Singles: Regents, Damien, Dance For the Dying, Norman Rockwell, Phil Da Phuture
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Regents: “Nothing To Water”
The D.C.-based post-hardcore supergroup, which already contains members of Thursday, Sleepytime Trio and Frodus, recently became 20 percent more awesome with the temporary addition of Jawbox’s J. Robbins, who provides bass and production help on their cranky, elbow-thrower of a debut, “Antietam After Party.”
Damien: “Do Whatever”
The DMV crooner evokes old school Usher on this lush, mid-tempo jam from his new “Lost Panic.”
Dance For the Dying: “Mannequin”
The leadoff track to the D.C.-based synth-pop band’s October EP, “Puzzles for the Traveler,” is grabby and excellent. But sadly, it is not an homage to the 1987 Kim Cattrall movie of the same name.
Norman Rockwell: “Stateline”
The Vienna-based band fits nicely into the bearded, pastoral folk category inhabited by acts like Mumford & Sons. Its debut album, “Fare Thee Well,” from which this nicely understated track hails, was released in late October, just weeks before the sudden death of bassist Sean Meyers.
Phil Da Phuture: “Running Back”
One of the many highlights from the DMV middleweight’s new mixtape, “Louder Than You,” this is an affectionate homage to his lady drug runner, who possesses the reflexes of Jerome Bettis and the posterior of a Kardashian. (It’s a lot more touching than it sounds. Okay, maybe not a lot more.)
— Allison Stewart