6 writers, 6 new songs you should know.
FFS “Collaborations Don’t Work”
FFS is what you might call (but what they cheekily don’t want you to call) a collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Los Angeles based rock-pop group Sparks. Their debut album is full of weird, Devo-esque, Talking Heads-esque, wonderfully strange experimental tracks. The lyrics are funny/clever/weird, the music is strange, initially it feels alienating but it’s actually all incredibly catchy. This track in particular is a culmination (subversively at track #11 out of #16) of everything going on stylistically on the record as well as a tongue-in-cheek, backwards definition of what FFS actually is. The track spans a bunch of different music styles, operatic, acoustic, jazz, cartoony classical, rock-pop, electronic etc etc. It’s all over the place but in a good way, and plays like a sampler of the styles you’ll hear throughout the album. The hook is a repetition of “Collaborations don’t work, they don’t work they don’t work/ I’m gonna do it all by myself,” and it will be stuck in your head because this collaboration works. -Melissa Groth
The woman and men behind Fort Reno have made it a historic two years in a row that they have found themselves incapable of putting together a concert series at the most fun place to see music in the city, so in honor of this event, I would like to submit Kokayi’s new R&B jam “History” for your compensating pleasure. Courtesy of House Studios, this new single featuring Mikki is yet another reminder that Kokayi was robbed in the Tiny Desk Competition. -Bryce Rudow
Jimi Charles Moody “Other Man”
In the same way the Mumfords unleashed the banjo into the vernacular of modern pop music back in 2009, Hozier has injected the blues into the mainstream. So before the organ and gospel-fusion trend becomes over-saturated, let’s enjoy Jimi Charles Moody, a shrouded Londoner who I’m fairly sure is flying under a pseudonym.
“Other Man” is a vulnerable and heartbroken blues ballad, with enough swagger to stay compelling. However popular this trend becomes, I think the organ deserves its time in the spotlight. Its cathartic, occasionally explosive but always bittersweet. Whenever the organ sneaks its way into rock, I can’t imagine why its not a permanent fixture. -Lindsay Hogan
Guantanamo Baywatch “Too Late” feat. Curtis Harding
The only ironic surfsoul band worthy of an Uncyclopedia entry, the rest of this sentence is just filler. Actually the rest of this paragraph is useless. The first 10 words nailed it. Why am I still typing? Shut up, fingers. -Peter Heyneman
Steve Gunn and the Black Twig Pickers “Trailways Ramble”
Steve Gunn’s Way Out Weather was one of my favorite records of last year, so I was excited to hear he had another album come out just a handful of months later: a collaboration with the Black Twig Pickers, an old-timey string band influenced by backwoods Americana and Appalachian folk. I’m not super familiar with their work, but from what I have heard, BPT aren’t phony or disingenuous in their performance of such an easily caricatured genre. Seasonal Hire ranges in style from otherworldly covers (“Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down”) to droney, meditative pieces like the seventeen minute title track that closes out the album. “Trailway Ramble,” my favorite song from the album, closes out Side A and is the only track on the record to prominently feature Gunn’s idiosyncratic vocals, a sort of wistful sing-speak that fits perfectly within the swirling string drone that sounds completely out of place and time. -Matt Byrne
Titus Andronicus “Fatal Flaw”
Ahead of their fourth LP The Most Lamentable Tragedy, the Titus Andronicus single roll out has delivered a constant stream of sadly energetic barstool ballads, the latest of which is “Fatal Flaw.” Frontman Patrick Stickle’s manic depression-inspired lyricism has aged well, absorbed into frothy, catchy, self defeating choruses and quasi-Springstein guitar lines. Stickles aggressively wallows, asking to demonstrate his own “fatal flaw” to the audience, but accepts the beauty of his shortcomings, accepting it pridefully as “the best thing you ever saw.” Gang vocals, string accents and honky-tonk pianos only serve to heighten the dramatically awesome nature what is sure to be, as if ordained by destiny, an equally effervescent and depressing rock opera slated for a late July release. -Connor McIneney