Here we go again. 15 songs you must hear right now! Click the big play button over in the side bar to play each song in full. Click 'em individually for (most of the time) 30 sec previews.
Young Marble Giants - The Taxi: The minimalist post-punk legends received the long awaited reissue treatment this year with the 3 disc expansion of their sole 1980 LP Colossal Youth.
Melvins - Honey Bucket: The sludge metal icons take to the road this year in association with the Don't Look Back series where they will play Houdini in its entirety. Joining them in LA will be Mudhoney, who will tear through Superfuzz Big Muff Plus Early Singles. I feel dirty just thinking about that show.
Sunn O))) - Cursed Realms (of the Winterdemons): Drone-metal mavens Sunn O))) take on Immortal's "Cursed Realms" with assistance from Malefic, whose inhuman screams (recorded in a coffin) will undoubtedly haunt your dreams. From 2005s modern classic Black One.
Chavez - Repeat the Ending: The sadly underrated indie rock band Chavez got some much deserved payback last year, when Matador reissued their 2 studio records with all accompanying singles and rarities under the title Better Days Will Haunt You to universal acclaim. "Repeat the Ending" was Chavez's debut single, released just before Gone Glimmering.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Taste the Floor: In one of the most unexpected moves of the year, The Jesus and Mary Chain regrouped to play a number of shows, including the Coachella fest. They are said to be working a new material for a brand new record. "Taste the Floor" can be found on the Mary Chain's first (and best) record Psychocandy.
Cocteau Twins - Iceblink Luck: The ethereal dream pop band at perhaps the height of their powers. From 1990s Heaven or Las Vegas.
Wilco - Spiders (Kidsmoke): It's funny to think back at all the hubbub over Wilco's wildly experimental 2003 record A Ghost is Born. Funny because I don't think anyone would mind another record like this after hearing their disastrous follow-up, this year's AOR headache Sky Blue Sky.
Akron/Family - Future Myth: The Brooklyn based avant folk collective known as Akron/Family return with a new album later this year. So here's "Future Myth", from a 2005 split LP with Angels of Light.
Manitoba - Hendrix with KO: Dan Snaith just released a wonderful new psych-pop record called Andorra under the Caribou moniker, which is polarizing audiences over its unapologetic pop tendencies. "Hendrix with KO", from 2003s much loved Up in Flames shows Snaith in his earlier, more electronic/shoegazey mode. He may not surpass the heights of Up in Flames, but everything he has done since seems like a logical extension of the same sound artist.
Broadcast - Black Cat: The electro-pop duo Broadcast has been keeping a relatively low profile since dropping their great Tender Buttons record a couple years back, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth revisiting.
The Sea Urchins - Pristine Christine: Of all my purchases this year, CD86: 48 Tracks from the Birth of Indie Pop may be my favorite. The Sea Urchins, who's "Pristine Christine" is featured on the collection, are actually one of the most well known bands on the comp, which goes to show you how deep this collection dives. It also happens to be one the most perfect pop songs I've ever heard.
Scott Walker - Tilt: The title track from the avant garde sound sculptor's 1995 masterpiece Tilt.
Panda Bear - Untitled (03): Before Panda Bear became this year's most critically acclaimed pop savant, he was just one of the 4 members of (then) cult group Animal Collective. He released a modest solo acoustic album back in '04 called Young Prayer, which consisted of 9 untitled tracks that played as a kind of, well, prayer for his recently deceased father. I've heard a lot of records, but nothing quite sounds like Young Prayer.
Elliott Smith - Angel in the Snow: The most startling thing about the new Elliott Smith rarities collection New Moon is just how deep this man's catalogue was. He seemingly tossed away songs that most singer-songwriters would kill to attach their names too. "Angel in the Snow" is one of those songs.
Dungen - Gor Det Nu: Dungen's new LP Tio Bitar, the Swedish psych band's follow-up to their epic Ta Det Lungt hasn't experienced a fraction of the hype that that record did, but it more than hold it's own as a strong record. "Gor Det Nu" is one of the better songs on the very strong first half of Tio Bitar.