White Stripes, "We're Going To Be Friends"
Every now and again, a record breaks through into mainstream attention that surprises me. I would not have bet on the ascetic blues rock revivalists the White Stripes being anybody who would get mainstream attention, but somehow they broke through. White Blood Cells still doesn't sound like a record that should have gotten huge, as it's still relatively uncompromising in the vision they're pursuing.
I was sitting here thinking, geez, haven't we had this song before? And the answer is, yes. We have. TWICE.
Kylesa is an interesting stoner metal band, not just because of the atypical vocals, but also because of the willingness to experiment with different styles. In that, they most resemble Baroness, which is a good thing. The experimentation really began with Spiral Shadow, and continued across the next couple albums.
One of the more interesting bands out there working right now, Pile is on a multiple album winning streak. A little bit post-hardcore, a little bit noise-rock, a little bit just straight ahead indie rock, they're not afraid to blur things on their albums, which is something I always appreciate. This comes from 2017's A Hairshirt of Purpose.
Mr. Lif, "Friends and Neighbors"
Mr. Lif gets lots of attention, rightfully, for his excellent lyrics and nice delivery. But let's give a shoutout to the beats he works on, which are usually nervy and paranoid and lovely.
Wilco, "Side With The Seeds"
Sky Blue Sky kind of disappointed me when it was released. A Ghost Is Born didn't blow me away, and it seemed like maybe Wilco had really declined when another album didn't hit me that hard. As the years have worn on, I like the album more and more. The noodling doesn't bother me that much any more, and I've just started enjoying the songs more and more.