Perhaps it is a bit premature to start thinking about this year’s “best of” lists, but the following songs are just too good to sit on until December. If you haven’t yet tried them on for size, let me hang a #5 tag on this dressing room right over here…

5. “Watch Me” – Anohni
As noted by Jenn Pelly in her brilliant review of Anohni’s Hopelessness, “(y)ou have never heard words like ‘chemotherapy,’ ‘child molesters,’ and ‘mass graves’ crooned so gorgeously.” In “Watch Me,” Anohni lets loose on the lyrics’ “child molesters.” As disconcerting as it may seem to hear this put forth so sensually, perhaps that is exactly the point.

4. “Sea Stories” – Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson is back with another genre-defying album. Replete with a Nirvana cover, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is a sort of letter to his newborn son on how to navigate the world and some of its tempting evils. It also reveals his great sense of humor. But if you blink, you might miss a line like “Maybe get high, play a little GoldenEye, on that old 64.” With Sturgill’s Southern twang, one may reflexively think he is singing about a vintage car, not a Nintendo game from the late ’90s. They’ve got king cobras fightin’ in boxing rings…

3. “Ch-Ching” – Chairlift
Chairlift popped up in LA twice this year: at the Teragram Ballroom in January to celebrate the release of their new album, Moth, and less than two months later at El Rey Theatre. Each show yielded hard evidence of a band who can replicate the slick production of Moth in a live setting. “Ch-Ching” is a dizzying blend of percolating studio magic, with Polachek doing a high wire vocal tip toe balancing act.

2. “Your Best American Girl” – Mitski
If not for the unexpected, long-awaited arrival of this list’s #1 below, “Your Best American Girl” would have easily been my top choice. The tune starts at what sounds like a sort of pathetic lurch; this isn’t going anywhere. But then, Mitski hits the launch button a verse and a chorus before one might expect. It truly pops and rides the newfound edge out for the rest of the song. It’s a simple change in song structure, but based on this result, it’s one that should be considered by others. Catch them when they’re least expecting it.

1. “True Love Waits” – Radiohead
This haunting, aching song has evolved beautifully over the twenty-one years since it was first played. From its beginnings as a solo acoustic number, to the late-2000s version with Thom Yorke behind keys and mastermind Jonny Greenwood distorting Yorke’s vocals, all the way to the stark and simplified piano version that closes out Radiohead’s newest album, the meditative A Moon Shaped Pool. Do songs get bigger than this? Do songs get better than this?