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House Playlist: Shimmering Stars, Amanda Mair, & Cate Le Bon

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<em>House</em> Playlist: Shimmering Stars, Amanda Mair, & Cate Le Bon

Shimmering Stars, “Not Growing Up.” Shimmering Stars’ “Not Growing Up,” the Canadian band’s contribution to a split 7” with Jonathan Clancy’s similar-sounding His Clancyness, begins delicately, with ethereal guitar strumming and gentle percussion carrying frontman Rory McClure’s lofty vocals as he sings about that ever-ambiguous gap between adolescence and adulthood: “I wanna get somewhere, but just get stuck.” It’s a short song, clocking in at less than two-and-a-half minutes, but it manages to be both friendly and explosive, featuring a massive burst of noise at the halfway point that captures the frustration and tenseness of the late stages of teenagedom. Mike LeChevallier

Amanda Mair, “Doubt.” On her debut single, 16-year-old Amanda Mair answers the question of what kind of music a young Swedish kid who grew up listening to the likes of Robyn, José González, and Lykke Li would make. The influences of her fellow countrymen are all over the delicate, icy dance-pop arrangement of “Doubt,” but Mair’s oblique lyrics and ethereal voice have rightfully drawn comparisons to Kate Bush. Mair may use the line “I will always stay true to my doubt” as her song’s refrain, but “Doubt” brims with a preternatural self-confidence and a sophistication well beyond what even Robyn was singing when she was 16. Jonathan Keefe

Cate Le Bon, “Puts Me to Work.” Driven by a groovy guitar and tick-tock percussion, the deceptively laidback melody of Cate Le Bon’s new single, “Puts Me to Work,” fails to mask the singer-songwriter’s increasingly knotty lyrics about a wishy-washy relationship. Charmingly off-kilter in its melancholy, “Puts Me to Work” is an excellent introduction for newcomers to Le Bon’s penchant for slightly morbid and droll pop songs, which makes her the apt opening act on St. Vincent’s current tour. Ben Umstead

House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks.