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THE A LIST (6.14.24)

Welcome back to The A List, your place to discover what we're currently rocking out to and our fresh top picks from the latest music. Dr. Dog returns again this week to take over the top spot while new entries from Amyl and the Sniffers, The The, Miike Snow, and Anna Erhard are welcomed. Columbus artist RJD2 makes an appearance while Fontaines D.C. continues with their A List streak. Lots of new albums seem to be coming in September!

Make sure to stay up to date with the latest and greatest songs carefully curated by your fellow music aficionados and delivered to you directly by our very own music director, Nils Illokken. Join Nils every Friday from 3 - 7p EST to hear this list and so much more.

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10. "Starburster" - Fontaines D.C.

After a brief one week hiatus, “Starburster” by Fontaines D.C. is back for the song's 5th A List appearance of the year (released April 15). Rolling Stone Magazine talked about this track release in an article, saying that “frontman Grian Chatten suffered a panic attack in a London tube station and decided to chronicle that feeling on a funky, disco-rock track.” We can hear the anxiety in the loud, jutting gasps, and see it in the frankly chaos-filled music video. It is a great expression of thought into music. Starburster comes after the release of their album Skinty Fia, and secondary release Skinty Fia go deo, in 2022 and 2023.

"Starburster" is a look into what's to come with Fontaines D.C.'s new album, Romance, which is scheduled to release on August 23.

9. "Cognitive Dissident" - The The

The The have released a long string of singles, a couple compilation/sample albums, and a live album since their last true album, NakedSelf, came out back in 2000 (check out this vintage Pitchfork album review). Their new single “Cognitive Dissident” reels you in with some of the band’s 80s charm, and it sounds a little spooky!

 We hope this is a sweet inkling into what’s to expect from this band, as they have announced their new album Ensoulment will be released September 6 – we are glad to see this band back releasing an album after 20 years! Check out their website to stay up to date on their latest releases.

8. "I Was A Sailor" - Miike Snow

Miike Snow has had a couple single remixes since the release of their album iii in 2016, but “I Was A Sailor” is their first brand new song since then. This track is a little bit haunting, featuring a children’s choir heavily and an array of instruments, namely the flute. It’s a diverse track that could indicate the band is looking to do new things…maybe a tour? A new album? We wishfully can only speculate. Check out their website here.

7. "Big Time Nothing" - St. Vincent

Last showing up at #1 on our 5/24 A List, St. Vincent steals spot #8 with "Big Time Nothing" from her new album, All Born Screaming. This album has a much anticipated fresh, new sound after her last album, Daddy's Home, was released in 2021.

St. Vincent (Annie Clark) started her summer tour on May 22. Several shows are already sold out, including San Francisco, CA; Napa, CA; Brooklyn, NY; Ann Arbor, MI; and St. Paul, MN.

6. "U Should Not Be Doing That" - Amyl and the Sniffers

Australian band Amyl and the Sniffers wow us with their track released on May 24 titled “U Should Not Be Doing That.” The group’s last release was back in 2021 with their album Comfort To Me

This band has an rocking punk sound lead by vocalist Amy Taylor, who said of the song “‘U Should Not Be Doing That’ makes me laugh, but it’s also, in a way, poking fun at the shock that people still feel at a little bit of skimpy clothing, and the b****y high school way that the music community still is.” Loving the attitude of being able to speak up and say a sort of this is who I am and if you don’t like it, then don’t worry about it! This song's music video is literally amazing -- who came up with this concept!? Taylor dances around and argues with a middle aged man (actor Steven Ogg), probably representing the same middle aged man who tells her she's doing the wrong things.

