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Rocktober? More Like Playlistober!

5 great new local songs, 5 great new songs from everywhere else

Album art, YouTube|

Lydia Liza, Shakira on a horse

Took last week off from playlistin', and you know what that means—I get to pick from twice as much music. Which makes my job harder but your listening all the more enjoyable.

Local Picks

Lydia Liza and Big Cats, “Smoked Out”

After a bit of a hiatus, L2 returns with three more husky-voiced dissections of fraught relationships over Big Cats’ nuanced lowkey beatsmanship on the EP Oh Wow. My fave of the batch analyzes an addiction to that “tectonic, chaotic shit” till a big ol’ synth hook opens up a window and airs the track out.


There’s a lot going on here, but somehow the brightly layered mix of guitar, keyboards, and orchestration never sounds fussy or frilly. In fact, the more instruments join in, the lighter the track feels. They have a new album, Magician, due on October 25.

OKNice, “Death Saves”

The self-dubbed “Mr. dopamine deficient” returns with too many good lines to quote just one (though shoutout to the “narcissist”/”farce it is”/"carcasses” rhyme) and a beat from Love, Ulysses that’s pronounced and funky but not a boom-bap throwback. 

The Orange Goodness, “Magic Trick”

These ingenious power-poppers drop their first live single, which offers a sleight-of-hand guitar that twists and turns in unexpected yet precise directions and a seasonally appropriate keyboard spook-solo. 

Dua Saleh, “daylight falls”

I recently plugged Saleh’s Franconia show without realizing they had a new song on the horizon. It's a stylistic swerve from the dancey Crossover, with acoustic guitar and hushed vocals that rise to an emo-adjacent chorus. Oh, and interesting newsy fact I missed: Dua had a co-write on the latest Travis Scott album. 

Non-Local Picks

Bar Italia, “My Little Tony”

In November, the London mix ‘n’ match indie trio will follow up their terrific 2023 album Tracy Denim with, well, their other (hopefully also terrific) 2023 album, The Twits. “Your pretentious ways, make me die a little,” observes a stylishly exasperated (and hardly unpretentious) Nina Cristante before uncooler boys Sam Fenton and Jezmi Fehmi respond as a riff scrapes grungily along below. 

Doechii, “Pacer”

A fan of this rap weirdo from the astounding “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” on, I’ve been lukewarm on Doechii’s recent string of singles, which have streamlined what makes her special. Here, she goes fuckin’ hard, harder than Rico Nasty in thrash mode, and who am I to complain? She’d kick my pasty ass.  

MIKE, Wiki, the Alchemist, “Mayors a Cop”

An ace trio of talents begin this track by targeting Eric Adams (not by name) and criticizing the city’s budget, then drift along the Alchemist’s wayward beat in more abstract directions. As for Mike’s subdued spaciness and Wiki’s scrunchy punch, they go together like PB&J, like Scotch and soda, like hip and hop.

Pylon Re-Enactment Society, “3 x 3”

You (foolish and unschooled in the history of postpunk): Hey, they sound like some of my favorite bands. Me (wise and old enough to know better): No, some of your favorite bands sound like them. I mean, not exactly: Following the death of Pylon guitarist Randy Bewley, undersung vocal trailblazer Vanessa Briscoe Hay put together a group that doesn’t take her old band’s name in vain, as you can hear here. 

Shakira X Fuerza Regida, “El Jefe”

Who wants any part of a revolution that Shakira can’t dance to? Here the sensual Colombian contortionist teams up with nuevo narcocorrido stars Fuerza Regida for an angry rant at a bad boss over a great chop-chop-chop acoustic guitar rhythm. Righteous.

Wanna get a local song considered for the playlist? To make things easy on both of us, email with MONDAY PLAYLIST in the subject header. (Don’t, as in do NOT, DM or text: If I’m in a good mood, I’ll just ask you to send an email; if I’m in a bad mood I’ll just ignore it.)

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