#15 – The Kills “Doing It To Death”
The Kills are an indie rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart (aka “VV”) and British guitarist Jamie Hince (aka “Hotel”). These long-time industry veterans released their 5th album “Ash & Ice” on June 3rd after a 5-year absence during which Mosshart collaborated with Jack White in the band The Dead Weather. The album’s hypnotic lead track “Doing It To Death” is a brooding, sultry blues rock delight that “pulsates along with thumping bass and bubbling mellotron notes”. You don’t want to miss hearing this one!
#14 – DMAs “Too Soon”
One of the best and most criminally overlooked tunes of the year in my opinion. DMA’s are a trio of indie-pop musicians from Sydney Australia who quickly gained a cult following in their home country amidst comparisons to bands like Oasis, the Pixies and Happy Mondays. They make no bones about their unabashed love of the early 90’s Manchester sound and Britpop in general. They dropped their debut album “Hills End” in early 2016. The single “Too Soon” grabs your ear with an “instantly familiar sound that incorporates reverberating guitars and a blistering chorus”. The band was a featured artist at the Coachella Festival.
#13 – Saint Motel “Move”
I’m a sucker for both retro-flair and prominently placed horns in pop tunes, so California-based pop rockers Saint Motel are a band that basically ‘had me at Hello’. I adored the “Voyeur” album, and the debut single from their new album “Saintmotelevision” in no way disappoints. The full album was released on October 21. Got tickets in my hot little hands to see these guys in the spring – can’t wait!
#12 – Bishop Briggs “River”/”Wild Horses”
These tracks first surfaced in early 2016 but have returned to the Alternative Charts again late in the year. Deservedly so. Bishop Briggs is one of the best “new” artists of the year by far. She was born in London to Scottish parents, but grew up living in Japan and Hong Kong. She currently resides in Los Angeles. You may have heard the song “Wild Horses” in an Acura commercial in late 2015. The music, with its folky trip-hop vibe and sultry vocals, really speaks for itself. I couldn’t decide between these two outstanding tracks, so do yourself a huge favor and check them both out:
#11 – Kaleo “Way Down We Go”
The uniquely emotive vocals and bluesy feel of “Way Down We Go” by Icelandic indie pop/rock/folk band Kaleo easily captured my ear on first listen. Formed in 2012, they made their US debut at SXSW last year. Singer Jökull Júlíusson delivered an earlier acoustic-sounding track (“All The Pretty Girls”) in light falsetto tones; this follow up offers a stark contrast in vocal style and illustrates the band’s diversity. Their music has been featured on several TV shows to date. Take a spin through a few of their tunes on YouTube or Spotify. Start here…and if you like this one, be sure to check out “I Can’t Go On Without You” as well.