Four writers, four new songs you need in your life.
Yo La Tengo “Friday I’m in Love”
Yo La Tengo might be my favorite band. They have so many albums and I love them all a lot. Their new record, called Stuff Like That There, celebrates the band’s 30th anniversary with a bunch of cover songs and reworking of tracks from their back catalog. It’s a pretty uniformly stripped down record, with a lot of acoustic instrumentation and pretty tight, concise song structures, which is a departure from their last few albums, which usually had at least one or two extended drone/noise jammers. This cover of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” from the album is total delight and the video, directed by the insanely talented Jason Woliner, is the best music video I’ve seen in ages, taking the simple pleasures of the cover song in an absurdly dark direction. – Matt Byrne
CHVRCHES “Leave A Trace”
We are living in hyper-speed. The amount of data we consume in a week was a lifetime’s worth of knowledge only not so long ago. The rate at which social progress is made at this country is exponential. The fastest moving gear in this Hyper Machine, though, is the musical blogosphere.
It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating “The Mother We Share”, CHVRCHES breakout single (http://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/tunes-you-should-fcking-knowthis-week-17.htm), but really, it’s been 3 years since that song broke and with the many similar-sounding detractors, CHVRCHES’ sound feels played out and tragically unhip.
That’s what makes “Leave A Trace” their last-gasp at relevancy such a heartbreaker. They needed to prove they were revamped, refreshed and back ahead of the musical curve, but I liked this song better the first time I heard it when it was called “Into the Woods.”
Doc Brown, CHVRCHES needs u. -Bryce Rudow
Tame Impala “Eventually”
Tame Impala’s third album came out last week, and they consistently deserve a little of our time. Currents is a departure from the band’s revered rock sound and wades deeper into the psychedelic, electronic side of their music. But this is not some “Mumford ditching the banjo” idiocy. The artistic decisions made by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker have always been meticulous, obsessive and satisfying. Tame Impala shifted gears on this one to create more than a few fascinating dance tacks. But they retain the band’s ability to transfix and transport the listener, à la “Feels Like We Only go Backwards.”
And while Currents has its share of sluggish slow-jams, “Eventually” is the track that’s growing on me the most. It balances the band’s ability to write relaxed music that moves from spacey to pulsating to anthemic within the length of a song. Like a lot of Tame Impala’s music, “Eventually” deftly mixes yearning and desperation with escapism. Its dreamy as ever, but with one introspective foot planted firmly in reality. -Lindsay Hogan
Flying Saucer Attack “Instrumental 4”
After fifteen years in hiatus, Flying Saucer Attack has triumphantly returned with Instrumentals 2015. Though from Bristol, England, the band’s D.I.Y. philosophy is so very D.C. Like most of their pervious work, this new album was recorded directly to cassette and CD-R at Dave Pearce’s home. But the grainy quality of the production serves only to enhance the music’s ethereal mood. “Instrumental 4” is eerily cinematic, which is one of the best possible characteristics for a ambient post-rock song—I mean the whole reason this kind of music is so often described as atmospheric is because these experimental soundscapes tend to bring to mind vast, expansive landscapes. This is the kind of music that provides the aural space necessary for the mind to roam. For me, listening to “Instrumentals 4” brings to my mind the image of an astronaut exiting from a space pod and beginning to explore the surface of some unknown planet, very cautiously. Also, if you were in need of sometime to fall asleep to I’d highly recommend this album. -Zeke Leeds