4 writers, 4 new songs you need to know.
Girlpool “Before The World Was Big”
It’s rare you come across something as immediately infectious as Girlpool. The 18 and 19-year old Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, respectively, seem to have captured lightning in a bottle with their unique sound — a guitar, a bass, no drums, vocal melodies that feel ripped from Cap’n Jazz-era punk.
Their debut EP got them some high praise from the likes of the Guardian and LA Weekly last fall, but this new single “Before The World Was Big” is the duo at their best, torturously sweet and tragically nostalgic. It’s the first single from their new LP of the same name out this week, but for those that already can’t get enough, you can order the album here. -Bryce Rudow
Louis Weeks “Fire”
Louis Weeks has an album coming out in a few weeks. And upon first listen I was eager to label it “in the style Paul Simon’s late 80s comeback” or something comparably digestible. And while I still hold that, the simply named, haha is a great intelligent pop album, it plays with so many sounds and textures that it can’t be pigeonholed into a single comparison. I heard some Age of Adz Sufjan in there with a healthy dose of Phillip Glass horn arrangements. The first single, “Fire” is almost too upbeat until the playfully discordant horns kick in and give it a great layer of complexity. “Fire” is smitten pop (got me singing along to “I burn for you in a way that songs can never do”) sharing the stage with some real intriguing post-modern musical arrangements.
When the album come out June 2nd, I highly recommend checking out “White Moth” and “People You Don’t Know.” But if you can’t wait until then, Louis is hosting his album release show at the Howard Theater next week on the 28th with Aural Fixations darlings, Fellow Creatures. Maybe its the horns (have mentioned that I like the horns) or perfectly toed line between romantic pop and experimentation, but I can tell this album needs to be seen live. -Lindsay Hogan
Hop Along “Happy To See Me”
“Happy To See Me” is not a representative track from the newest Hop Along LP, Painted Shut, released last month on Saddle Creek. The rest of the record is fairly upbeat and features a full band backing singer/songwriter Frances Quinlan’s singular, idiosyncratic vocals and off-kilter song structures. “Happy To See Me,” the album’s stripped down centerpiece, recalls Quinlan’s earlier “freak folk” days when her band was called Hop Along, Queen Ansleis and she played basement shows and DIY spaces opening for math punk and stoner metal bands or whatever. While my favorite track on this album changes by the day, nothing else on the album cuts deeper or more precisely than this one. -Matt Byrne
Jamie xx feat. Young Thug & Popcaan “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”
“I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” was the third single from Jamie xx’s recently released In Colour and it may be one of the first alternative hip-hop singles in months that really broke the mold. An old school Persuasinons’ sample played against his iconic post-dub production, Jamie xx fully integrates a sense of bold genre mashing; Young Thug’s lyrical ridiculousness only helps to compliment 2015’s first complex club banger. While hip-hop has thematically focused on darker themes this year, between Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt’s recent releases, it’s refreshing to hear a hopeful voice assure us that good times are ahead. -Connor McInerney