Wet – “No Lie”
Shy, unassuming and yet still charming, New York trio Wet craft minimalist break-up songs that don’t sting but somehow manage to conjure goose bumps. It’s probably singer Kelly Zutrau’s sweet, piercing voice that can both carry the melody and fade into the creeping instrumentals that give the band its heartbeat.
Empress of – “Don’t Tell Me”
Brooklyn’s Lorely Rodriguez has a voice that floats, impossibly and silkily, as if in a dream. Her brand of pop, breathy falsetto sighing in layers against itself, is ethereal and otherworldly. In “Don’t Tell Me,” her voice is as delicate as the waning relationship about which she sings, but her wispy vocals might trick you into thinking it’s not sad.
Sohn – “Bloodflows”
He might be one of the hottest indie producers in the game right now, skillfully manipulating songs from Banks, Rhye and hipster queen Lana Del Rey. Sohn, based now in Vienna, released his full LP “Tremors” earlier this year, featuring “Bloodflows,” a warbling, stuttering vocal-trip that slithers under and around melancholy keys and, later, a tireless drumbeat.
Ta-ku – “We Were in Love”
From an album aptly named “Songs to Break Up To,” Australian beatsmith Ta-Ku samples Los Angeles darling Jhene Aiko’s “Comfort Inn Ending” and shatters them into floating, half-broken vocals. The track gasps and heaves, like it’s gasping for air after a blow to the gut.
Say Lou Lou (feat. Chet Faker) – “Fool of Me”
This collaboration, between band of twins Say Lou Lou and Australian singer Chet Faker, forages a tune that sounds like drowning slowly, but the kind in which one might solemnly succumb in underwater ribbon dance. The song shrugs and sighs as it simultaneously picks up speed and decelerates into a constant gloom.
Kidnap Kid – “Like You Used to”
The 23-year-old Sheffield producer gently nudges a soulful female vocal with a subdued but pulsing presence. The sound is haunting, even as it tapers off midway through, only to rebuild itself, like a reverberating echo. The song is one-half of a two-track EP from Black Butter Records, and is in stark contrast to its partner “Stronger.”
DWNTWN – “Stood Me Up”
This electronic Los Angeles duo has been making its way around some of the city’s more intimate, indie venues and accumulating a following. With Jamie Leffler’s cooing vocals and Robert Cepeda’s urging synth, “Stood Me Up” makes a careless gesture into fuzzy, danceable pop.
Tove Lo, Hippie Sabotage – “Stay High – Habits Remix)
Swedish pop singer Tove Lo emerged onto the scene with her lovelorn “Stay High,” in which she chronicles eating Twinkies and partying to distract herself from a breakup. This remix warps the vocals into an affected higher register and loops the chorus and bridge to emphasize monotonous numbness.
Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)”
It’s not summertime sadness without the track that started it all. While the radio-favorite remix was produced by Cedric Gervais, this version comes from Canadian DJ Ryan Hemsworth. Lana’s pouty vocals boune in between a throbbing bass that might make you forget what made you so sad in the first place.