Bass Drum of Death’s newest track from their upcoming LP, Rip This, is called “For Blood.” This song will add a nice touch to the album since it differs from previously released tracks. In just a short, two and a half minutes, the song alternates between a pattern of rambunctious drums and guitar riffs, coupled with John Barrett’s addictive and catchy voice. The song not only continues to capture these southern guys’ classic sound of pure, vociferous rock, but adds depth by alternating between lyrics brooding about past hangovers and raucous instrumentals.
NEW TRACKS: Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - “Human Sadness”
"Human Sadness" is dark, abstract, and spans a whopping 11 minutes. While this is still Julian Casablancas, he certainly contrasts his work compared to what he showcases in short and vibrant Strokes songs. The length and content of this song are beautiful, with great sound effects including distorted guitar riffs. I love the distinct turns that this song takes, from muted and lonely to loud and powerful. It is great to hear Casablancas’ voice take on a new project with the Voidz. Luckily, we have only a few more weeks until we are able to hear all of the uniqueness that Tyranny is sure to bring when the album drops on September 23rd.
From their new album, El Pintor, Interpol take us on a trip to “The Depths.” Yes, Paul Banks does a bit of lyrical wallowing, but the actual sound of the track is pretty sleek and shiny. It has a lot of distinctively Interpol elements, with some slight differences.
Drummer Sam Fogarino kicks things off with a meaty beat, four-on-the-floor with a handful of tasteful inflections. Guitarist Daniel Kessler adds some drawn-out chords, covered in reverb. There’s more space in the mix than in the past, likely due to the group now only having one guitarist. It’s a little more U2 than Television, at least from an instrumental perspective.
On the vocal side, Banks remains reliably deadpan. When he sings of being “out selling bibles to babies,” you have to appreciate his commitment. And he has a way of making existential ennui sound compelling, rather than listless. You’re right there with him, lost and adrift in the big city but as resolutely cool as ever.
Brooklyn-based group HAERTS is seriously on a roll. After releasing their first track just last year, the four-piece has toured with amazing groups like Shout Out Louds and released an awesome EP produced by Jean-Philip Grobler of St. Lucia. And it’s no surprise that the group has already met so much success. HAERTS’ incredible sound is smooth and modern but still feels inspired by synthy ’80s artists. The band’s newest release, “Giving Up,” is the perfect example of this past/present melding. A Modern English-esque background track is given new life by Nini Fabi’s clear voice and the band’s beautiful lyrics. The song embodies soaring electro-pop with a moving chorus and an unbelievably catchy bridge. HAERTS has announced that their debut record will come out October 28, and if “Giving Up” is any indication of what’s ahead, release day cannot come soon enough.
The first Foxygen track from the new album, “How Can You Really,” was catchy and bright. When I heard the newest single, “Cosmic Vibrations,” I was impressed by the range of Foxygen’s talent. “Cosmic Vibrations” is slower, lo-fi and a little more ominous. It seemed like the song captured the psychedelic rock powers of both contemporaries and predecessors, like Tame Impala and The Doors. I love that the song begins with an indiscriminate mix of sounds and beautifully transitions to a quieter level, incorporating many fantastic riffs and lyrics over the course of the five-minute song. This single takes us one eccentric step further into the 82-minute album, …And Star Power, that will be released next month.
We can pretty much count on ATO Records to turn out a steady stream of great roots-oriented garage rock. The latest from these fine folks is Benjamin Booker, a New Orleans-based blues punker (influences include The Gun Club and T. Rex). His song “Violent Shiver” is just off-kilter enough to feel like true rock and roll. It tumbles out of your speakers with manic blues licks and passionately shouted choruses giving way to soulfully muttered verses. Keep an eye on this one.
BBC Radio 6 recently saw electronic wizard Flying Lotus give show host Gilles Peterson a preview of his upcoming fifth album, You’re Dead!, due out October 7th. During the interview, Flying Lotus discusses his new work on the album, including collaborations with Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. The track he previewed, “Moment of Hesitation,” features jazz legend Herbie Hancock on keys. “Herbie was like my grandpa,” FlyLo chuckles, “and he was really into the music.” You’re Dead! is, at its core, a jazz album, translated through FlyLo’s signature electronic manipulations.
The all-too-brief snippet of “Moment of Hesitation” features twinkly keyboard work, swirling around what sounds like a beat made of drum brushes. It’s smooth as the night sky, and instantly makes you crave to hear more of it.
Listen to the interview and the clip of the song here.
Flying Lotus brings his cosmic electro-magic to the Lincoln Theatre on 10/13! Get tickets here.
“Candler Road” could be a Because The Internet b-side, except it’s too disillusioned to do anything except stand alone. Glover’s dark seriousness is miles away from the lighthearted bravado of ROYALTY, feeling like bottled up fury in the face of injustice. The first minute is pure word mastery, bordering on a rant of his own skill despite the hardships piled up by the people around him. After the beat shifts, we hear his playful side come out, mimicking a choral hook, before diving right back into the heaviness of the second verse. His voice is taut and anxious, strong as ever, not messing around. The beat gets more intense, too, dropping into space-age waves of synth. Even the light falsetto hook he jokes with sounds great. The song has two distinct halves: the first feels more Drake or Big Sean, with more typical beat work; the second is more classic Gambino. Both are fiery. This is Glover in top form, and if it’s any indication, his next release will be the most intense he’s ever produced.
The Generationals’ new track, “Black Lemon,” is just what we need to hang on to these last moments of summer. As with everything that Generationals produces, “Black Lemon” is sweet, easy-going, and upbeat. I’ve been following this duo for a while now (my first ever Half Past blog post was about Generationals and how much they rock) and with each album, Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer polish their retro pop foundation even more. Get psyched because album number four, Alix, comes out 9/16!
The night of Mac Demarco’s show in late-July was one to remember. Mac and his touring band (+closest friends) are notorious for being outrageously goofy; their show at 9:30 was no exception. About halfway through the show there were Celtic riddles, a cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow,” and a heavy dose of bromance. The secret weapon of the band is the mega-cutie lead guitarist, Peter Sagar. After watching him perform that night, it was evident how talented of a musician he is.
As it turns out, Peter actually has a side project, which is just as quirky, more experimental, and highlights his massive amount of musicianship. The band is called HOMESHAKE and they released “The Homeshake Tape” last year. If you are like me and overlooked this album, it is in your best interest to check it out; it could easily become your favorite album of the year.
A new single has just been released, “Cash Is Money;” hopefully a sign that another album is in progress. The song inherits the perfect combination of the quirkiness of Mac Demarco and the simplicity of fellow Captured Tracks artist, Chris Cohen. While there are certainly a couple complex guitar and bass riffs, Peter Sagar doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is refreshing and much needed in the music industry. If you’re super stressed out, listen to “Cash Is Money,” and that tension will inevitably decompose.