Week after week, we’re able to draw comparisons between the artists we cover in Top Songs and artists we cover elsewhere. This week, though, saw the release of standout tracks composed by acts who did a great job of either sounding like themselves or employing songwriting techniques that will always sound warmly familiar (as JJ does with the piano progressions of “All White Everything”). Besides Woods (who have always brought to mind classic pop-rock strummers of the ’60s and ’70s), it’s been a week that made cross-pollinators elsewhere in the music world look indecisive.
10. BOYTOY – “Blazed”
Throw “Blazed” on the summer smoking playlist. The big guitars and distant echoed vocals are equal parts Lush and Queens of the Stone Age, and the psychedelic instrumental bridge goes beyond the rigid song structures typical of contemporary garage acts. BOYTOY is fresh on the scene, but have already attracted the attention of Burger Records, who are putting out the Brooklyn rockers’ debut LP as a cassette — a rite of passage for many an aspiring guitar band. –Jon Hadusek
09. Adult Jazz – “Spook”
In the middle of Adult Jazz’s “Spook”, the band states that they write songs to trick, and after experiencing the zaniness of the song’s structure, that makes a lot of sense. “Spook” employs this strategy through a number of instrumental movements, whether it’s guitar orchestration a la Dirty Projectors or ambiance built from reverberated piano keys. The track is featured on their upcoming debut album, Gist Is, which is set for release on August 4th via Spare Thought. –Sam Willett
08. Lower – “Soft Option”
With the cold, taunting “Soft Option”, Copenhagen’s Lower have a catchy punk scraper on their hands; there’s no reason to believe frontman Adrian Toubro wanted to write something hooky, even though he groans lines like “Step aside, take precautions” with all possible deliberation, meanwhile bringing to mind Joe Strummer’s snottiest deliveries. Musically, it’s a throttling clump of itching guitars and snapping bass, the turbulence mirroring the relationship between Toubro and the song’s subject. Seek Warmer Climes, Lower’s debut album, is out June 17th via Matador. –Michael Madden