NEW TRACKS: Eleanor Friedberger - ‘She’s A Mirror’
You either relate to Eleanor Friedberger pretty completely or you don’t get her at all. You either appreciate narrative in song or you just want to dance. You either dig horn section breakdowns or they remind you of crying babies in movie theaters. You either love the control in her voice or, well, you just don’t, and probably think it comes off pretentious.
Well file me into the first group. AND I’m all about the nuances in her presentation as well. In this song, “She’s a Mirror,” off her soon to be released album, Personal Record, there is barely any indication of perspective. I love nothing more then not knowing exactly what to think of her lyrics. They’re so well put together that they make you guess and question not only the song but also yourself. Talk about being reflective.
Performing live at U Street Music Hall on June 27th.
Indie band Hockey seamlessly blends a variety of musical influences into a whirlwind of rock, electronica, new wave and hints of reggae in their new track “Wild Style.” Lead singer Ben Wyeth has a lazy drawl that floats along the song’s easy melody, murmuring the chorus “You got that wild style.”
It’s a change from the genre-bending last album, 2009’s soulful Mind Chaos. The latest release, Wyeth IS is out now, taking new and old fans on an experimental journey. Catch the band at U Street Music Hall on May 17, with co-headliner, The Hush Sound!
Sun-summoning folk fun in this new track from Futurebirds of their latest album, Baba Yaga, sure to get your week moving in the right direction. WARNING: dancing at your desk, and purchasing of tickets for their May 23rd show likely to occur, and well, frankly, encouraged.
Tickling piano and an electronic groove that reminds us of an ‘If I Ever Feel Better’-era Phoenix, you can’t help but sway to this simplistic and sweet tune from the Norwegian duo. Throw this on your next party mix and prepare to watch everyone Shazaam it within the first 20 seconds.
NEW TRACKS: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - ‘Animal X’
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds seem to be having a bout of existentialism on their latest single, “Animal X.” Nick Caves, sing-speaking over a minimal backdrop, narrates the story of a girl, Animal X, who falls in love with Animal Y as if brought together by fate. However, the pair can’t seem to make it work as the lyrics describe their inability to fit together, despite their rebellious insistence that “They can build their gods way up high, they can build their gods, but they don’t own the sky.” The result is haunting and ambiguous, but definitely worth a listen.
NEW TRACKS: Earl Sweatshirt - (Live Untitled New Track)
There are few rappers that have been shrouded in as much mystery as Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future Wolf Gang. All of 19 years old, the LA native has already been compared to the likes of Nas and Tupac, after releasing only one album (2010’s Earl), then disappearing from the spotlight when his mother sent him to a boarding school in Samoa. After his time there, he came back doper than ever, unleashing his lyrical swagger on the track “Oldie” on the Odd Future collaboration The OF Tape Vol. 2. Now he’s building up the anticipation for his sophomore effort Doris, which is still without a release date.
He debuted a new, untitled track at the Mayfest music festival a few days ago, igniting the already amped-up crowd. His flow is as at its rambling best, whipping out lyrics like “In the belly of the monster/With a duffel full of truffles” and lines echoed by Wu-Tang leader RZA, who also features on the track, and reportedly produced the song. The beat is light in nature, especially compared to one of Sweatshirt’s last singles, the introspective “Chum,” which showcased his insecure side, opening with lyrics about missing his father and being “too black for the white kids/and too white for the blacks.” If these songs are any indication, Doris is going to take him one step closer to the Nas and Tupac hype.
The 23-year-old indie darling is back with the first single off of her highly anticipated May release ‘Once I Was An Eagle.’ Slightly more upbeat than usual, the twangy instrumentals are a neat contrast to Marling’s voice, which digs deep in its low ranges to produce a chilled out, creeping sound that is at the same time as effortless as anything Marling has ever done. She certainly has mastered more than just hunting with this stellar track!
Refusing to stick to the status quo, MGMT’s contribution to Record Store Day this year was a cassette containing “Alien Days”. Acting as the lead single for the band’s self-titled third album, the new track is in line with what we saw on their 2010 release, Congratulations. VanWyngarden seems to lose his mind as he’s flying through psychedelic cosmos, sharing vocal duties with young children. Between the lasers flying by, grinding amp feedback, and eerie synths, it’s hard to blame him. For those of us without cassette players, “Alien Days” has also made its way to Soundcloud. It’s officially time to start getting excited about MGMT again.
Wild Nothing’s new song, “A Dancing Shell” sounds like some 1980s Huey Lewis And The News, palm tree, beach-drenched, shenanigans… Where Huey would use back-up vocalists, Wild Nothing implores vocal effects to add dynamics. The song crescendos in on a never ending syncopated hi-hat that keeps you moving the whole time. And then just like Mr. Lewis and his News, the breakdown is filled with all kinds of squelching synths that might as well be sax.
The video itself is oozing retro. The animation style reminds me of pre-CGI madness, when it was design and sharp angles that ruled. The kitschy aspects come together and don’t feel forced and relate to the music perfectly. Think about Patrick Nagel and Duran Duran and Rio. These stylings definitely deserve to be brought around again and what perfect timing than on the cusp of summer.
“I’m not a human / I’m just a body / just a dancing shell / here to make you happy / I have no feeling / I have no thoughts / I have to make you love me / watch me now watch me.” Oh, Wild Nothing… we already love you and were ready to dance too!
NEW TRACKS: Jimmy Eat World - ‘I Will Steal You Back’
With the release of their eighth full-length album Damage on June 11, Arizona-based emo band Jimmy Eat World’s indie era will cease, as they have signed with Toronto-based record label Dine Alone Records. That being said, the first released single “I Will Steal You Back” is exactly what we have come to expect from these guys. The sound is cleaner and more grown-up than they perhaps sounded on their first album in 1994, but their lyrics, “Funny how the smallest lie / Might live a million times / I will steal you back,” possess the same melancholy they did fourteen years ago. Maybe they have grown more insightful about the nature of human relationships with age, but so too have their fans: it’s as if we’ve grown up together.