Because she may be young, but No. 27 on our list proves she’s done her post-punk homework.
For weeks after Maura introduced me to former Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley’s second solo album The Deep Blue, I couldn’t figure why I was digging on her punchy new wave quite so hard, at least until a Google search revealed that Hatherley is as smitten with bookworm Brit-rockers XTC as I am. (Probably moreso, considering only one of us has gone so far as to collaborate with members of the band.) But while much of The Deep Blue floats its way through dreamy mid-tempo ballads, the galloping “Very Young” hews more towards the jittery, jerky end of the Swindon boys’ sound. That break around 1:50 where the rhythm suddenly shifts into an even faster and more fidgety quasi-disco beat is so young Andy Partridge, but Hatherley’s not totally beholden to the early ’80s (or abandoned her Ash roots), because when I first heard her zig-zagging guitar on the song’s intro all I could think was “Marnie Stern gone mall punk.”