Hello readers! It’s been a whirlwind of a month here at Stereo At Your Side given the myriad of music released this month to jump-start the New Year. I have been diligently reviewing new songs and wanted to share a few standout tracks to keep on your radar.  If this list is a harbinger of the 2012 music scene, then I expect albums with atmospheric qualities to permeate the indie-sphere. This month, I’ve been drawn to up-tempo power pop songs with memorable hooks. Perhaps it's only me, but I find these tracks to be a lovely contrast to the bare trees, grey skies and cold temperatures that come with the season.

Below are eight new songs to help assuage your winter blues: (click the song title for a video of the song)

Brendan Benson – Bad For Me
Raconteurs co-frontman Brendan Benson showcases his trademark 70’s sound on Bad For Me, an epic, piano-driven ballad that speaks of forlorn love. Most notably, the track strikes a perfect balance between sentimental and tasteful urgency. Benson will be releasing his 5th album, entitled What Kind of World, on April 23rd.

Chairlift – Met Before
Met Before is pop music at its finest: memorable melodies, vocals drenched in reverb and rhythmic textures that make it impossible to not dance in your seat! Chairlift's newest album Something is a gem, with a refreshing collection of songs full of energy and life.

Daniel Rossen – Saint Nothing
Best known as a member of Grizzly Bear and the Department of Eagles, Daniel Rossen steps into the spotlight and showcases his musicianship in the beautiful song Saint Nothing. This track is dark and elegant, with subtle wind instruments that help underscore its haunting melody. Stay tuned for Rossen's upcoming EP called Silent Hour/Golden Mile.

Lower Dens – Brains
On Brains, Lower Dens adds edgier layers and textures to their sound, but maintains the dream-like quality found on Twin-Hand Movement. Brains is rhythmic yet melodic, with a gorgeous crescendo that serves as the centerpiece of the track. Their second album, Nootropics, will be released on April 30th.

Grimes – Genesis
Genesis is an extremely playful song, with a prominent synth bassline and overlapping melodies. What gives the track the most character however,  is lead singer Claire Boucher's childlike voice, which some say is reminiscent of Annie Lennox.

Frankie Rose – Know Me
Frankie Rose shines on Know Me, a shoegaze track with hints 80's synth-pop. This is refreshing sound for Rose, who played a pivotal part in garage bands such as the Vivian Girls and the Dum Dum Girls. Her new album, Interstellar, will be released on February 21st.

Hospitality – Liberal Arts
Hospitality has a youthful exuberance on their self titled debut album that is akin to twee extraordinaire's Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The lyrics also echo this sentiment, as the song Liberal Arts is an ode to the ambiguities of post graduate life: "So You found the lock/But not the key that college brings/And all the trouble of your B.A. in English Literature/Instead of law, or something more practical."

First Aid Kit – Emmylou
Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg became a YouTube sensation in 2008 with their beautiful cover of Tiger Mountain Peasant Song by the Fleet Foxes. Like Fleet Foxes, the songs on First Aid Kit's second full-length album feature beautiful echo-chamber harmonies and rustic motifs. Emmylou is the standout track on the album precisely because it perfectly conjoins lyrical references to americana with their folk rock aesthetic.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the great suggestions! I've seen Daniel Rossen's name mentioned before, but had no idea he was from Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles. After hearing the song now (awesome, by the way), I can certainly hear the influence of his other bands.