Toby Keith redefines patriotism.

0. Toby KeithFollowing 9/11, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” used vengeful and dividing lyrics to describe patriotism. Conversely, “Drunk Americans” opens 35 Mph Town with the uniting line, “We ain’t black, we ain’t white/ We just came here to drink/ We’re all mud flaps and bourbons/ All ball caps and turbans.”  –Eric Shea


No one will replace the voice and guitar of Ariel Camacho.

1. Los Plebes Del RanchoHe was a once-in-a-generation artist. Los Plebes Del Rancho have chosen to honor his legacy by continuing on the path that he laid down. DEL Negociante serves as a reaffirmation of the group, as well as a demonstration of unity, strength and focus on the part of DEL Records. –Marcos Juarez


A dreamy dose of spaced out downer-psych from these Philly freaks.

2. CreepoidOn Cemetery Highrise Slum, Creepoid cull from a clutch of sonic tropes near and dear to our hearts: wasted psychedelic drift, laid-back cosmic mesmer, moody gloom pop and lysergic, shoegaze heaviness, sounding like a more druggy, drowsy Nirvana, or some weary, wasted hybrid of The Wipers and Spacemen 3. –Andee Connors

Selena steps out.

3. Selena GomezWhether she’s working with ASAP Rocky on her new single “Good For You,” acting in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers or working with Selena Gomez & The Scene; Selena Gomez is growing up and taking charge. Revival mixes up styles, rolling up Europop, deep house cuts and piano ballads, revealing confidence and sophistication. Standout: “Me & My Girls.” –Diego Gonzalez

History has its eyes on Hamilton.

4. HamiltonBroadway’s hottest ticket is now one of the hottest Original Broadway Cast Recordings of all time. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical tells the tale of “ten-dollar founding father” Alexander Hamilton with R&B ballads and rap battles. Keep an eye out for Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom, Jr. at this year’s Tonys. –Kelly Anneken

Melbourne’s Arbes take you on a dreamy adventure.

5. ArbesOn their debut EP Swimmer, the female-fronted Aussie trio channel Beach House and Best Coast vibes with more of a minimal, DIY approach — yet they somehow manage to create a lush, wall of sound-like vessel and psychedelic tropical paradise that never loses its luster. A total dreamfest! –Michelle Solomon

Yppah offers magnificent respite.

6. Yppah

Among the current crop of instrumental acts (ecstatic Tycho, serene Bibio), Yppah seems the most difficult to pigeonhole. On his fourth album Tiny Pause, the SoCal producer delivers entrancing guitar-led atmospherics reminiscent of Disintegration, rousing Odesza-style beats and quirky psychedelia. Best not overanalyze, however, and just let its nostalgic, kaleidoscopic beauty enfold you. –Party Ben

You Make Your Own World reinvents mod pop.

7. The Saucy Jacks

Not since The Makes Nice has a band put such “pow” in power pop. Sure, two-thirds of San Francisco’s The Saucy Jacks are Makes Nice graduates. But this Rickenbacker-and-Vox fueled debut album is equally inspired by the past (Milk ‘N’ CookiesThe KinksThe Nerves) as well as by previously uncharted territory. –Eric Shea


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