NEW TRACKS:Lykke Li - “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”
Lykke Li has done it once again, enchanting us all with her powerful vocals, though not in the way “Get Some” had you dancing. “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone” is a powerful ballad that beautifully showcases the power and emotion of this Swedish rocker’s voice, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. Lykke is definitely pulling on my heart stings with this one and I can’t wait to hear what the rest of her new album, I Never Learn, will sound like.
Certified-organic freak folkers Dr. Dog hail from Pennsylvania – probably from a big pink house if you catch our drift. The seasoned road dogs have been making bar rock awash in Americana for over a decade, and their continuing excitement for and innovation in music is refreshing. Their latest album, 2013’s B-Room, features almost 20 distinct instruments and yet their sound is tight and consistent. They have Band-meets-Big Star pop vibes and the warmest bass tone you will ever, ever experience. And yet they can be hard to pin down because they play their influences so well. Their quick wit and instrumental virtuosity can be equal parts Father John Misty and Beatles-esque, anchored by the raspy, tough, loveable vocals of Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman. Bottom line, this is a group of extremely talented, hard-working musical journeymen who are never boring and always worth a ticket.
There’s this moment when you first listen to Future Island’s “Long Flight” that makes you fall in love. You’re taken in by blinking synth chords, a driving bass, and a strange, gravelly vocal delivered by Sam Herring, and that’s all well and good. Really, it’s just what you expected after hearing your friends describe Future Islands to you last night at the bar.
Then comes the yell. A glorious, primal, almost inhuman roar denouncing love’s destroyer. Remember Wesley’s scream in the pit of despair during the water torture scene in Princess Bride? Welcome to the real life version.
If hearing that sound doesn’t make you snap up a ticket for Future Islands’ show at the Club on May 1st, I don’t know what will.
Somewhere between Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead lives Little Dragon’s new video for “Klapp Klapp”. In it, we follow the journey of one mysterious voodoo woman in her quest through pillars of pink flame and zombies to perform a dark ritual that will resurrect her dead lover.
That may seem like a lot for a 3 and half minute Little Dragon song, but the band pulls it off. “Klapp Klapp” retains a pitch black ambiance with its haunting synth/bass line and drives home its femme fatale calypso lyrics with a constant snare hit, all of which complements the anti-heroine’s sense of post-apocalyptic desperation. It turns out even dancey electronic jazz tracks have dark sides.
And now we know Little Dragon is responsible for the end of the world. Solid.
Holychild is a duo that we need to keep tabs on because their quiet beginning is moving towards something much bigger. “Every Time I Fall,” from the upcoming EP Mindspeak, is a track I can imagine hearing both on GIRLS and remixed by all of the hottest DJs within the next year. Just think CHVRCHES, but more upbeat, or Sleigh Bells but not quite as loud. Holychild recently scored a record deal with Glassnote, which will undoubtedly give this song and Mindspeak great exposure. The magic that is Holychild actually started out in DC when the two musicians met at a GWU dance class. Hopefully, they will be back in the District soon enough and we can witness this developing talent live.
Hoo boy, Death Grips. Anger distilled into industrial hip-hop with no hook, no beat, and no lyricism. Why? Apparently because they 1000% (which is a lot of percents) don’t give a fuck (on even numbered days), according to the yellow text crawl at the bottom of their video for “No Love”. Death Grips is one of those acts you have to try damn hard to like, but once you’ve allowed them to penetrate your head space, it’s tough not to see the genius beneath the madness.
The video for “No Love” does the track justice in classic Death Grips style. The green and red layering will make your eyes water but when you add the yellow text on top, it may be enough to induce vomiting. Death Grips thrives on being loud, obnoxious, and in your face with everything they do. They want to make you sick. So really, what else did you expect? Give up and love them for it.
Safe to say that emo never had an infectious smile until these Florida boys brought it back into pop culture relevance. Orlando collective You Blew It! has been garnering serious buzz after the release (and, kind of strangely, accompanying documentary) of their sophomore album Keep Doing What You’re Doing. They’ve perfected the Sunny Day Real Estate-meets-The Get Up Kids vibe: weird chords, bizarrely calming dissonance, and of course, uber-sincerity. Their latest video for “You & Me & Me” (I mean just look at the friggin’ song title, it’s like they’re emo machines here to save the genre) is utterly, perfectly 90s, down to the local access TV filter and baggy sweatshirts. Get your angst on.
The first show I ever saw at 9:30 was Tokyo Police Club in 2010 when they were touring in support of their album Champ and ever since then I’ve been eagerly waiting for some new tunes. Well, after three years, the wait is finally over and TPC has released the first single off of their forthcoming album Forcefield. “Hot Tonight” is a little different for the band with a more electronic sound than previous singles. However, lead singer David Monk’s distinctive voice provides a familiarity to the track. The lyrics still hold the wittiness and wry feel of previous TPC songs and combined with the beat, "Hot Tonight" is the perfect summer jam. Alas, winter is still upon us so turn this song all the way up and pretend that summer nights are just around the corner.
Okay, is there anything the three HAIM sisters can’t do? If you thought singing and shredding were the only things these ladies rock at, boy were you wrong. The new video for their track “If I Could Change Your Mind” shows that Danielle, Este, and Alana can also seriously dance. The choreography is fun, the girls are perfectly in-sync, and the moves match the 80s vibe of the track. And, the HAIM ladies are looking stylish as usual in black and white looks which play off awesomely against the red light and backdrop. But enough talking already. Just press play and get ready to get down.