1. I Don't Want Love by The Antlers(from Burst Apart)
And neither would you if you'd survived Hospice, the Antlers album that preceded this one. Here's something I wrote about Burst Apart (originally released in 2011) a few weeks ago.
2. Simultaneous Contrasts by Warehouse(from Super Low)
Probably the most accessible track from Warehouse's unpredictable new album Super Low, which I reviewed here.
3. Rings of Saturn by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds(from Skeleton Tree)
There's not a whole lot of warmth to be had on Skeleton Tree, but this song - seemingly written about Nick Cave's wife and her response to the death of their child last year - is like a glowing beacon amid the bleak blackness that swamps the album at large. More thoughts on Skeleton Tree here.
4. Cold Line by Nots(from Cosmetic)
Primal-sounding drums. A churning, burbling synth line. Clangy, crunchy guitar. A meaty bass ostinato. Vocals with attitude. Cold Line is both a great standalone track and - I'm pleased to report - pretty representative of its parent album (reviewed here).
5. Comes Indiana Through the Smoke by Okkervil River(from Away)
Apparently this song is a tribute to singer Will Sheff's grandfather, who sailed on the USS Indiana during World War II. I was tempted to include one of Away's more bombastic moments on this month's playlist - probably either The Industry or Judey on a Street - but when I think about it, I think I've been listening to the elengant Indiana even more than either of those album highlights.
6. There is a Flag. There is No Wind. by Los Campesinos!(from Romance is Boring)
I'm seeing Los Camps! next month, so I've been revisiting Romance is Boring - the most recent LC! release I actually own - in preparation. This track remains a favourite, and not just for that impassioned plea ("Can we all please just calm the fuck down?!") near the beginning. Read about the first time I saw LC! live here.
7. When You Look at Her by The Yearning(from Evening Souvenirs)
Evening Souvenirs came out on the consistently great Spanish label Elefant last month (Bandcamp link). If you love classic pop in a '60s vein, you'll probably like it a lot - this song, dripping with heartache and melodrama, is my personal favourite.
8. Manny D by Sat. Nite Duets(from Air Guitar)
It's hard to explain why I love this song. I just really enjoy the way the lyrics slot into the music. And the lyrics themselves are great fun too, e.g. the description of Manny D as the "poet laureate of rom-com philistines". Read my full review of Air Guitar here.
9. Annie, Let's Not Wait by Guillemots(from Through the Windowpane)
I gushed heavily about Through the Windowpane just the other day, so I won't add too much to that deluge of praise now. I'll just say that this is a lovely, uplifting pop song that acknowledges how tempting it is for people to "sit for years. staring at our fears", yet encourages you the listener to overcome those fears and follow your dreams anyway.
10. Golden Tongue by Magana(from Golden Tongue)
The closing track from Jeni Magana's debut EP (also named Golden Tongue and reviewed here) is a frustrated, weary lashing out from someone who's sick being told what they mean. If you're into the likes of Daughter and Villagers then I think you'll like this song very much.
Hungry for more? Click here for last month's playlist.