By Jason Lamphier
(9) Air France, 'Beach Party'
Air France are not from France (they're Swedes, obviously), but their buoyant song 'Beach Party' couldn't have a more fitting title. You can practically feel the sand between your toes and taste the salty sweetness of a frosted margarita when the track's gurgling waves, conga drums, and breezy electronics kick in, and if that doesn't snare you, then the fine sample of Lisa Stansfield's 1989 gem 'All Around the World' certainly will. Not finding your baby shouldn't feel this invigorating, but we're thrilled it does.
(10) As In RebekkaMaria, "Yours Truly"
Leaving behind the guitar-drenched landscape of her former band the Lampshades, RebekkaMaria Andersson returned draped in slutty, come-hither bass lines for her solo project, As In RebekkaMaria. The dance tracks on her new album, Queen of France, writhe and skitter and have just enough kookiness to keep you guessing while you stay hot and bothered. Imagine Marie Antoinette visiting from beyond the grave via Oujia-turn table and commanding, 'Let them eat break-beats.'
(11) Studio, West Coast (promotion video)
Not only have trance disciples Studio (Dan Lissvik and Rasmus H'ag) revamped Kylie Minogue's already groovy '2 Hearts,' but the experimental pair evokes Can, the Cure, and the Clash as they dip in and out of the shadows in percolating tracks like 'West Side' and the 13-minute 'Life's a Beach.' The sliding guitar lines and syncopated percussion on their album Yearbook 1 actually resemble the ebb and flow of the tides, producing a flickering, hypnotic, after-hours-beach-bonfire effect.
(12) El Perro del Mar, "God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get)"
The perfect tonic for a midday slump, Sarah Assbring's whimsical, bittersweet "God Knows" teaches us it's OK to be a bit bummed or brokenhearted because, darn it, we have colorful balloons, cute little birdies, and twirling Busby Berkeley dance numbers to lift us from even the rock-bottom moments. This adorable animated video features all that, plus '60s girl-group harmonies, jangling tambourines, and lush strings. Pick up El Perro del Mar's new album, From the Valley to the Stars, April 22.
Additional reporting by Noah Michelson.