Who'd have ever thought we'd be missing the days of Limewire? The terrible audio quality, the fakeout songs (particularly that one spam song with some guy doing a terrible Bill Clinton impression)? Ah, the Internet was such a carefree place in those days. To find free music easily now, you need to either go down some pretty shady avenues or get invited into some sort of elite filesharing club. The only totally legal way is to download rap and R&B mixtapes (if you're a fan) or patiently search for some legal downloads from some up-and-coming artists and hope that they're good.
Well, luckily for you, we scoured the vast chaos of the Internet to bring you some of the best free, legal singles from new artists all over the map. Just click away and watch your iTunes library grow in size.
Lucius — "Turn it Around"
Tons of people have be raving about Lucius (including us) for a reason. These ladies make the kind of accessible indie pop that just begs to be featured on the next iPhone commercial. And "Turn it Around" is no exception — it's a girl-group influenced romp, complete with handclaps and organs. It's the Wall of Sound for the Tumblr set.
Botany — "Laughtrack" (feat. Father John Misty)
Both Botany and Father John Misty have recently released well-crafted albums that both sound like they were crafted in a lab for twentysomethings — Father John Misty (formerly of Fleet Foxes) with his dark, psychedelic folk on Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings and Botany with their orchestral chilltronica on Lava Diviner. So of course, their partnership on "Laughtrack" works in a weird way, sounding like a blissed-out day party in the woods.
Darkside — "Golden Arrow"
Don't be fooled by the first four minutes of "Golden Arrow" — Darkside is not just music for Pitchfork readers (although they did give them "Best New Music" for their release Psychic). Sure, it begins with ambient noodling, complete with cellos and digital noise, but it ends with a driving beat, funky bassline, smooth falsetto and a wash of synths. It may seem out there, but it's well worth taking a chance on.
Big Momma — "Drive You Crazy"
If you don't start voguing within the first few minutes of "Drive You Crazy," you're doing it wrong. It's deep, dark minimalist rap in the vein of Zebra Katz. It's aggressive, it's sensual, and just when you think it's done, it hits you back with a bubbly beat. Practically made for late-night underground warehouse parties.
John Wizards — "Hogsback"
A South African band that makes what sounds like Afrobeat for the digital age, John Wizards has a huge range of influences: highlife and reggae are played alongside with disco and hip-hop. It's this kind of curiosity that makes "Hogsback" such a charming song which sounds like highlife played timidly with a Casio keyboard. It's an upbeat, wide-eyed song that's meant for happy days.
Bass Drum of Death — "Shattered Me"
Bass Drum of Death makes garage pop in the vein of bands like Wavves and Surfer Blood. It's just scuzzy and lo-fi enough to be exciting, but not too much to be inaccessible. Is "Shattered Me" doing anything new? Not in the slightest. But it sure as hell is fun.
Jessy Lanza — "Keep Moving"
Speaking of fun, Jessy Lanza's "Keep Moving" is a completely retro '80s disco jam reminiscent of early Michael Jackson. Lanza's breathy falsetto threatens to seduce, but the sugary synth and the crisp drums beg you to dance — and really, you'd be an idiot not to.
DJ Sliink — "Love Song" Ft. Future (Jersey Club Remix)
I will never understand why more people don't listen to Jersey Club — it's essentially remixed pop music and Baltimore Club put on steroids. It's music tailor-made for dancing. Better yet, it's a wealth of free music on Soundcloud, with some of the biggest names in Jersey Club releasing free singles nearly every other month. Here's a quick primer with DJ Sliink's bouncy R&B remix of Future and Rihanna's "Love Song." Once you hear it, you'll never listen to the original the same way again.