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Music You Might Have Missed in 2014

Epitaph, Daptone, Klik, Magic Cat, Blue Eyed Christ, Lemon Zephyr Music, Triple Crown

You’ve loaded up on sugar cookies, ham and maybe even sugar ham. You’re cidered and nogged out, and there’s a giant pile of garbage under the tree where the presents used to be. Now it’s time to kick back and relax with a pile of new music.

I’ve rounded up some tasty cuts from a few of my favorite alt-indie bands that may not have hit your radar yet, and even if they have, you get to hear them again. Some days you just can’t lose.

Magic Eight Ball‘s ‘Come Get Your Kicks’ is the best piece of power-pop I’ve heard in years. Slide this U.K. band into your playlist right between Big Star and Cheap Trick and enjoy. This cut is from their sophomore album, ‘Last of the New Romantics.’

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From Indian Lakes are a Northern California band who have been kicking around for a few years. Their latest album, ‘Absent Sounds,’ promises to bring them a whole new level of recognition. The band use sound almost like watercolors, laying down thin aural washes that build to a shimmering image.

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Blue Eyed Christ have been around since 1991, though this is the first new album they’ve released since 2002. “They” is a bit of an awkward pronoun here. As Trent Reznor is to Nine Inch Nails, John Norten is to Blue Eyed Christ; in other words, it’s his baby. It’s a fitting analogy, as BEC’s music fits into that electro-industrial category populated by bands like NIN and Ministry. Norten throws in a bit of a Rob Zombie vibe, too — a little horror, a bit of ’70s glam.

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I’ll buy pretty much anything from Daptone Records. Those guys have an amazing ear for talent, from the great Charles Bradley to the horns and distortion of the Budos Band. ‘Burnt Offering’ belongs in a Tarantino movie.

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Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy describe their sound as “future-rustic indie-rock,” which sounds about right. ‘Cars Etcetera’ has an ’80s post-punk vibe guaranteed to get you out of your chair and bouncing around the room.

The Sidekicks had me at the title with ‘Summer Brings You Closer to Satan.’ Who doesn’t want to know what that sounds like? Spoiler alert: There’s no dark Satanic gloom here. Well, maybe a little, but you really have to look for it. The Sidekicks are kicking off a tour in January, go check them out.

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Sillyboy hails from Greece, where he makes music that would make David Bowie proud. ‘Stalker’ is a seamless blend of retro-pop and electronica that creeps into your brain like; well, like a stalker.

Next: This is Your Alternative Rainy Day Playlist

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