1. Lightning Bolt by Jake Bugg
Jake Bugg. Heard of him? Maybe not, but he is the newest sensation sweeping the music scene in the UK. Entirely too talented for his 18 year-old self, Bugg was undoubtedly brought up on Dylan, Johnny Cash and The Beatles. Each track he’s released so far encapsulates that twangy folky, soft sound that has been absent in music of recent years. Also, ladies and gents, he’s British and adorable (and legal, barely).
2. Think I Wanna Die by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
If you’re looking for the right combination of pop and rock, look no further: SSLYBY is your group. It’s kind of impossible not to tap your foot along to this simple, beachy tune. If you dig what you hear, check out their entire discography—most of which has been released through Polyvinyl.
3. Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners
We’re hopping into a time capsule back to 1982 for a Celtic-rock one-hit wonder. This sweet, catchy love song combines all sorts of good: a steady drum beat, a pounding piano line, a floating fiddle part and arguably one of the best build-ups leading into the chorus. Make sure you actually watch this video—it’s adorable.
4. Danse Caribe by Andrew Bird
Speaking of the fiddle, here’s one by Chicagoan, Andrew Bird. The dude is a genius. This track is off one of his more recent albums, Break it Yourself, and it suitably displays most of Bird’s unusual but incredible talents: fiddling, whistling, looping, building, harmonizing and interweaving varieties of tempos and sounds.
5. Mexico by That Handsome Devil
Alright, so here’s the one that is totally from left field. I’m giving my brother credit for introducing me to this weirdo band (Thanks Doug!). On Wikipedia, they are described as “creepy hip-hop and in-your-face gonzo rock.” I think 99% of the creepiness can be accredited to the lead singer’s voice, which is a combination Gogol Bordello/scary-homeless-man-in-dark-ally; when set to the jazzy backdrop it all works surprisingly well.
6. Strawberries by Why?
One of the only “upbeat” Why? songs in the book, this one comes off their most recent album, Mumps, Etc. The band, consisting of two Jewish brothers—Yoni and Josiah Wolf—embraces an unlikely hip-hop/rock sound, mixing together Yoni’s overly descriptive, morbid lyrics with unique percussion and instrumentals. Just….give it a try.
7. I’m in Love by Wild Belle
This new Chicago-based band is a little bit of sunshine–with its adorable female vocalist, Natalie Berghman, who has an equally adorable voice, a saxophonist (her brother Elliot), a grooving back up band and simple, catchy melodic structures. Get ready to fall in love.
8. Lysergic Bliss by of Montreal
Obligatory of Montreal track! This is from an early era of Kevin Barnesian songs, so it’s much less erotic than the of Montreal we know and love today. Bubbling over with lysergic energy, this song makes me happy to be alive, and I hope it does the same for you.
9. Kiss by Prince & the Revolution
Prince needs no introduction.
10. That Girl by Justin Timberlake
So initially, this Monday Mixtape was going to solely consist of JT’s new album, but I thought that might be exhaustive and unappreciated by all people not me. However, I needed to include something from his new album, which is nothing short of an incredible music adventure. Don’t hate it till you try it. And try it all at once. And do a little dance or have a little cry, I won’t judge.