Though I appreciate the twitchy glitchiness of “Be Good to Them Always,” I want to see a smidge more humanity. Thus I went to Lali Puna, one of the few girl-fronted bands who can successfully combine pop-song allure with electronic alarm.
“Alienation” is sort of a little sister to the Notwist’s “Consequence,” a track I very nearly used here but pulled away from due to my having championed it on mixes and in conversation for a full decade now. Both are the emotional climaxes on their respective albums, but where “Consequence” rides a dizzyingly haunting melody and jockeys for the title of Saddest Song I Own, “Alienation” absorbs patterns of noise and additional instruments to blossom into something quite beautiful. I love those sounds—typewriter keys, striking matchsticks, plucked strings—but they’re no match for the breathy vocal and piano and the almost-hidden guitar. Why have I not been talking about this for years too?
I promise my contributions to the next volume won’t be so German.