10. Second Hand Flower Shop - Pump and Computer
Though Oscar Boyle's predilection for frail, musty ambience and minimalist composition is as evident as ever, the British songwriter's flavor of somber lo-fi folk, once heavily inspired by the signature psychedelic twang of the Elephant 6 Collective, is now lightly seasoned with the twinkle of midwestern emo. "Pump and Computer", the main single off of Oscar's sophomore album as Second Hand Flower Shop, is a dreamy bit of bedroom folk that floats like cirrostratus; scattered piano tones act as a thin, icy crust around translucent guitar pluckings. There's a beautiful lack of form on display here. There's no percussive rhythm to hold the tune together, letting the guitar amble aimlessly while improvised piano leads float and dance like specks of dust, illuminated by morning sun between venetian blinds. Boyle's lyrics are more spoken than sung at times, especially near the song's chaotic coda, similar to the bedroom-orchestral closing section of Julia Brown's "I Was My Own Favorite TV Show".
9. Marching Church - King of Song
Robed in ego and opulence, Elias Ronnenfelt rises from his throne to a Bowie-esque fanfare of howling saxophone and a funky new-wave rhythm section. Brandishing his microphone as a royal scepter, he drunkenly struts back and forth across the great hall, singing his own praises, detailing his own rise to power, bellowing and moaning, and basking in his own glory. Elias' work as Marching Church is a stark contrast to the dark, sparse arrangements of War or the sinewy post-punk charge of his better-known project, Iceage, and it's a welcome one. Under the new name, he unleashes his inner animal spirit, not creating a character for himself, but unearthing an extravagant, slightly villainous alter ego.
8. 813 - Damn Yeah
Speaking of extravagance, Russian future-pop producer 813 treats his recent single as an ice cream sundae constructed by an elementary schooler, drowning his already sugary instrumentation in syrupy, saccharine toppings and sauces. Ultra-poppy synth stabs are sprinkled with bell-like leads and choppy, kawaii vocal samples, making for a pastel-toned sensory overload that resembles a trap-influenced carousel calliope. PC Music just might have some competition.