Mindie Lind “Recluse”
Backed only by a spare piano figure and tabletop-slap percussion, Mindie Lind puts her syrupy voice front and center on this smoldering folk-pop torch song. As the former singer-songwriter-keyboardist of Inly, Lind steps into a well-deserved solo spotlight with a single as memorable as it is minimalist. Look for her full album this winter.
Ahamefule J. Oluo “Give Me Back My Shit (Then We Might Get Along)”
Aham Oluo, trumpeter for jazz-exploders Industrial Revelation, calls his new solo joint his “punk album.” Searing electric guitar and tom-heavy drums impart live-wire energy to this anthem of re-appropriation, but as a player and composer Oluo is far too virtuosic for punk’s slurred inexactitude.
Pony Time “Time Tells Me”
Pony Time, on the other hand, embrace the chaotic scuzz of punk—then trim it back with well-groomed pop precision. The guitar-and-drums duo opens its just-released third album Rumors 2: The Rumors Are True with this incorrigibly catchy little jam, like a playful slap to the head from a half-drunk friend. The rest of the record delivers a similarly sweet bruising.
Bikini Kill “Ocean Song”
In 1991, when this previously unreleased demo was recorded, “riot grrrl” had yet to seep into public consciousness. What you hear here is Kathleen Hanna defining the term for the first time. “Don’t wanna hear me scream?” she asks toward the song’s end. No matter—by screaming, singing and speaking out, Bikini Kill went on to galvanize a culture-shifting movement.
Murder Vibes “Special”
Cover-song time warp! Seattle’s goth-pop princes cast Garbage’s 1998 hit in dark, Depeche Mode-ish hues, spanning decades and styles to arrive at a natural combination of synthetic sounds. Where Shirley Manson delivered her vocals with winking insouciance, MV’s Pete Hanks pines with earnest desperation. We can relate to both.