Early Summer 2013 New Music Playlist

Headset. Image via Shutterstock.

New tunes from Vampire Weekend, the National, Telekinisis and more, plus notes.

With Memorial Day the official start of summer, it’s time for another playlist to indulge in over the long weekend (along with the long awaited, new episodes of Arrested Development). Highly anticipated albums by Vampire Weekend and The National were released this month, along with new music by Deerhunter and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Newcomers such as CHVRCHES and Hands fill out the list with new tunes from Yo La Tengo, Foals and Telekinisis and more. Time to fire up the grill and crank the tunes.

Early Summer 2013 Playlist by JaneJS on Grooveshark

1. “Varsity” – Smith Westerns

Chicago-based band Smith Westerns returns with its sophomore album in June, called Soft Will. This teaser single “Varsity” shows the songwriting chops of brothers Cullen and Cameron Omori, as they embrace a classic pop ethic with their indie rock quartet.

2. “Argonauts” – The Little Ones

The Little Ones is a six-piece indie pop band based in L.A. “Argonauts” provides a quirky, memorable tune for its sophomore album, The Dawn Sang Along.

3. “Ghosts and Creatures” – Telekinesis

Telekinesis is the musical project of Seattle native Michael Benjamin Lerner. For his third album of indie rock, Dormarion, he traveled to Austin, Texas to record with Spoon drummer Jim Eno. (Eno’s studio is on Dormarion Lane.)

4. “My Number” – Foals

English indie rock band Foals recently released a third album, Holy Fire. Singer Yannis Philippakis leads the charge over tightly wound layers of percussive instruments in “My Number."

5. “Penny” – Hanni El Khatib

Hanni El Khatib grew up skateboarding in San Francisco and wrote music on the side while working at the skateboard fashion label HUF. Now a singer-songwriter based in L.A., he continues a cool skater vibe for his second album, Head in the Dirt (produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys).

6. “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On the Dance Floor)” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Detroit’s indie pop songwriting duo, Daniel Zott and Daniel Epstein, expand their band to a four piece for their Patterns EP. This single showcases their vocal harmonies and electronic embellishments plus a welcome sense of fun.

7. “Diane Young” – Vampire Weekend

NYC’s alt rockers Vampire Weekend released a third studio album this month, Modern Vampires of the City. The four-piece made a deliberate decision to expand into other genres for drawing influences, evidenced in the rockabilly attitude of “Diane Young.”

8. “Never Seen Such Good Things” – Devendra Banhart

Prolific singer-songwriter and visual artist Devendra Banhart has released his eighth album of folk-inspired rock, Mala. His minimalist approach showcases the vocals and carefully edited instrumentation.

9. “Trouble” – Hands

Hands is an indie rock band from L.A. formed by Geoff Halliday and Ryan Sweeney in Philadelphia, before switching coasts. “Trouble” is the catchy single for their debut full-length, Synesthesia, full of swirling synths and intertwining melodies.

10. “Demons” – The National

Indie rock royalty The National just released its sixth album, Trouble Will Find Me, with “Demons” showcasing Matt Berninger’s melancholy baritone. Backed by two sets of brothers, Berninger and band are now based in Brooklyn after finding each other in Cincinnati in 1999.

11. “Holy Roller” – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

“Holy Roller” is the stand out single from San Francisco-based Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s fifth album, We the Common. Thao Nguyen’s eccentric vocals playfully provoke within the alt folk/rock continuum.

12. “The Missing” – Deerhunter

Deerhunter’s sixth album, Monomania, contains a collection of ambient noise rock along with shoegazing tunes such as “The Missing.” The indie band was founded in 2001 by drummer/keyboardist Moses Archuleta and singer Bradford Cox (who also has a solo project, Atlas Sound).

13. “Recover” – CHVRCHES

Scottish electro pop trio CHVRCHES (pronounced Churches) has already made an impact with a debut EP, Recover. The song “Recover” charges along with breathy vocals by Lauren Mayberry, with bandmates Iain Cook and Martin Doherty to complete the sound, recorded in a Glasgow basement.

14. “Before We Run” – Yo La Tengo.

Indie rock stalwarts Yo La Tengo released its thirteenth album since forming back in 1984, called Fade. “Before We Run” provides closure as the last track, a floating meditation sung by Georgia Hubley, sweetly building with percussion, horns and strings.

15. “Here I Am” – Adam Green & Binki Shapiro

“Here I Am” is the first track from the duet album by Adam Green (of the Moldy Peaches) and Binki Shapiro (of Little Joy), appropriately titled Adam Green & Binki Shapiro. Their minimalist approach recalls a 1960s baroque pop, their voices melting together effortlessly.

16. “Plastic Cup” – Low

Indie rock band Low formed in 1993 with a “slowcore” mantra of slowed down tempos and minimal instrumentation, manifested here in “Plastic Cup.” Based in Duluth, Minnesota, the group has released their tenth album, The Invisible Way (produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco).

Early Summer 2013 Playlist by JaneJS on Grooveshark




Reading Pandemics

Pandemic, Hope, Defiance, and Protest in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Shakespeare's well known romantic tale Romeo and Juliet, written during a pandemic, has a surprisingly hopeful message about defiance and protest.


A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.


The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.


90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.


Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

'The Avengers: Endgame' Faces the Other Side of Loss

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our pandemic grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.


Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.


Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.


First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?


HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.


Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.