What’s This Playlist All About? The folks at Under the Radar Magazine highlight some of the biggest sleeper tracks in alt and indie rock. On their first go-around, they cover a wide field of songs that seemingly have nothing else in common other than being “precious stones buried in discographies” or ones that are simply “underappreciated for a variety of reasons” –leaving listeners to figure out what those reasons are for themselves.
What You Get: This is mostly an exercise in digging up deep cuts from big-name bands like Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and Coldplay. But before you get there, they throw in a few offbeat indie and electro artists worth a shout-out, like Brooklyn duo High Places and Spencer Krug’s highly underrated solo project Moonface. Things get a little wilder midway through with the woozy Clap Your Hands Say Yeah nugget “Mama, Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the Air Burning?” and PS I Love You’s propulsive noise-rocker “Get Over.” Then it all cools down a bit with the Cure-esque Pablo Honey ballad “Thinking About You” and the slow-burning tearjerker “Friends and Foe” from Irish greats The Frames.
Greatest Discovery: Lead track “Digging Holes” comes from a lesser-known band from Madison, WI, called Icarus Himself. The song has several twists and turns, with organ jabs, wieldy guitar licks, and magical quavers of an electronic instrument called the Omnichord. The group sound like The Walkmen one minute, then Beirut the next, as the song concludes in a celebratory squall of brass.
Most Questionable Pick: Lady Gaga’s gut-wrenching showstopper “Always Remember Us This Way” from her Oscar-nominated performance in A Star Is Born. It may be up there as one of her greatest performances, but is this Billboard Hot 100 hit really a song that’s been slept on?