Youth Without Youth
Metric, from the forthcoming Synthetica (Metric Music International); streaming at ilovemetric.com.
To a sinister Gary Glitter beat, Emily Haines and sometimes a scary vocoder sing about disillusion, a decaying social state and playing double-Dutch with a hand grenade. And Metric wonders why mothers won't let their children near them on the playground.
Queen of California
John Mayer, from Queen of California; streaming at itunes.apple.com.
Woodsy, southern-rocked and laidback. John Mayer, who adopts a Johnny Depp look on the liner art of his new disc, languorously and harmoniously name-checks Joni Mitchell and Neil Young on his jammy trip to the golden state.
The Walkmen, from the forthcoming Heaven (Fat Possum); streaming at npr.org.
"It's not the singer," proclaims Hamilton Leithauser, "it's the song." A trebly crash of dry guitar jangling ushers in a summer-ready light rocker that opposes sad tunes – "I'm not your heartbreaker / some tender ballad player" – and bops like an indie Buddy Holly.
MS MR; streaming at msmrsounds.com.
"Welcome to the inner workings of my mind – so dark and foul, I can't disguise." Slightly ethereal and certainly shadowy, a sombre track invokes a certain Lana Del Rey-ness. It comes from an inscrutable New York girl-guy duo who describe their thing as "Tumblr glitch pop." Got it?
A Brief History of John Baldessari
Narrated by Tom Waits; streaming at youtube.com.
He's the "godfather of conceptual art," apparently, and he is tall, has push pins and a sort-of signature beard. Intrigued? Tom Waits, commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, pronounces "Biennale" extraordinarily but otherwise deadpans his way through the possibly special life and times of a man who pledges not to make boring art.