“Fireworks” – First Aid Kit. I’m been working on this band for awhile, trying to figure out if I like them and if their music fits what I usually enjoy. Some of their songs veer a little too hard into the country music sphere. Which seems a little odd for a sister duo from Sweden. But their vocals are so beautiful it’s hard to deny them. I’ve found myself listening to their latest album, Ruins, several times this week. I think I really like it.

“Staring At The Sun” – Wooden Shjips. It’s been over four years since we heard from these psych rockers with the excellent spelling of their name. They haven’t lost a thing in the interim.

“Turn Out The Lights” – Julien Baker. I believe I’ve sampled some of Baker’s music in the past, but found it a bit too folky and spare for my tastes. I thought it was interesting that she teamed with Frightened Rabbit for a track on the EP FR released last fall. That song was my least favorite of the three on that disk, and I didn’t listen to it much. This song popped up into my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist last week and I immediately heard the common thread between her music and Frightened Rabbit’s. This is a devastatingly honest song about loneliness, self-doubt, and pain. If you’re having a bad day, you might want to skip it. Even if your day is going just fine, you might want to have something funny queued up for after this to buoy your spirits. 

“She Will Have Her Way” – Neil Finn & Friends. The original version of this song, from Finn’s debut solo album, came out 20 freaking years ago. It was terrific, but this version, recorded live in 2001, is delightful and perfect. 

“Jereloose” – DJ Cummerbund. This makes no sense, yet it works.