With graduation and the real world waiting just on the other side of this month, let's slow down for a minute and bask in all the awesome music that's already come out this year, from artists big and small alike.

Cloud Nothings had a major breakthrough with their 2012 release Attack On Memory (an 1190 CD of the Month, no less), and their newest release Here and Nowhere Else continues down the darker path set by Dylan Baldi and friends. Though Here and Nowhere Else is very much a straightforward pop-rock record, Cloud Nothings still bring an aggressive and passionate attitude to their music that makes even the most seemingly simple songs stand out against the competition.

Dave Portner, a.k.a. the guy who brings the "Animal" to Animal Collective, has a new project in motion in the form of Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, consisting of himself, Angel Deradoorian from Dirty Projectors and Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail. Enter the Slasher House is a spooky collection of art rockers that bounce and bob just like the Avey Tare we know and love, but incorporate fairly pop friendly song structures as well that lend an accessibility to Portner's bizarre yet successful aesthetic.

Lastly, the second band this week to feature the word "cloud" in their name, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, have forged an incredibly colorful and expansive sound that pushes the boundaries of what can be called pop. The songs on Rocks or Cakes all have a jubilant sense of rhythm to them, yet the snaky melodies of this Brooklyn fivesome bring to mind the abstraction of groups like Deerhoof and Dan Deacon. Whether you want to dance to it or soak it in though, Cloud Becomes Your Hand have concocted a delightfully sugary mix of experimentalism and party music.

Sam Goldner is the music director at Radio 1190. Email him at sam@radio1190.org.