid-back vibe with spoken lyrics that break out into a sing-a-long chorus that's simply irresistible.
8. All To All -- Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene is another Canadian collective of talent with a ever-changing line up which provides an expansive base for inspiration. This track is off their fourth CD, Forgiveness Rock Record, and it stands out with swirling synths and cooing female vocals.
9. Apartment Wrestling -- Maximum Balloon
Maximum Balloon is a side project David Andrew Sitek, member of TV on the Radio and producer for bands such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He pulls rank with a great line-up of cameos for the new self-titled CD -- this song features David Byrne's yelping vocals chugging along above a multi-layered percussive track with a horn section thrown in for added fun.
10. Summer Well -- Interpol
11. Lights -- Interpol
12. Barricade -- Interpol
13. Always (The Man I am) -- Interpol
Interpol has regrouped and released a self-titled CD even though this is the fourth offering from the band. Co-founders Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler have a new line-up that inclues Brandon Curtis of Secret Machines on keyboard plus bassist David Pajo of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to fill in for the departed Carlos Dengler. The sound is strong as ever -- it was hard even to narrow down the picks to the four tracks here.
14. Love Comes Down -- Ozomatli
This band is a fixture in the L.A. scene and the many versions of this one song attest to its popularity with an infectious melody and message. Ozomatli comprises a fluid group of musicians that met through the Peace and Justice Center in the city who embrace disparate genres of music to promote cooperation between cultures.
15. Fistful of Mercy -- Fistful of Mercy
Fistful of Mercy is being called a 'rock supergroup' with its powerful pairing of Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison, who has compared the project to his father's time in The Traveling Wilburys. It even sounds similar, with the folksy guitars and harmonies used in a true collaborative spirit.