Echoes of Sounds Gone By

New music that’s like old music, only newer.

Vivian Girls
2011, Polyvinyl Record Co.

Imagine what it would sound like if your favorite early-’60s girl group, like the Chantels or the Ronettes, were reincarnated as a band of angsty girls who can shred on guitar. You don’t have to imagine it! Just get this album! Last spring I really wanted to live up my final days as a bratty high schooler by making everything seem really nostalgic and teen movie-y. This was very hard to achieve given that I had zero crushes on boys in letterman jackets nor did I ever sit around wistfully drinking milkshakes. Mostly, I just ended up singing along to Share the Joy while I drove to school in my mom’s station wagon. It’s also the perfect thing to listen to on your headphones while shopping for nail polish at a drug store. I know that sounds like an oddly specific scenario, but try it and you will understand what I’m talking about! —Gabby

Zola Jesus
2011, Sacred Bones

When I was a kid, listening to goth music gave me hope that my own life could be interesting. Nothing made me feel that way as an adult, until I heard Zola Jesus. Her voice is soaring and elfin, the percussion is heavy, the violins are dead serious, and there are all kinds of fun synth sounds swirling around. (Plus, she looks like a total badass.) A great album for driving out of town under cover of night to fight vampires. —Emily

Solange Knowles
2013, Terrible Records

Solange takes you to a familiar place you think you’ve been to before but can’t quite place. Its sounds are the like the daughter of the perfect pop and R&B songs from the late ’80s/early ’90s, but whereas those songs celebrated love and hope, Solange’s lyrics are about heartbreak and real-life love, where “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work,” which is the one of the songs on here, and it is like SO REAL (“The night I saw you, I could pretend I thought you were beautiful. And that’s all I ever really saw”). These songs are kinda dance-y yet total bummers and they immediately become part of you but you might have to play them over and over and over anyway. (I’m not allowed to play at work anymore because…I played it too much before). Solange’s singing is so sweet, but then she pulls out some crazy Mariah Carey–type high oohs that are (a) totally awesome and (b) the best thing to sing along to with your friends, especially the closing song, “Bad Girls,” whose rolling beat reminds me a little of Paula Abdul’s “Rush, Rush” and whose pleading chorus, “I can’t tell you what’s wrong,” breaks your heart, but the oohs at the end are like li’l birds chirping away and that gives you hope. My love for this record is 100 percent real and true. —Laia

81X5aBgbE6L._SL1425_Dreams in the Rat House
Shannon & the Clams
2013, Hardly Art

This record has a lot of snarling yeah-yeahs and ow-woos that make it the perfect to listen to with your ’60s=style all-girl motorcycle gang. My favorite song is “If I Could Count,” where Shannon whines about hating to “wake up when everyone is gone,” because it reminds me of the apocalyptic feeling I get when I wake up from a nap. If you think Shannon’s voice is familiar, it’s because she’s also one of the Punx from Hunx and His Punx! —Marie

avatars-000009068708-q0v6xg-t200x200Computer Magic
Computer Magic is Danielle Johnson, aka Danz. She’s currently working on her first full-length album, but in the meantime, you can listen to her music on her Soundcloud. It oscillates between early Ladytron, ’80s preset synths, and commercials I remember from my childhood, with a little J-pop sprinkled here and there. In other words, PERFECT. —Ragini

VVTravelling Like the Light
V V Brown
2009, Island/Capitol Records

V V Brown’s first studio album adds modern synth sounds and video-game bloops and bleeps to ’50s rock & roll, and the result is fierce and fiery and cool. V V wrote all the songs—they’re mostly about a failed relationship, but they’re so upbeat and powerful that it seems like a celebration instead of a sad affair. —Bianca

51RTwzfuDBL._SY300_The King Khan & BBQ Show LP
The King Khan & BBQ Show
2005, In the Red Records

My BFF and I were so taken with this album the first time we heard it that we played it THREE times in a row without pausing. It’s all fast fuzzy guitars and sweet two-part harmonies, but I liked it best because despite being hella loud and quite frantic, is totally SATURATED with doo-wop references, and you can hear the influence of ’60s pop in every song. It’s one of the rare albums that I’ll never get sick of even though I’ve played it to death. It reminds me of feeling crazy and happy and hot and dirty in New York City in the middle of summer. —Esme

61Q4HbEAtbL._SY300_The Great Gatsby OST
Various artists
2013, Interscope

A good soundtrack creates a parallel experience to a film’s narrative, and The Great Gatsby OST brings you back to that indulgent, dirty world with modern songs that lean heavily on the past. My favorites: Jay-Z’s swaggering “100$ Bill,” Beyoncé & André 3000′s rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,”’s little Louis Armstrong impression on “Bang Bang,” Lana Del Rey’s lovely Old Hollywood style on “Young & Beautiful,” and Jack White’s glorious cover of U2′s “Love Is Blindness.” —Nova

