NEW TRACKS: Flying Lotus, “Moment of Hesitation”
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.
-Asher Meerovich (@Bummertime)
NEW TRACKS: Childish Gambino, “Candler Road”
“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.
-Asher Meerovich (@Bummertime)
NEW TRACKS: Generationals, “Black Lemon”
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!
See Generationals at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, October 11!
NEW TRACKS: HOMESHAKE, “Cash Is Money”
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.
NEW TRACKS: Justin Townes Earle, “Time Shows Fools”
Alt-country man Justin Townes Earle is back with this single off his upcoming album Single Mothers. It’s an agreeable number that tumbles along over a driving drumbeat and lightly distorted guitar. The title phrase - “time shows fools” - appears throughout as a gentle note of regret and word of caution.
What stands out most about the track is Earle’s singular delivery. He moves freely between near-mumble and full-voiced singing. He can sound both tortured and confident within the span of a few bars. His phrasing is pleasantly varied, as he will sometimes stretch out syllables and other times fit as many as possible into a small space.
If you’re into fellow artists that straddle the line between rock and country (think Ryan Adams or Jason Isbell), give this one a shot. The backing has that crack-Nashville-session-player sound, and the man at the front has a good story to tell.
NEW TRACKS: Diarrhea Planet, “Spooners”
Diarrhea Planet’s bio reads, “Shred til you’re dead.” With four lead guitarists, shredding is at a constant. After releasing I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams last year, the boys are back with all the riffs we love in their newest single, “Spooners.” The song picks up right where the album left off, allowing us to feel inspired while simultaneously making us want to get into a little mischief. When it seems as though the song is ending about two minutes in, it leaves us yearning for more. Thankfully the drum kicks the song back into an explosion of energy to finish out the song in true Diarrhea Planet fashion.
While the name of the band is a bit foolish (it’s always a challenge wearing their t-shirt in public), they have formed a cult of followers. Attending one of their shows is always filled with hard hitting guitar-based jams that have heads banging all the way through, while a man in a hot dog costume plays the tambourine while eating a banana. While this sounds completely crazy, this is Diarrhea Planet. They are slowly bringing back the beautiful rock and roll one single at a time.
NEW TRACKS: Cymbals Eat Guitars, “Warning”
Cymbals Eat Guitars fans have waited three long years since the release of Lenses Aliens. After hearing the newest single, “Warning,” from their upcoming album Lose, it appears that the last month will be just about unbearable. It beholds all of the characteristics that are a necessity to their music, proving they aren’t losing steam anytime soon.
The song opens with a guitar riff almost identical to “Shore Points,” only at a quicker tempo and more aggressive. Although the song doesn’t have any extraordinary transitions that leave us in a state of surprise, which Cymbals Eat Guitars has become notorious for, it is still a mastered piece of art. With cutting lyrics that will reach right into your soul and guitars screeching to the point of detonation, Lose has quickly become one of the most anticipated albums of 2014. August 26th can’t come soon enough.
NEW TRACKS: Wampire, “Wizard Staff”
I fell in love with Wampire last year when they became the soundtrack to my fall; their debut album, Curiosity, found a spot on my top ten of 2013. After the release of their new single, “Wizard Staff,” it appears they are going to do it all over again with Bazaar, out on October 7th.
“Wizard Staff” has all of the psychedelic vibes we grew to love from their debut, but layered on top of these characteristics is the beautiful styling of the saxophone, giving off a very Unknown Mortal Orchestra sound. This may be a fairly good indicator of what the album will sound like since it is produced by UMO’s producer, Jacob Portrait.
The song itself is the perfect transition as the summer fades out and the fall slowly approaches. You could listen to it on a breezy night on the beach as the sun begins to set, or on a bike ride down a dirt road as the leaves change to red. Either way, Wampire will take over your senses and have you swaying to the beat.
NEW TRACKS: The Gaslight Anthem, “Stay Vicious”
With their latest single, “Stay Vicious,” the Gaslight Anthem take a bit of an unexpected turn. The band slows things down and introduces a hint of menace into their sound, marked by heavy guitar and an exploration of the lower register of singer Brian Fallon’s voice.
The song employs a version of the loud-soft strategy that worked so well for Nirvana and the Pixies. At the start, a snare drum calls things to order, leading into a massive wave of power chords. Fallon states his anguish with some choice lines, including, “I feel just like a murder and I feel just like a gun.” He does a good job with Mark Lanegan-esque world-weariness.
This section is balanced with another, mellower one. The guitars turn to gentle atmospherics, and Fallon sounds more lyrical. His words become more optimistic, though there’s an air of insecurity behind them. After these two sections alternate a few times, there’s even a guitar solo that wails and screams. The band sells this foray into slightly murky waters. There’s always been a tortured element to their music, and this just puts it further in the foreground. They get the hard rock nuances right, and include enough rays of light to keep the gloom from taking over.
NEW TRACKS: Chance The Rapper, “Wonderful Everyday”
Everyone who grew up watching the PBS Kids show Arthur remembers its magical theme song, “Wonderful Everyday,” written by Ziggy Marley and impressed upon the hearts of kids across America. Genre-stepping hip-hop prodigy Chance The Rapper has been performing a fantastic cover of it live recently, and last night, he released a jazzy, soulful studio version with vocal cameos from Wyclef Jean and a whole host of others.
You can just imagine the phone call that made it happen.
Chance: “Yo Wyclef, you want to sing on a song I’m putting out?”
Wyclef Jean: “What’s the song?”
Chance: “It’s the Arthur theme song.”
Wyclef Jean: “I mean, obviously.”
It’s an unexpected, delightful cover, and it feels real, real good.
-Asher Meerovich (@Bummertime)