It's the end of April! Doesn't it feel like it? We'll look back on this month and say, hey dude, you were full of bullshit. But good stuff too, like music! Here are the 25 best songs of April 2014.
Feminist punk, Canadian sports rap, violin dance, nervy post-punk and other hyper-specific subgenres produced our favourites from the past 30 days. Have a listen below.
"'Snake Jaw' is about the fact that women—myself included—still struggle so much with the idea of what we’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to look like, and how that pertains to our sexuality, our power, our attractiveness, and even our intelligence." - White Lung vocalist/guitarist Mish Way
"Both "Julia" and "Tiberius" pair anxious violin stabs and wonky electro, but the first track's more of a party compared to the shell-shocked militarism of "Tiberius.""
"The William Onyeabor-style intro melts away into an overcast confluence on Garbus's clown-coloured harmonies and a surprisingly compressed kick, though the distinctive synths and basslines are retained like a stream of sea turtles migrating across a rained out beach."
"With the world now dominated with brutal, banging beats, on 'Streaker,' Tobacco's watching the throne he cast for himself in 2008."
"Like Talking Heads, here OUGHT have the ability to make their music sound in on the joke, its wandering guitar chords cascading through curious bass and half-remembered dream keyboards."
"What's crucial is that it's never entirely dragged under during the nearly seven minute fire-and-brimstone sermon: there'll be a stretch of layered artillery blasts, then a few glittering notes peek through whatever layer of space time we're about to melt through."
"...a slow-growing din of anxieties. It sounds like rats running around in a maze, bumping into walls, getting turned around. There are no prizes. There is no exit. Surprise: we're the rats."
"It's more than just a boombox outside your window, demanding just one more chance tonight: it's a full-on love invasion."
"The malcontent pace quickly hardens the track from sludgy Sonic Youth demo into the protestations of raw, grinding machinery that threatens to consume everything save the megaphoned vocals."
"...buzzy, Nigel Godrich-style electronics wrap themselves like a diving bell around Dare's bullish ivories."
"...is the Lauryn Hill-sampling (and Hit-Boy produced) track also a sneak diss at Jay Z? It's a less direct (more subtle?) shot than the one at Common on "Stay Schemin'" and the beef will probably end exactly as that one did. But for now, nice raps."
"Pigtailed vocal melodies do a double dutch over gaping squalls of noise and seemingly arbitrary intermissions (including a dog's barking)."
"For the last couple of years, Jesse James Laderoute has been honing his literate pop chops in Blonde Elvis. After some time spent working his sarcastic Scotch-drunk swagger onstage, he’s ready to debut the first taste of the band’s upcoming debut LP. Listen to the premiere of 'Fit For Her'."
"They've added some new features to their highly efficient sound, and it'll draw you in like a thresher."
"...wipes off even more grit from his spectral R&B; what's underneath is a halcyon day, where acoustic noodling, dots of off-the-wall electrics and Balearic synths refract Krell's lovesick lyrics like the rays of a sunrise."
"As talons and scales replace fingers and skin, and the memory of what he was before becomes dimmer, his psychedelic campfire talent show of analogue synth and acoustic guitar welcomes the new flesh with open tendrils."
"The literally stormy opening of the EP's title track also feels like it's clinging onto a more blissful time...The crashing of waves continues through pulsing beats, throat singing and the crystal shards of Will Wiesenfeld syllables dancing across 8-bit synth drones."
"'Now they wanna hear a country nigga rap / five albums in I swear a country nigga snap.' Fair warning, and he pulls the trigger, sticking a manifesto of lean, precise barbs and dexterous combinations fit for the firebrand he embodies on record."
"Fucked Up continue on the road to new album Glass Boys with "Led By Hand," with Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis guesting his moan. It's a pretty natural fit when you consider Dino's heaviest moments, with vanquishing distortion and solos cackling away maniacally."
"Hunched, tuned-down guitar chords vocalize a desperate internal anxiety, then everything suddenly jumps into a whirling psilocybin colour wheel. You may not overthrow capitalism to it, but there's the sound of another big, painful change on the way."
"Guitar solos both drunken and jacked up careen off an impenetrable blockade of power chords, and at just under four minutes it feels like a marathon in the middle of a barfight."
"...a Thugga/Zuse banger that has [Dun Deal's] signature horns venturing wayyy down on the keyboard and getting pitched and filtered into perplexing new contortions, matching Young Thug's squeal and Zuse's machine-gun patois."
"Sunny Day Real Estate's reunion was supposed to include new material, but that never came... until now. Listen to the emo veterans' first song in 14 years."
"The wounded, winsome sound of his velvet-roped bedroom R&B is not as cloying as open book songwriting, more a reenactment of some strongly charged moment in his life."