Jacob’s Pick: “Quesadilla” – Walk The Moon
When I stumbled upon Walk The Moon a little over a month ago, I immediately decided that this song should be the single. This song should be the single. I don’t know if I can say that enough. While “Anna Sun” is a good song, it doesn’t have anywhere near as much charm or brightness to it in the way that this one does. Managing at once to be danceable and to take its time, “Quesadilla” has a new-era Hellogoodbye-styled hook, synths galore, and an infectious energy about it. Think Hot Fuss meets Would It Kill You?. If it doesn’t hit the radio waves this summer, that would be a travesty. There aren’t nearly enough people out there driving around listening to this song.
Austin’s Pick: “The Creative” – Harvard
Progressive/indie rock outfit Harvard (now known as “Hrvrd”) are a slowly rising band blowing away minds with their soaring melodies backed by an unreal vocalist, complex and adventurous chord progressions, explorative bass lines, delay-soaked leads, and technically precise drumming that has left me speechless on multiple occasions. Although this record was released back in ’09, it still circulates regularly through my iPhone with this track as one of my favorites. Containing an undeniably irresistible chorus, edgy ebb and flow, and complex arrangement before its furious ending marks it as one of their best songs. Go give them a listen, and make sure to search them up on YouTube as well; their live performances match the music in terms of energy and ethos.
Joe’s Pick: “Here Comes My Man” – The Gaslight Anthem
New Jersey’s finest are back and they’re sounding bigger and better than ever on their brand new album Handwritten. Musically, this is one of the more straightforward tracks on the record as Brian Fallon sings of moving past a lost love by living life and not caring what others think. The croons of “oh sha la la/listen honey, here comes my man” in the chorus will send chills racing down your arms. If you’re a longtime Gaslight fan, it’s pretty much guaranteed you will adore this album. If you’ve never listened to them before, there’s no better time or place to start.
Jason’s Pick: “The God Awful Truth” – Fear Before
There seems to be a handful of bands I generally miss from my college years, but to say I miss one more than the other would be difficult as the answer depends on when you ask. While the band technically isn’t broken up, the hiatus state of Fear Before (R.I.P. The March of Flames) is another prime example of a band that simply never got a chance to do a proper goodbye in my eyes. Art Damage will forever be my go-to record from them, regardless of the fact that the follow-up, The Always Open Mouth, is artistically and musically better. But if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic about the band, feel free to tear into the phenomenal closer to Art Damage, “The God Awful Truth”. A mix of shrill melodies and infectious riffs, the spacey textures touched on here would seep over into their future work – a rather interesting thought considering how often the band has dismissed this record.
Nick’s Pick: “Parklife” – Blur
Before Blur moved on from Brit-pop and Damon Albarn went on to form Gorillaz, there was Parklife. It could be considered the definitive Brit-pop album with the single of the same name as ideal representation of that period. “Parklife” is wild and catchy and begs for drunken sing-alongs. Its chorus springs with perfect pop flair and the verses are narrated by famous Englishman Phil Daniels who sparks a colorful satire on mindless park meandering. Hopefully they play this song when they close the Olympic Ceremonies on August 12th.
Dylan’s Pick: “Ides” – Forever Came Calling
Forever Came Calling has received a ton of praise for their debut full-length Contender and I feel the praise is fitting. With songs like “Ides” that feature a hastened verse, bouncy instrumental breaks and an enormous chorus, I don’t see why any fan of pop punk wouldn’t love FCC.
Megan’s Pick: “Not to Let Go” – John Nolan
I find it hard not to appreciate John Nolan’s craft. His work with Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run is fantastic, and lately I’ve been engrossed in his solo material. “Not to Let Go,” from the album Height, has consumed my week, but for good reasons. This consciousness song employs a simple melody but is full of heart. Personal recollections and ideals are represented well, while a catchy chorus moves the song along. This track’s focus on time and its effects on relationships and life are just relatable.