1. Bleak Bake---King Krule***
The warm and woozy opener to Archy Marshall's debut EP under the moniker King Krule, Bleak Bake floats casually along on light, welcoming guitar strums, and subtle electro-trappings.
2. Lately (I've Been On My Back)---BOAT
A goofy-fun little trifle from the Seattle-based Pop/Punk group, steadily building into jubilant, chant-worthy climactic shouts. Perfect for cranking in your car.
3. Furr---Blitzen Trapper
A lovely little gem from Portland's own Blitzen Trapper, Furr has a sweetly nostalgic strum, and its lyrics, as penned by frontman Eric Earley, are rich with natural allusions to Spring time's sun-soaked majesty.
4. The Look---Metronomy***
One of the most finely-tuned acts in music today, Metronomy takes razor-sharp, ear-worm melodies, and drives them home with aplomb. The Look might be the best example yet.
5. Two Doves---Dirty Projectors
Who could resist this little wonder, wherein Angel Deradoorian reminds of a higher-voiced Nico, stealing center-stage from frontman David Longstreth, delivering something straight-forward, and emotionally pure.
6. Burned Out---The Field
The Field releases songs that you can get lost inside of. Burned Out is no different, 7 and a half minutes of swirling, enveloping gorgeousness almost leaves you light-headed when its over.
7. Cannons---Youth Lagoon***
Lo-Fi Bedroom Pop done right, Cannons takes a familiar road to heart-on-sleeve, fist-pumping glory, but where it arrives is big, intimate, and rousing to no end.
8. Riding for the Feeling---Bill Callahan
A bummed-out tune for a dusty-roads traveler, Riding for the Feeling fills the air of any room in which it plays like a palpable mist, Callahan's beauteous blues doled out over 6 sweeping minutes.
9. Rigamortis---Kendrick Lamar
One of the absolute best Hip Hop songs of 2011, Lamar has a lazy phrasing that creates a tantalizing juxtaposition against the way he positively plows through tongue twisters.
10. Fast Jabroni---Surfer Blood
Just good, ol'-fashioned College Rock, done to giggly, head-banging perfection by one of the only bands out there who still makes the stuff.
11. Sweet Moment---Bowerbirds***
Pretty much all of Bowerbirds' latest album, The Clearing, is ideally suited for Spring listening, but none more than Sweet Moment, a sunset marvel filled with sticky-sweet harmonies.
12. Tenuousness---Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird at his most relaxing (and this guy was on Yo Gabba Gabba... so...), tenuousness is a gentle concoction constructed out of a clapping gallop, and Bird's ever-playful lyricism.
13. Fast Peter---Moonface
An engrossing rush of looped organs, Fast Peter immediately feels exhaustive until its groove settles down into your bones, topped by some of Spencer Krug's most earnest, charming and goofy lyrics to date.
14. Family Tree---TV on the Radio
A ballad if ever there was one, Family Tree is TV on the Radio clearing out space for Tunde Adebimpe to deliver a power-house vocal performance, garnished with violins, cellos, and other lovelinesses.
15. Weekend---Smith Westerns***
An all-fun, all-the-time little guitar jam that would have seemingly been in place on the Ed Sullivan Show, Weekend will hop right into your head, and stay there for days.
16. Raconte-Moi Une Histoire---M83
One of the only songs I've ever heard that could accurately be described as both adorable and psychedelic, M83's odd little number tells an oddly heartening story, placed on top of shifting, exciting instrumentals.
17. Lord Knows Best---Dirty Beaches
Lord Knows Best's scratchy, looped piano sample is so hypnotizing that you almost start to see the world in slow motion, caught in the tune's strange glow.
Quite possibly the only truly mellow tune in Ratatat's catalogue, Cherry is the sound of walking through open fields, and seeing and feeling the season's change.