Twin Limb – “Don’t Even Think”

A good song often has a good hook. Twin Limb won me over by making their chorus into this separate entity, different from the synthesizer soaked verses. The chorus is quiet, slow, and heavy-footed. The lead singer, MaryLiz Bender, drags on the repetitive words, “don’t think about it,” giving weight to each word. She uses the least amount of air as she falls off each note, and then on the last line, it’s almost as if she can’t muster enough energy to sing “About It.” New album is titled “Anything is Possible and Nothing Makes Sense” out on Friday, November 13.

Holly Miranda – “Mark My Words”

Opening with a shimmering guitar backdrop reminiscent of a Band of Horses‘ tune, “Mark My Words” feels like it is being performed in someone’s backyard. The editing is top-notch, perfectly capturing Holly’s powerful, controlled, yet unprocessed voice.

Life in Film – “Anna, Please Don’t Go”

Life in Film released its debut album, “Here It Comes” earlier this week, and I was immediately taken by the track, “Anna, Please Don’t Go.” A charming love song that would fit perfectly into any upcoming indie flick, be it by Wes Anderson (see “Moonrise Kingdom”) or by Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”). This London four-piece band has already attracted the right people, including playing with the Rolling Stones.

Villagers – “Hot Scary Summer”

Mercury Prize nominees Villagers are regular critic sweethearts. As Conor J. O’Brien, the singer and songwriter, said in an article by Kernan Andrews -“I also feel an ‘impostor syndrome’ about it. I don’t actually deserve all the praise that’s going around.” Conor has a way of painting a scene with all of your senses accounted for and all of your emotions hanging on your sleeve.

“Remember kissing on the cobblestones in the heat of the night/ And all the pretty young homophobes looking out for a fight/ We got good at pretending, and pretending got us good.”

As the seagulls chime a few last words, it is definitely looking like we might have ourselves a hot scary summer. The full album comes out April 14, 2015.

Marika Hackman – “Ophelia”

“I am on my hands and knees
Bending at the heart of me
Hiding in the midnight of my soul
Please don’t break the shell that I call home”

In “Ophelia,” Marika’s loneliness takes form in many different ways: the guitar strums on the 2nd and 4th beats, the distance of her voice from the microphone, the eerie vibrato, the lack of a full drum set, just to name a few. All of these sounds together create a deep, dark, beautiful misery.

OMN – In Quiet Rooms

Ollie McKendrick-Ness (OMN) begins “In Quiet Rooms” with what sounds like someone sitting, strapping on an acoustic guitar, taking a breath, and then singing. He then layers warm and colorful electronic sounds, which encase his guitar and voice in this still quiet space. What I enjoy is that the song is never overwhelmed by an excessive layering of synths. OMN stays in this one comforting place, rather than traveling in a different direction.