The utterly charming and wonderfully dumb low-register voice that Matt Brown, a/k/a Leaf Peeper, uses to sing “I’m a believer, baby” on his new (demo?) track “True Believers,” a lo-fi pop gem leaked as a teaser for the forthcoming follow-up to the platter of delights that was his debut, Hitties Grande. | leafpeeper.bandcamp.com
That one clangingly harmonic note Liza Victoria keeps plucking throughout “Don’t Know Your Way,” the most gutwrenchingly beautiful song from Lisa/Liza’s May EP The Starbird Ceiling, and arguably her entire mesmerizing archive. The sinewy, five-minute track is gorgeous enough as it is, but Victoria keeps finding that note to paint its outside edges. The full chord returns for it a couple times, but again and again the note keeps coming unmoored, its desperate ringing more haunting and eager to burst as the song slowly fades. Unngh. | lisalizas.bandcamp.com
The subdued, quasi-narcissistic indulgence of A Severe Joy’s “Closer,” the eighth track on the February album Cinematesque Part 1, where Jose Ayerve breathes a string of brilliant, epigrammatic confessionals over a skeletal electropop beat. “Everyone wants me, everyone wants me, everyone wants me/I want everyone/Everyone scares me, everyone scares me, everyone scares me/I scare everyone” he sings, changing the verb in each phrase, before a chorus asks of us, “don’t tell me that I’m nothing but a really nice guy.” Simple and unaffected. Took four or five listens, but “Closer” is now one of the ASJ tracks we keep coming back to. | aseverejoy.bandcamp.com
The exceptional lyricism of Rory Ferreira, a/k/a Milo, the Maine-raised glitch-hop rapper in Wisconsin (who still comes home from time to time) who gets more and more confident and philosophical with each release. On “This Can’t Be the Place (Evil Doer Melody),” a simple demo he whipped up on tour, he waxes: “I got these stupid tattoos to remind me of past life snafus that left me black and blue; bruised/they still tingle when I’m on the receiving end of bad news.” We like his style, grace, and wit; and that dude’s wisdoms way belie his age. | miloraps.bandcamp.com and hellfyreclub.bandcamp.com.
The sheer wonderful unlistenability of the guitar tone in “Grimmest VHS,” a screeching, arrhythmic track from the black metal project Goyim’s October record Wispy Sculpting. Truly painful; truly pleasurable — what more could you want from music? | goyim.bandcamp.com