Carving out an identity is a daunting crisis for any artist, especially in today’s overcrowded musical landscape. Strand of Oaks’ Timothy Showalter harps on such topics on his song “Shut In”, which highlights this week’s countdown full of strangely individualistic tunes. Listen to how each of these artists twist and bend genres into independent creations: the heavy but not necessarily metal stylings of The Atlas Moth, the always polarizing eloquence of Morrissey, Godflesh’s ripping industrial aggression … It’s that originality that catches our ear and fulfills our desire to hear something new and exciting. We hope it does the same for you.
10. Morrissey – “Istanbul”
Following the staunch, politicized “World Peace Is None of Your Business”, Morrissey’s “Istanbul” is a more personal, more guitar-driven song. Here’s the story, or something like it: Long ago, the Englishman, who turned 55 yesterday, fathered a son he was either too young or too irresponsible to care for. Now he wants to make up for lost time: “Istanbul, give me back my brown-eyed son.” Despite the feeling of urgent emptiness, he’s in his element here. World Peace Is None of Your Business, Morrissey’s 10th solo album, is out July 15th. –Michael Madden