TashakiTashaki Miyaki
Tashaki Miyaki
2013, Burger Records

This EP by L.A. shoegazers Tashaki Miyaki gives a nod to early-’60s girls groups. I love the song “Somethin Is Better Than Nothin,” whose video is out of this world in a Man Ray kind of way. The band also has a whole album of covers on which they interpret songs by Roxette, Guns N’ Roses, Bob Dylan, and more in their own eerie way. —Bianca

813GRDl6CHL._SL1440_U.S. Girls
2012, Fat Cat

U.S. Girls is just one American woman named Meg Remy. This album is an assortment of spooky, lo-fi ballads that sound like they seeped out of the glam-rock graveyard. Songs like “Jack” and “Slim Baby” conjure the swagger of Marc Bolan and the slick croonery of Joan Jett. Listen to this when you’re modeling your lamé hot pants in the mirror before taking on the night. —Suzy ♦


  • MaddieMae July 4th, 2013 11:47 PM

    I love Shannon and the Clams! One of my favorite songs is the Cult Song :)

  • cailsterrr July 5th, 2013 12:00 AM

    I just heard Shannon and The Clams for the first time the other day and I had the EXACT SAME thoughts! Glad to see someone else shares the motorcycle gang dreams :}

  • sedgwick July 5th, 2013 12:42 AM

    sacred bones records is soooooow gewd
    also do any rookies also visit /mu/?? just wondering xoxox

  • glitter riot July 5th, 2013 12:45 AM

    I love The Vivian Girls and Shannon and the clams! Definitely checking the rest of these out!

  • glitter riot July 5th, 2013 12:50 AM

    Also hunx and his punx sound like 90′s grrrl punk bands but it’s actually a dude who fronts it!

  • myy July 5th, 2013 1:27 AM

    Foxygen should be on here! They sound like a modern mesh of Dylan, Jagger, and Lou Reed!

    Great list, though:)

  • SemperFudge July 5th, 2013 2:21 AM

    Rhye – Woman

  • queserasera July 5th, 2013 2:39 AM

    tame impala is seriously the best and i have been listening to solange nonstop!

  • unicornconnect July 5th, 2013 4:52 AM


  • cloudinthesky July 5th, 2013 6:11 AM

    I loooove Vivian girls! I bought their album some months ago and I am really in love with it!!!

  • Sophie ❤ July 5th, 2013 6:50 AM

    I know a few of these albums; they’re absolutely fabulous!

  • annamarie July 5th, 2013 7:09 AM


    I really love Aaradnah’s album Treble & Reverb, it’s like 50s girl groups x chill r’n'b. Plus she has fantastic hair. And GIRLS???? Weird that thats not on this list.

  • Em July 5th, 2013 8:09 AM

    Love this list! You should give Jake Bugg a listen – he’s 19, from Nottingham, and sounds like a cross between Lonnie Donegan and Bob Dylan. Think twangy acoustic guitars and and sharp folky lyrics.

  • taste test July 5th, 2013 11:14 AM

    shannon & the clams rock my world! it makes me sad that there are people who love hunx & his punx and don’t know about them. lots of other things on this list look really cool and I’ll be checking them out, so thanks for the recommendations!
    (hey I actually remembered to post my url for once)

  • Monq July 5th, 2013 1:47 PM

    V V Brown & Solange Knowles, I simple j’adore! Already checked out The Vivian Girls and I think I died, I can’t wait to check out the rest of these.


  • whoknows July 5th, 2013 4:02 PM

    zola jesus is so good, i saw her live a few years ago and she was literally a ghost on stage.

  • rottedteeth July 5th, 2013 4:35 PM

    I love that the king Khan and bbq show were mentioned but there’s a typo there that is really annoying me it says The King Khan and The BBQ Show. only one the is needed

    • Anaheed July 5th, 2013 4:37 PM

      That was my fault. Thanks, I’ll fix!

  • Moonshoes July 5th, 2013 4:47 PM

    VV Brown and the great gatsby soundtrack are absolutely incredible! def gonna check out the rest of the bands on this list

  • VictoriaInWonderland July 7th, 2013 2:00 AM

    Vivian Girls totally makes my summer; loitering around the suburbs, waiting for something filled with life to take me away, as I phase out in the heat.

  • alienbabe July 8th, 2013 1:39 PM

    I’ve been blasting the Solange EP nonstop since it came out, I’m pretty sure I know all the lyrics by heart now. She’s seriously so talented, I wish she was more well known. And that VV Brown album is amazing, I’m definitely gonna have to listen to the rest of the music on here.

  • brynntheredonethat July 8th, 2013 4:54 PM

    I totally recommend Fitz and the Tantrums.

    Awesome list!

  • Electra Heart July 12th, 2013 12:13 PM

    Rookie is one of the main places I go when I need new music. Thank you! <3

  • tturnthenoiseon August 17th, 2013 1:49 PM

    I saw Vivian Girls in the thumbnail and freaked. Stellar job as always