April has been an incredible month for music. Huge shows, some of the largest and best festivals in the world, and tons of new music and albums from our favorite artists. Check the list of our top songs for the month from debut albums, upcoming releases, or just funky one offs we couldn’t get enough of. Listen to the full Spotify playlist below:
“Indian Summer”– Mac DeMarco
Mac had two releases for Record Store Day this year. Many clamored for Old Dog Demos, but the overlooked covers of Beat Happening songs with Shamir were a real standout. Mac including lyrics from the song as his senior quote in high school, Shamir has a Beat Happening tattoo, and all profits from the release are being donated to the Immigrant Defense Project. All in all, a pretty powerful song and comp. Did we mention that in the true spirit of Record Store Day, the song is vinyl only? Lucky for you, you can listen to it above.
“Fanny Dog (Royal)”– Ty Segall
Ty Segall is prolific as hell. Somehow, between touring around the world, playing festivals, working on new music with various side projects and appearing on just about every nightly show around, he’s still managed to release new music. Well, sort of. “Fanny Dog (Royal)” is a rework of the single from his most recent album, Freedom’s Goblin. It’s an interesting take on a more slow moving single, this time with antique piano and more prominent horns. It’s great seeing Ty branch out and include such eclectic instruments on his new material, and even sweeter that the song is an ode to his dog, Fanny.
Song Of The Month
“The Way Things Change”– Yellow Days
George Van Den Broek is the 19-year-old singer with the soulful and hypnotizing voice behind Yellow Days. After soundtracking the season 2 trailer of Donald Glover’s Atlanta, selling out shows on his recent worldwide tour, and releasing one of the best songs we’ve heard all year, Yellow Days is poised to take over the world. It certainly helps that the official music video for the song is equally as groundbreaking and hypnotic, as “The Way Things Change” includes still shot posters from the monochromatic frames of the video. No news of an upcoming album, but we’re fine being surprised with new singles until we learn more from the young British heartthrob.
Top Song Releases for April
Another trailblazing young artist and heartthrob, Cuco surprised fans with a new upcoming EP Chiquito, which comes out May 4th. We got spoiled by a few singles, and “CR-V” is the second bop following the incredible “Sunnyside” released in January. “CR-V” encapsulates the teen feels of riding a parent’s whip with literally zero game and rocking the shit out of it. Cuco makes people feel proud to be from Los Angeles, feel awkward and lovesick, and romanticize every second of it. We love Cuco and the feels that he, and his singles give us. Now go ride the hell out of your shitty car and blast some hits.
“After The Storm”– Kali Uchis ft. Tyler, The Creator
Oh Kali Uchis. Full disclosure, we got to hangout with her a lot backstage at Coachella this year and she is one of the nicest, most soulful and inspiring and talented people we know. On her debut album, the breakout singer assembled an all-star cast of talents ranging from Tyler, The Creator (who is featured in our song choice), Damon Albarn of Gorillaz and Blur, Steve Lacy, Kevin Parker of Tame Impala and more. The album is chalk full of singles, but “After The Storm” stands out on an album of hits. Expect to see Tyler pop out at festivals they’re both playing at, and expect to have your mind blown.
“No Destination”– The Garden
For The Garden’s newest album, Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, the band explored much of their jester personas, indulged their weirder and heavier sides, and rocked a sold out tour across much of America. Mirror Might Steal Your Charm represented a significantly different approach and departure for the band in terms of style and content, distancing themselves from their Vadaverse aesthetic and challenging fans to regroup. Album closer “No Destination” reminds us though, it’s not about the destination, but the journey you take to get there.
GUM’s fourth full-length LP “The Underdog” was released on April 6, 2018 through Spinning Top Music. According to Jay Watson himself, his style is basically electro inspired rock ‘n’ roll and all instruments are made through MS20 synths. “The Underdog” is indeed rock based but is laced with dream pop or disco, depending on the track. Some favorites include “The Underdog” (released as a single) and also, “The Fear” which closes the album. The Australian native, also busy with Pond and Tame Impala, has yet to release tour dates for this new era. Be sure to check out GUM if you’re a fan of Melody’s Echo Chamber, Pond, Tame Impala, Sunbeam Sound Machine and/or DIIV.
“Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Following the monumental release of Multi-Love is the wonderfully funky mash of Sex & Food by the ever talented Ruban Nielson. Songs like “American Guilt” set the tone for a politically charged and eclectic soundscape, but the real winner is “Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays” for the pure feel good groove it conveys. Recorded in Auckland, New Zealand, Mexico City, Seoul, Hanoi and Reykjavík, the artist’s music again sounds worldly, yet distinctly unique and current.
“Dark Spring”– Beach House
Beach House is one of our favorite bands, and the fact that they have a new album coming out in May is huge cause for celebration. “Dark Spring” represents a tremendous tonal shift not only for the band, but for the sound of indie artists everywhere. Departing with long-time producer Chris Coady, Victoria and Alex chose to go a more sonic route. Peter Kember, a founding member of Spaceman 3, undoubtedly influenced the shoegaze heavy sound of Beach House’s opening song and overall album. From new recording practices and creative processes, the legendary dream pop act just keep getting better.
“Roll (Burbank Funk)”– The Internet
Three years after dropping Grammy nominated R&B album “Ego Death”, The Internet release their newest single “Roll (Burbank Funk)” and gave us a beautifully filmed video. Front woman Syd, and guitarist/vocalist Steve Lacy, deliver beautiful harmonies that flow magically with the funky baseline brought to you by Patrick Paige. Directed by Joe Weil, the video captures the fun and groovy side of the band and features cameos from Tyler, The Creator, Mac DeMarco, Thundercat and Bane’s World. The Internet has yet to release any more details about the upcoming album or tour dates, but be sure to catch them at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music Festival on August 10-12.
“Episode” – John Maus
Bring on more 80s synthwave, because we can’t get enough. John Maus was classmates with Ariel Pink, and it shows. The two have single handedly reenergized interest in some of the most stylized and cool lo fi recordings in the past few decades. With “Episode”, John does it again, and we’re excited to dig into more of his previous material.
“Beird”– Jack Stauber
Jack Stauber makes sincere and somewhat goofy music for fans of Tim and Eric era comedy. Well, we’re living in a post Tim and Eric world currently, where most of their acting and directing credits include Emmy and Golden Globe wins/nods, so now is a pretty good time to ape that public access aesthetic. Jack does so wonderfully with “Beird”, and with his style as a whole, mimicking the best and weirdest aspects of late 80s and early 90s culture. Beautiful and warped art and “oohs and ahhs” help further propel his latest album HiLo into strange Internet nostalgia.
Words by Phillip Gutgesell & Hannah Hylton
Featured photo by James Sakert