Touching on some of my favorite music of the new year today.

“Quiet Americans” – Shearwater

First, from my favorite album of the year so far, this very mid–80s Bowie-like track from Shearwater.

Shearwater is a band that has slowly grown on me over their career. They began as a side project for two members of Okkervil River, another band I’ve come to love over the years, taking a more art-rock tack than OR did. Eventually Jonathan Meiburg left OR for good, and as he has pushed Shearwater’s sound into a more traditional, indie rock direction, I’ve really come to enjoy their music.

There are at least two songs on their Jet Plane and Oxbow album that I like more than this, but it’s still a quality track. And the album itself is pretty fantastic.

“To Know You / TV Queen” – Wild Nothing

If Shearwater have my favorite album of the first five weeks of 2016, Wild Nothing have blown me away with my favorite single of the year. Wild Nothing have generally been a very good, but familiar sounding, jangle/dream pop band. At least on “To Know You,” they’ve added a healthy, and pleasing, dose of shoegaze to their sound. And the low end of the song hits that vaguely New Order-ish vibe that is somewhere between Krautrock and post-punk. Whatever it is, it sounds amazing and I’ve done some damage to my hearing with it over the past week. Crank this one up!

Oh, and this is a bit of an odd video, for sure, probably best listened to rather than viewed. “TV Queen” is a decent track, too, but the first 5:52 of the video are where the real magic lies.