The Best New Songs Of The Week: May 27, 2016 | Gradient

The best new songs of the week: May 27, 2016

I don’t know if it’s a universally agreed upon industry rule, some kind of biological clock, or some combination — but it is crazy how it seems everyone starts swaying towards the goodtime, poppy beats as the weather starts to warm up. Summertime jams are dropping left and right, and we’re here to help you find some tunes (outside of The Strokes and Ariana Grande, who you’ve already listened to …haven’t you?) to throw on your Summer 2016 Pool Mix.

Seratones – Choking on Your Spit

In-your-face ‘70s grungy rock & roll that packs a whole lot of soulful R&B, courtesy of AJ Haynes’ vocals that immediately bring to mind the ferocity and swagger of Etta James or Aretha Franklin. Put this song on repeat and move your feet to the beat — if your feet can move fast enough.

Listen if you like: Alabama Shakes, Etta James, The Rolling Stones

Aloha – Marigold

Alternative rock blended with ‘80s synth keeps this somber jam grooving right along. This song feels futuristic, almost like a throwback to early prog-rock acts while remaining innovative and comfortable to indie pop fans.

Listen if you like: Phoenix, Real Estate, LCD Soundsystem

P.O.S. – Wave

The co-founder of Doomtree released this flowy, mellow track to help you prep for his forthcoming record. Several artists flex their flow on here, but P.O.S. remains in the driver seat with his killer opening verse.

Listen if you like: Doomtree, Aesop Rock, Atmosphere

A Giant Dog – Sex & Drugs

These guys are a blast. Quirky, anthemic garage rock that draws influences from west coast punk in the ‘80s while riding a pounding piano melody. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Listen if you like: Arcade Fire, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground

Declan McKenna – Brazil

This track is not doing anything that hasn’t been done before, but it’s so upbeat and catchy it deserves to be on everyone’s summer playlist. McKenna’s unique, crooning voice is only accented by the indie pop guitars, subdued claps, and group vocal backing. Get ready to have this song stuck in your head for a while.

Listen if you like: The Lumineers, Ray LaMontagne, The Tallest Man on Earth

Yalta Club – LOVE

Indie pop pumped full of tropical grooves that warms the soul. This song has that feel-good energy that to sends tingles down your spine until you give into the dance-demanding beat. I don’t know if a whole album of this would hold up too well or if it’d all be a little much, but one track is perfect.

Listen if you like: Animal Collective, Neutral Milk Hotel, MGMT

Yoke Lore – Snowday

This song effortlessly captures the brisk, joyful, and enchanting nature of a snowday in a way that somehow makes it sound perfect for the summer. From the pounding banjo melody to the orbiting electronic pulses, this song envelops you in waves of eclectic sound.

Listen if you like: Sufjan Stevens, Animal Collective, Yeasayer

Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser

Fruit Bats are no stranger to the indie folk scene, but this song exemplifies just how comfortable they have gotten at exploring and expanding their genre. Unique tempo changes, fun vocal harmonies, psychedelic key undertones — it’s brave and awesome.

Listen if you like: Andrew Bird, Simon & Garfunkel, Dr. Dog

Russian Circles – Vorel

A new gritty, dark, and sinister track from one of the better instrumental post-rock bands out there. Pounding percussion, gut-punching riffs, shivering production. If you haven’t had a chance to try these guys, now is as good of time as any.

Listen if you like: This Will Destroy You, Metallica, Explosions In The Sky

Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties – 67, Cherry Red

Emo? Indie? Folk? Pop? Rock? Punk? Americana? Sure. This track blends what any normal person would consider a musical nightmare into something relatable and refreshing. Upbeat, catchy, and energetic.

Listen if you like: Taking Back Sunday, The Front Bottoms, The Mountain Goats

Here’s our entire playlist of our top tunes of 2016.

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New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”


Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “ Aharon Rabinowitz”


Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 040


United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?

New Pod Flow: Scribble & Jam, “Artist Matthew Perryman Jones”


Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit

Subscribe on iTunes.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Next Steps After the Presidential Election”


Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 039


Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.

This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “Illo


Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy.  During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 038


This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange


We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.