Pop’s superstars may be busy picking out their Grammy outfits, but a relatively quiet post-holiday release time just means there’s more room for lesser-known names (and a few old-school alt icons) in our headphones.
Read on to stream some of our favorite songs from the likes of Stephen Malkmus, Mø, Dum Dum Girls, Sevyn Streeter, St. Vincent, Mogwai and more — all from just-released or upcoming albums.
And here’s the full list, since a few songs are not yet available on Spotify.
“AFTER THE DISCO”
The indie power duo deliver the American Hustle of songs—all Me Decade grooviness and narrative tension.
London producer William Bevan pulls something mournfully beautiful out of a swirling kaleidoscope of synths and echo-chamber vocals.
ANGEL HAZE “DEEP SEA DIVER”
Over mesmerizing, half-submerged synths, rap’s headline-grabbing agitator ponders “rage-colored lilies” and “building castles for a dead man.” Woo, beach party!
MØ “NEVER WANNA KNOW”
The Danish songstress works with cool-kid scenemakers like Diplo, but this heavenly throwback is a straight-up girl-group swoon, as yearningly gorgeous as any Shangri-Las classic.
STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS “HOUSTON HADES”
Malkmus, sporty as ever at 47, unfurls an affectionate, ultramelodic goof on everyday “ladies” and their “Slim Shadys,” with doo-doo-doos for all.
HOSPITALITY “I MISS YOUR BONES”
Peppy, dark, punky, jammy: Amber Papini and her ramshackle band of Brooklynites do indie four ways, in as many glorious minutes.
JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW “CAVALIER”
The bearded young Irishman’s fragile song-poem brings a little Bon Iver, a little James Blake, and a lot of lovely bare-bones falsetto.
PHANTOGRAM “FALL IN LOVE”
Is the title of the coed New York duo’s stuttering electro lullaby a directive or a warning? We choose both.
ST. VINCENT “DIGITAL WITNESS”
Artful pixie Annie Clark, solo again after her 2012 album with David Byrne, discovers her inner swagger over a distorted, high-kicking beat.
SEVYN STREETER “SEX ON THE CEILING”
Get your gravity boots on: The balladress behind 2013’s lovely (no, really) Chris Brown collab “It Won’t Stop” has very athletic bedroom plans.
WARPAINT “LOVE IS TO DIE”
Loving, dying—how bad could they be with a liquid groove like this, and the all-girl gauze-pop band’s fluttering harmonies?
BLACK LIPS, “BOYS IN THE WOOD”
The lo-fi Atlanta rockers know how to make music that sounds like whiskey feels: slow and burn-y and delicious.
LOU REED “SOLSBURY HILL”
God bless the late master for tearing into Peter Gabriel’s flute-laced ’70s twinkler like a cranky uncle, transforming it into an ugly-beautiful dirge.
DUM DUM GIRLS “LOST BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB”
Aimless goths, prepare to put this wildly slinky, all-black-everything anthem from L.A.’s guitar-slinging Elviras on repeat.
As usual, the Scottish post-rock vets take their time methodically unrolling an epic instrumental ear-bender. Go ahead, take the scenic route.