“Hire” – Girlpool. I don’t know much about this band. This song made Steven Hyden’s November Mixtape, and he says they make lots of perfect songs, so I may need to check them out. This track has a heavy Elliott Smith vibe to it.

“It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) – The 1975. I’m not sure that there’s a more polarizing band out there right now than The 1975. Some folks love them. Some folks love trashing them. Others love arguing why people who fall into one of those camps should feel exactly the opposite. All that nonsense has kept me from ever listening to too much of their music. Their new album got tremendous reviews, so I gave it a shot. Conclusion: they’re not really my bag, but I also do not hate them. But this song is a jam that I can get down with.

“Superman” – The Clique. I never knew that the R.E.M. version of this song was a cover of this track from 1969.

“Christmas in Antarctica – The Minus 5 featuring Ben Gibbard. I haven’t liked anything that Death Cab for Cutie has made in a long time. But on this song, Gibbard sounds like he did back when I liked everything DCC did. 

“Do They Know It’s Christmas” – Band Aid. Probably sometime next week I’ll write about the overall level of Christmas spirit in our house. Spoiler alert: as kids get older, the Christmas spirit goes down. Surely a sign of that is how they all mock Bono’s infamous line every time we’ve heard this song this season. As a long-time DTKIC apologist, I’ve tried to explain that he’s not speaking for himself. He’s speaking for the masses Midge Ure and Bob Geldof were writing about, people who were more concerned about themselves than people halfway around the world who were facing famine. Sadly, my girls are not buying it.