The Portland, Oregon band Thanks fires up a dark and danceable sound on "Bad Tattoos." Contrary to the song's title, there's nothing regrettable about it.
Newcomer Brendan Dalton crafts a simple, dreamy song on "Beachcomber's Holler"; you can almost see (and hear) the campfires crackling in the distance.
The sweeping, fuzz and electric piano-based track "You Can Have Me" showcases Nashville-based singer-songwriter Zach Vinson's vision of indie-pop music: reflective and lyrical, while still in the thrall of dynamic production.
On the new track "LiberTeens," Malmö, Sweden-based indie-pop Emerald Park fuses playful, autotuned electronic music with straightup alternative rock flourishes for a pretty bracing mashup.
Newly formed band Broke Royals, featuring Philip Basnight and Colin Cross, make rock anthems that, on tracks like "The Thick of It," rise above the studio polish for a purely emotional release.
Opening with a taut guitar, filtered through some Sun Studios slapback, and the ethereal voice of Norway musician Gunhild Jarwson Tekle and some highly Kate Bush-esque synth paddings, "Ricochet" by guns, appears to be a study in contrasts. But appearances are nothing if not deceiving. The song finds pop cohesion in its mood and hooks.