Just Another Day at the Mall Mixtape by Kip, Peggy, and Alex of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.
1. Girls "Lust for Life”
It's a great pop song, every bit its namesake's equal. At one point, the singer sings, "I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine," and I totally wish I had that, too. It speaks to me.
2. The Manhattan Love Suicides "Veronica"
A blast of fuzz-pop wonder. This one reminds us of Winona Ryder's character of the same name in Heathers, where she's a genius but still trying to be popular. But then she kills the popular kids, and realizes that isn't all that cool either.
3. Hotstylz "Lookin' Boy"
The best goofy snap-diss track that no one cared about.
4. Atlas Sound "Activation"
One of the million tracks Bradford Cox gave away free on his blog. Simple, arresting, and basically perfect.
5. Crystal Stilts "Prismatic Room"
If you walked into the coolest party ever and there was a band playing, it would be Crystal Stilts. We hear a lot of Dylan in this song, without the vocals sounding anything like Dylan. That = awesome.
6. Knight School "You are the Key"
It brings to mind The Vaselines covering GBV. Like, instantly catchy and awesome, without all the arena-rock gestures.
7. Zaza "Arm's Length"
It takes about 2:45 to realize just how good this song is, and then you realize the whole thing has been awesome and you want to listen to it again. It's like The Usual Suspects in that regard, but sounds far more unusual.
8. The Primitives "Lazy"
It's one of those rare instances where the verse is actually better than the chorus.
9. Shrag "Hopelessly Wasted"
We always fall for the ballad on any album, but the whole thing is pretty epic, intense, and righteous.
10. Wake the President "Miss Tierney"
This is about the singer's girlfriend, who is really cool and stuff—that's why the song is equally cool (and stuff).
Photo by Annie Powers.