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The 10 Best Songs of 2024!

Our first weekly playlists of the year serve up 5 great new local songs and 5 great new songs from elsewhere.

10:03 AM CST on January 8, 2024

Photo provided; Tyler T Wiliams|

Riotgrrrldarko; Youth Lagoon

You might think that headline is hyperbole, but I stand by my claim: These are the five best local songs and the five best songs from everywhere else that have been released in the last eight days.

Local Picks

Creeping Charlie, “Capricorn”

Was this released on December 30, 2023? Yes it was. Is that basically 2024? Yes it is. After a zigzag of a riff sets the mood, Julia Eubanks laments in a breathy float of a voice, “You’re just like me and I hate you for it.” I’m going to ignore the rest of the lyrics and just assume this song is about how Capricorns are very cool people. Which is true.

Christy Costello, “In God We Trust Fund”

Though Christy Costello has played in high profile local bands Ouija Radio and Pink Mink, somehow From the Dark, released last week, is her first solo album. Like most of her new songs, this crunches with the ballroom stomp of the early U.K. punks, and I hope it also heralds the return of postpunk sax, à la the Psychedelic Furs, who Costello covers here. For our younger readers, trust fund kids were the nepo babies of the ’90s.

Riotgrrldarko, “wtvr i want”

Another very late 2023 entry, from Kiss the Ring, an EP that would have made my top local albums list if I’d heard it in time. Auto-Tuned vocals are tweedled hyperpoppily, candied guitars rush forward like glitter-coated pop-punk, and when RGD claims to “never give a fuck 'bout what a bitch might have to say,” you won’t doubt her. 

The Silent Treatment, “Hulk Hogan (Is a Dick)”

On this terrific garage-punk quartet’s new album, Suplex in 10!, singer Claire Luger is all snarl and attitude, takes on white supremacists, exurban moms, and other such disreputable types with blunt aplomb. But my favorite track calls out the wrestling showboat for pretending to audition for Metallica, among other ludicrous, easily fact-checkable sins. I just wish it had mentioned how billionaire (apparent!) sociopath Peter Thiel used him to take down Gawker. You can catch the Silent Treatment at the 7th St Entry on January 12.

Unstable Shapes, “Glass Ladder”

One good thing about my job is that bands I don’t know email me their songs. One great thing about my job is that sometimes I like those songs. For instance, before I checked my email on Friday, there was a link to this gritty post-punk screed. “They don’t make magazines like they used to,” declares Andrew Cahak, who proceeds to add other items that have declined in quality, including shark attack and divorces.

Non-Local Picks

JID, “30 Freestyle”

On the sequel to his previous YouTube only release “29 Freestyle,” the Atlanta rapper (a phrase that feels almost redundant these days) goes wild over a funky beat courtesy of Conductor Williams, Christo, and Tane Runo, “like a sniper shootin’ bugs off your windshield wiper.” That’s one good sniper!

Playboi Carti feat. Travis Scott, “BACKR00MS”

Even in hip-hop, which lives and breathes hype, a headline like GQ’s “Playboi Carti’s Album Rollout Is the Most Exciting Thing in Rap Right Now“ or the Reddit thread “Playboi Carti's new song ‘2024’ just swept Kendrick's entire discography” sounds a bit inflated. But don’t let anti-hype contrarianism stop you from enjoying how Scott’s anxious squelches and Carti’s stop-and-go flow mesh.

Sleater-Kinney, “Untidy Creature”

I’m excited for the upcoming Little Rope, which I prefer to think of not as Sleater-Kinney’s second post-Janet Weiss album but their first post-post-Janet Weiss album. From what we’ve heard so far it’s shaping up to be even more of a Carrie Brownstein guitar record than the Sleater-Kinney norm.  

Brittney Spencer, “Night In”

Over a rockin’ country stomp that’s midway between “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” Spencer invites her girls over with this party song about not partying, declaring “I’m just a homegirl/Just wanna be at home, girl.”

Youth Lagoon, “Football” 

I’ve never minded the well-crafted psych reveries of perennial “Best New Album” awardee Trevor Powers, but I’ve never quite gotten what the fuss is about. But he wins me over here with that tinkly piano and a great chorus hooked to the resigned sentiment of “Maybe another person caught the football.” 

Wanna get a local song considered for the playlist? To make things easy on both of us, email keith@racketmn.com 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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