May 06. 2015 | By Sean Morris


Today’s 24-hour enthusiasm cycle sometimes makes it difficult to gauge which new releases are actually worth your time. Luckily, The Owl Mag loves swimming through the streams (no pun intended) and reporting back the catchiest finds. These songs are our mini-soundtrack for the month of May:

Woodkid featuring Lykke Li-Never Let You Down

The Divergent series is nowhere near as commercially successful as the Twilight franchise, but its soundtrack game is just as head-scratchingly on point. M83 and Haim’s collaboration grabbed more headlines for the Insurgent soundtrack, but this duet from Woodkid (aka director/graphic designer/neofolk singer Yoann Lemoine) and the reigning Queen of Misery is the real deal. Somewhat reminiscent of old Tears for Fears, this dulcet, aching piano ballad is the unofficial tenth track of Lykke Li’s I Never Learn that we have been clamoring for.

pizza boy.-this is me, trying not to be an edutainer.

Anyone who has been to a rap show recently knows that the crowds aren’t as “diverse” as the genre would have you believe. This is tough enough for someone in the audience, but for the person on stage it’s even more confusing and frustrating. Struggleverse prodigy pizza boy. performed live for the first time not long ago, and it inspired this haughty tribute to/searing indictment of “waiting for the bass drop” culture. This only has 400 hits on his Soundcloud but deserves 400 million.

JEFF the Brotherhood featuring Bethany Cosentino-In My Dreams

Best Coast’s California Nights captures the eardrums of anyone nostalgic for the days of MTV’s 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation, and anyone too young to be nostalgic for those days. Former touring mates Jeff the Brotherhood are a Nashville duo that lean towards the more guttural side of grunge retro. Cosentino’s soaring alto buttresses chugging riffs on this aloof power pop rawker from JTB’s Wasted in the Dream.

Crystal Castles-Frail

Between the dick moves masquerading as song descriptions and defensive Twitter rants, Ethan Kath and Alice Glass seem to be updating the Wyclef/Lauryn Hill psychodrama for the 21st Century. But no one listens to Crystal Castles for gossip and rumors, we listen for cacophonous triumphs such as these. “Frail” is built on the same sturdy gothtronica foundation as CC’s last two albums, even if “new vocalist Edith” turns out to be just Kath’s voice modified. The future of Crystal Castles’ live show remains in jeopardy, but the studio act is thankfully still alive and angst-ridden.

Courtney Barnett-Kim’s Caravan

While every song on Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is worthy of distinction (that album slammin, as it were), “Kim’s Caravan” gets the nod from The Nest due in large part to its incredible video. The “take what you want from me” chorus and dynamic crescendo are but two of many stunning ingredients in this requiem to the Sunset Strip (Phillip Island not Los Angeles). This is an ominous but still excellent way to get excited for Barnett’s set at the third coming of Napa Valley’s BottleRock Festival.

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