Amyl and the Sniffers have some East Coast tour dates with the Foo Fighters this summer, but if you would like something a little closer to home they are playing shows in Louisville and Indianapolis on 7/31 and 8/01 respectively. For full details you may visit their website

5. "Boom Boom Back (Feat. Beck)" - Hinds

Spanish duo band Hinds earns spot #9 this week with "Boom Boom Back (feat. Beck)", released on May 7 with partnering track, "Coffee". This infectiously catchy track is a look into what's to come on their new album, VIVA HINDS, releasing on September 6. Grian Chatten of fellow A Lister group Fontaines D.C. is also said to appear on the album.

An exciting collaboration with musician legend Beck, this song is equipped with a killer hook and sweet, sweet vocals from both Beck and the Hinds two-piece. I can see this track quickly becoming a summer anthem. Check out that music video, it's filled with summer vibes and beautiful saturated color!

Hinds (Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote) will make their way to the U.S. later this year, making stops in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland Heights and more.

4. "Botanical Garden" - Anna Erhard

“Botanical Garden” arrives at #5 on our A List this week, a whimsical indie/folk song from German musician Anna Erhard. Released back on March 29, this track is a part of her upcoming album set to be released in September. She has since released another single, “Spa.”

We are excited anticipating the release of her album and hope you are too – stay up to date here.

3. "Catch The Exit Door" - RJD2 & Jamie Lidell

Columbus based artist RJD2 comes together with English musician Jamie Lidell to give us “Catch The Exit Door.” This is an instrumental track that somehow manages to guide us up and down a fleeting path without any words. RJD2 said of his own track “Rhythmic patterns feel like shapes to me. If you know the satisfaction of a great move in Tetris, that is the closest approximation I can provide to how I feel when putting just the right rhythmic patterns together. ‘Catch The Exit Door’ is in many ways entirely built on this concept,” also mentioning that this is a form of synesthesia that he experiences. 

RJD2 has released his new albumVisions Out Of Limelight today under his own label, Electrical Connections! Jamie Lidell is his partner through it all on this one. We love supporting local Ohio artists, and this guy is one of our favorites right now! Check out his Bandcamp page here and listen to the new album!

2. "In Front Of Me Now" - Nada Surf

Nada Surf wins our hearts with a crisp, nostalgic track called "In Front of Me Now". This is the first single from their upcoming album Moon Mirror, scheduled to release on September 13. Moon Mirror will be their first album since 2021's release, Cycle Through. Active since the 1990s, their sound has lightened over the years, but the feelings their lyrics evoke has remained. Have they even aged?

Man, is this song a catchy one. The repetition of lines starting in “I used to” paired differing smart rhyme-combinations that fall apart in consistency towards the end of the track show the increasing intensity/desperation of the lyrics. It is a sure-fire recipe to get this song stuck in anyone’s head. 

Nada Surf (Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, and Ira Elliot) will be on the Moon Mirror tour this fall with special guest Office Dog, playing shows in their native city of New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, and more.

1. "Talk Is Cheap" - Dr. Dog

Back again and sitting at the top of our A List is Dr. Dog with "Talk Is Cheap,” an upbeat love song that has Beach Boys-esque backing vocals and instrumentals. Bassist Toby Leaman wrote this track for his wife saying “It’s funny because I’m not a big love-song guy, but everything I wrote on this album is for her.” We’re glad he stepped into the realm because this track is an excellent example of the power of love. Other recent tracks include "Tell Your Friends" and "Still Can't Believe", previewing their upcoming self-titled album that is scheduled to release on July 19.

You may recognize this band from their track that exploded in popularity on Tiktok, "Where'd All the Time Go?," which was actually released long ago in 2010. A lot of their members also have successful solo projects. Dr. Dog is no stranger to popularity, currently having over 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Dr. Dog has four upcoming shows listed: July 11 in Delaware, July 13 in their native city of Philadelphia with Kevin Morby and The Teeth, and two Colorado shows including July 17 in Englewood (tickets live at 12pm today!) and a sold out show on July 18 with Fruit Bats at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It's likely more shows are to come after the album's release, so keep your eyes glued to their tour announcement page.

Same time next week? Thanks for joining us for this A List!

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