What’s on your iPod?

1. “If You Fall,” Azure Ray
A now defunct duo of Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, Azure Ray featured their two perfectly blended voices on simple, indie-pop. “If You Fall” is surprisingly upbeat amid the majority of their mellow, wash-of-sound-style tunes.
2. “Cruel Mistress,” Flogging Molly
I was sad to learn that this group was founded in Los Angeles and not Dublin, because Celtic punk seems a lot cooler when you’re surrounded by Guinness beer and smiling Irish eyes. It’s fine though, because lead singer Dave King does hail from the Emerald Isle and, the group has a mandolin on almost all of its songs.
3. “Time to Send Someone Away,” Jose Gonzalez
Among all the singer-songwriters in the world, Jose Gonzalez manages to preserve an appealing, antique quality that makes his simple music very refreshing. This song also features handclaps, which makes every song better.
4. “Beat Control,” Tilly and the Wall
I get major “Stuff White People Like” cred for seeing this band live four times. Okay, so they’re from my hometown of Omaha, but hipsters everywhere love them because they wear vintage neon, throw balloons into their audiences, and tap dance onstage.
5. “Super Trouper,” ABBA
What is a super trouper anyway? Maybe it’s a bad Swedish-to-English translation, but something with “lights” and beams “that are gonna blind me” actually sounds pretty terrifying. The song is still really good, though, especially with the excellent “Sup-pa-pa Troup-pa-pa” from the backup singers.
6. “The Gates of Istanbul,” Loreena McKennitt
McKennitt is an incredible Canadian singer who replicates the sounds of many different cultures – on this song, the Middle East – and meshes them with her unique light soprano and musical storytelling.
7. “Burger Baby,” Gravy Train!!!!
Perhaps the truest love story ever recorded in any musical form, this song illustrates the often-misunderstood passion between woman and cheeseburger. Just remember the consequences of not using protection.
8. “One More Hour,” Sleater-Kinney
I’m sad I was too young to be a riot grrrl in the Pacific Northwest in the late ’90s, and this song, with its raw vocals and manic dueling guitars, epitomizes exactly why.
9. “Welcome Home,” Radical Face
“Ghost,” the album on which this song is included, appropriately describes Ben Cooper’s style. Ethereal vocals, wind chimes, and – Yes! – hand claps makes this song a multilayered creation that I can’t stop listening to.
10. “Bulletproof,” La Roux
British singer, electronic anthem, addicted to La Roux. The band is the hottest thing in the only places that matter: Appleton clubs and Lawrence dorm rooms, namely mine.

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