1. Jens Lekman –“A Postcard to Nina”
A Scandinavian Curtis Mayfield tune, R&B tremulous and open-hearted, in which the singer offers to serve as beard to a German lesbian, and a lesson in the realness of fake things.
2. Sleigh Bells – TREATS
Sure, it heralds the whitewashing of M.I.A.’s sound, replacing her favela dubstepping and worldbeat from the Planet of Slums with pseudo-samples of songs you already have on your iPhone. Where Maya had aborigine children, Sleigh Bells are content to offprint The Pixies. They manage to take an old P-Funk cut and leave it sounding like “Sugar Sugar.” But I like The Pixies—and The Archies, too—and an ecstatic whiteness is better than most.
3. Jay-Z – THE BLUEPRINT
…because I’ve been watching Season 4 of The Wire, and I miss Stringer Bell, and this helps.
4. Cat Power – “Colors and the Kids”
5. Willie Nelson – NAKED WILLIE
6. Keegan DeWitt – “Say La La”
7. Modest Mouse – NO ONE’S FIRST & YOU’RE NEXT
8. Karen O & The Kids – “Hidaway”
9. Beeda Weeda – “Baserock Babies”
10. Hayes Carll – “She Left Me For Jesus”