15 Must-Hear Songs, Hand-Picked By Girls' Music Coordinator

There are a million reasons to love Girls, but we’re particularly smitten by the tunes. Thanks to Manish Raval, Tom Wolfe, and Jonathan Leahy (the dudes responsible for the show’s music), the first soundtrack was killer, and until the second one's released, we have a treat for you. We got Leahy—he's also the music supervisor for Fruitvale Station—to share 15 songs he’s listening to now.

 

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    So what’s on this massively cool mixtape? A wide range of must-hear downloads, including everything from music’s latest It girl, Sky Ferreria, to the new cool kid on the block, Mapei.  Click through to hear all of Leahy’s picks and get his take on why these songs are essential listening. 

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    "Love Me Again" by John Newman

    This song is a monster. Uses every trick in the book—dramatic string arrangements, syncopated horn stabs, half-time breakdowns—but all you can hear is that voice. If you're in the mood to dance and cry at the same time, here's your song.

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    "Don't Wait" by Mapei

    I'm a sucker for Swedish pop, even if it's born in Rhode Island. This track is a great blend of surgical production and soulful vocals. Take the a cappella and put it over a Phil Spector instrumental and it still works.

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    "Shelter Song" by Temples

    I'm not afraid to use the word "groovy" in conversation, and this song is groovy. Like some bastard child of Roger McGuinn [he’s The Byrds’ lead singer/guitarist, for you non-music nerds] and Syd Barrett [one of the original members of Pink Floyd], that slinky 12-string riff just sounds like drugs. 

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    "Money Rain Down" by Big Black Delta

    This is one of those brilliant recordings that's destined to score a memorable scene in a movie. If John Hughes had a film coming out in 2014, every kid would walk out of the theater singing this tune.

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    "Goldstar" by Cashier No. 9

    A perfect bite of indie pop that wraps you in its arms from bar one. Every sound is curated like a prop in a Wes Anderson movie. If you're walking home alone after an evening's worth of missed opportunities, you could do a lot worse than having this shuffle its way into your headphones.

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    "Real Smart" by Lou Doillon

    Intimate, mysterious, and literate, this track has me hooked long before the drums and choir enter. An impeccably arranged analysis of the way we fail ourselves, and it happens to be beautiful too.

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    "Cruel/Kind" by Gold Leaves

    I really can't explain the hold this song has over me. It seems to bear an endless amount of listens and defy understanding. Maybe it's the high notes at the end that keeps me coming back.

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    "The Heat" by Jungle

    Luxurious and sensual, this track does just fine on its own—but once you watch the video you'll forever have an amazing set of visuals playing inside your skull. Almost made me consider buying a tracksuit.

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    "Alligator" by The Babies

    As far as I'm concerned, this Babies album is a modern classic. If I had to send a record into space to explain to aliens what we mean when we say "indie rock," this song would definitely be on it.

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    "You And Your Sister" by Chris Bell

    This song is pure, naked sincerity. I'm not sure anyone could write a song like this in 2014. Fragile and gorgeous, every note of it.

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    "Love In Motion" by Sebastian (feat. Mayer Hawthorn)

    Show me a sexier song that's been recorded in the last decade. If this song was on everyone's babymaking playlist, we'd be in the middle of a population crisis.

     

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    "No Waves" by Fidlar

    This track does something incredible—it instantly transforms me into the 18 year-old pissed-off version of myself. And that is a thrilling place to be.

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    "Luv, Hold Me Down" by Drowners

    Another candidate for the 2014 John Hughes film we'd all like to see...lends itself well to high-volume, home-alone dance parties, among other things.

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    "Already Forgot Everything You Said" by The Dig

    Once this starts, it's going to own the next five minutes of your life—absolutely killer slow burn; I'd happily stick around for another five.

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    "I Can't Say No To Myself" by Sky Ferreira

    Join the club, right? The propulsive beat, the melody, and that voice.  I'm in; no questions.

EXPLORE: Trends, Girls, HBO, Music, Mixtape, Jonathan Leahy, 2014, John Newman, The Babies, Drowners, Mapei, Sky Ferreira, Big Black Delta, Goldstar, Lou Doillon, Gold Leaves, Jungle, Chris Bell, Sebastian, Mayer Hawthorne, Fidlar, The Dig, Temples
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