Kind of distant and/or futuristic there for a while, until we hit the last song.
Sigur Rós, "Untitled 8"
Icelandic post-rock group Sigur Rós make long, abstract songs that pretty much all sound like the soundtrack to something. Despite this theoretically being something I should be very into, this album (( )) did nothing for me, and I haven't picked up any of the rest of their stuff. I'm not sure why.
DJ Shadow, "California"
Oh man, listen to that percussion. From The Mountain Will Fall, an album most notable for a crushing collaboration with Run the Jewels, the rest of the album is also really good.
Janelle Monáe, "Come Alive (War of the Roses)"
I'm not even sure how to describe Monáe. It's something like, I don't know, prog R&B? Her The ArchAndroid is a tremendously ambitious, sprawling record, full of crazy songs, high concept sci-fi stuff, and just a ton of surprising things. It takes more than a few tries to even start to digest everything on this album.
Clinic, "Dissolution; The Dream of Bartholomew"
Art punks out of Liverpool, Clinic always felt distant and chilly to me, a band more to be admired than loved in a lot of ways. This comes from Funf, a singles collection, and this song in particular is even further off the beaten path than most of their work. There are times when their songs will kind of pop into my head and haunt me for a long time, so I think I really like them, but it's hard to say.
Hattie Littles, "Back In My Arms"
Motown takes us to 1962 with this gorgeous number. This song is a great example of why having these compilations around is such a delight.