1. Surf Club, "Lonely Days"
A nice dose of beach-time music in the midst of winter always does a tortured mind good, which is why we can't get enough of this Stockton group's sun-shot sound. When you look up into the sky and all you see are angry clouds and rain, put on "Lonely Days" for a tiny pick-me-up–then experience it live at this year's Noise Pop.
2. Shannon & The Clams, "Toxic Revenge"
I love Shannon Shaw for her unapologetically frayed-around-the-edges, born-out-of-a-comic-book band and her huge, soulful voice that's almost too amazing (yet so perfect in its current context) to be confined to scrappy garage music. Get ready watch her reduce her audience to flailing limbs and sweaty foreheads and crank this song "Toxic Revenge."
3. Yalls, "Rerepeater"
Here's another escapist anthem for these frozen wintery days from Berkeley digi wizard Yalls. Using gorgeous, folksy loops and beats to create an atmospheric slab of cascading electro pop, Dan Casey makes us fly upwards and sit on whatever cloud he's perched on and looking down at the world from.
4. Young Prisms, "Floating in Blue"
Just premiered today and slated to show up on their aptly-titled second album In Between, this gloriously breezy hazy sliver of shoegaze wondrousness is the kind of song we love seeing live, especially when the fog machines are blasting at full force. Amidst the floatiness of the song lies a melancholic sadness that tugs down, down, down...
5. Bare Wires, "Cheap Perfume"
This band has spent a few years in the Bay Area's music trenches perfecting a kind of glam-scuzz punk-garage hybrid that continues to get tighter, slinkier and more hot and bothered with each rapid-fire single.