Five Quality Tracks: January

At the end of each month, I’ll be posting a feature highlighting five quality tracks released during that month. We start with January 2013.

This is going to be a good year. I can feel it. Bands are announcing upcoming albums by the truckload. The year got off to a great start in January, so let’s look back at some songs that you need to check out.

1. Local Natives: “Heavy Feet”
Local Natives killer 2010 debut, Gorilla Manor, was full of pop hooks. The band’s new album, Hummingbird, released 1/29, shows a maturation of sorts. Songs are not as tightly packaged, but the album’s glimmering sound is beautiful.

2. Foxygen: “San Francisco”
Many artists are indebted to their musical predecessors, drawing from decades past. Perhaps no band is as indebted as Foxygen. They’re straight from the Summer-of-Love era 1960s, sounding like the Zombies at times and the Rolling Stones at others. Check out this track about the City across the Bay. “I left my love in San Francisco… that’s okay, I was born in L.A.”

3. Youth Lagoon: “Dropla”
The bedroom pop phenomenon from Boise, Idaho just dropped a new single and it’s both gorgeous and triumphant.

4. The Men: “Electric”
Tired of all these wishy-washy, “pretty” songs? Well you’re in luck. Time to melt your face off with this latest single from The Men. Their passion-filled killer rock n’ roll album from last year, Open Your Heart had some pretty great tracks (check out “Turn It Around”), but this one may be their best yet.

5. Wavves: “Sail to the Sun”
During the doldrums of winter, it’s nice to get a little taste of an L.A. summer. This song technically came out in December, but screw it. It’s too good to leave off this list. It’s frenetic, snotty, classic alternative rock.