Spank Rock featuring Santigold, “Car Song.” The last time we heard these two together, it was for the standout “Shove It” from Santigold’s self-titled debut, a blasting track that delivered mellow reggae horns, a particularly cold-but-venomous Santi, and a wonderfully languid MC Spank Rock at his most sublime. It’s strange, then, that Spank should sound so out of place on his own cut, but perhaps that’s due less to his own modest contribution—a line like “I took New York like Cloverfield” is practically archaic in the Internet age—and more to the blazing talent of Santi, who, no pun intended, has had the Midas touch of late. With her raspy, seductive voice leading the drive, “Car Song” is an infectious slice of electro rap-pop ripped straight from the Theophilus London school of sleek, hip-hop hipsterdom. Kevin Liedel
Surfer Blood, “Miranda.” “Miranda,” from West Palm Beach indie-rock quartet Surfer Blood’s upcoming Tarot Classics EP, is immediately memorable, its bouncy lead guitar hook following close behind rapid, echoing drum rolls and the nasally-without-being-annoying vocals of frontman John Paul Pitts as he sings about a topic not so frequently addressed with such directness on the band’s 2010 debut: a girl. “Help me out, Miranda/You left me hanging again” are the track’s opening words, and they establish the theme of ongoing frustration from the outset. The song has a frantic, rushed formula that lends itself well to the momentous guitar solo that rears its epic head, appropriately but somewhat prematurely less than halfway through, reflecting the desperation and longing for instant gratification in Pitt’s voice. Mike LeChevallier
Cymbals Eat Guitars, “Another Tunguska.” More jangly and to the point than its original incarnation as a B-side, “Another Tunguska” is among Lenses Alien’s more polite—and best—tracks. It’s also a rewrite of Siberia’s mysterious meteor explosion from 1908 as a Wikipedia-jerking stoner saga. “I worship the day of the invisible wave,” sings Joseph D’Agostino, his band following each rhythmic twist and turn through three minutes of chorus-less alt-rock haze. D’Agostino is left to his devices by the end, strumming alone and singing, “Remember, you and I would get so high we’d pass out with our shoes on?” Even alone, he manages to give the halcyon hindsight a fuzzy soft focus, trailing away, “Back when my smoke would juke and stutter in the highway cross-breeze.” M. Sean Ryan
House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks.