Ben McCarthy, frontman of rock band Poubelle International
1. Into the Shadows of My Embrace - Why?
An indie song in which the singer essentially talks their way through what are very good lyrics. This one succeeds, accompanied by quirky percussion.
2. This is a Flag. There is No Wind - Los Campesinos
One of the last songs from Romance is Boring, the Campesinos' latest album. The idiosyncratic upbeat male-and-female vocal style is perfectly uplifting for summer. Think Go! Team meets Vampire Weekend.
3. The Cave - Mumford & Sons
The first half of this song is somewhat gloomy, but the syncopated banjo in the second half destroys any scent of Elliott Smith and leaves you with a folksier Fleet Foxes-like sound.
4. Ivy & Gold - Bombay Bicycle Club
My favourite band of the year just put out an acoustic album, of which this is the first single. I can't figure out how they get such a sophisticated sound at such a young age.
5. 16th & Valencia Roxy Music - Devendra Banhart
Super nice song for summer, delicate but energetic. This feels mildly retro to me, and seductively catchy. Put this song on while you make your girlfriend breakfast in bed.