Ween “Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain”
This song gets that it’s a new year and I want to figure some of my shit out but it’s hard and I need help. And whiskey tastes good.
Fleet Foxes “Mykonos”
I just want to be sitting under the hot sun on any Greek Island, Mykonos will do.
Simple Plan “I’m Just a Kid”
When I was in 7th grade, the kid whose locker was next to mine made a bunch of his friends Simple Plan mix CD’s for Christmas. He had a few left over and offered me one as we were leaving school for winter break. From that point on, I became absolutely obsessed with them and listened to that CD nonstop for the next couple months. This morning, while I was eating breakfast, I started singing this song completely out of the blue and as loud as I possibly could. Sorry neighbors.
2013 was a landmark year for Lady Lou Reeds. Cat Le Bon, Jenny Hval, and the ladettes of Könsförrädare all turned out wordy, witty, talk-sing-y songs with swinging twee beats and white heat guitars that continue to further the case that declaiming your dissatisfaction in flat tones works whether you’re a grunt from the Island, a bedroom giant from NZ or a Swedish blonde with an MFA. But literally yesterday I bumped into the best of the bunch, which I inexplicably missed during the actual calendar year: Courtney Barnett. Everything about her double EP is great, tasteful guitaring, tambo-snare snaps, woozy backups, but obviously with a LLR the key to perfection is the word-writing and damn she is wicked good at it. Especially on the lead single Avant Gardener, where she declaims rather than sings, her voice hitting the perfect dry space in-between notes, chopping internal rhymes and slant rhymes like a rapper, making the mundane seem world-historical like Dylan on Snapchat, and capturing the self-mocking angst of those of us who suspect we are not that good at being alive. Rock it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcnIhzaDTd0
Star Slinger “IV”
Mostly, I’ve been listening to the new Star Slinger. The UK-based producer’s new EP is full of lush R&B samples that warm the soul. Happy, bright, and cheerful—it’s everything winter is not.
Lower Dens “Brains”
Jana Hunter is so, so badass. Reminded of this beautiful track while watching the video accompanying her guest turn on Trentemøller’s “Gravity” today. A perfect, pulsing pop track showcasing Hunter’s haunting vocal chops.
G-Unit “U Should Be Here”
Lead track off 50’s classic re-introduction to the rap world post-shooting, 2002’s 50 Cent Is The Future – available at your local barber shops and knock off clothing stores back in the day. The first in a long line of Ice Cube style jackin’ for beats, hindsight shows he knew his way around a hook well before “In Da Club” as he slays Raphael Saadiq’s “Be Here.” He’ll never be accused of being the wittiest with wordplay but unwavering confidence and aggression took him to a quarter billion payday from Coke/Vitamin Water.
I’ve been scrambling over the course of the past few weeks to do my due diligence on everything released or leaked in 2014. Because once ceo’s Wonderland hits my hard drive, it’s going to be “goodbye, outside world” and “hello, Swedish pop k-hole.” I knew it was going to be bad when he teased the album last year. I’ve been there before with him. White Magic and A New Chance consumed portions of my life. They burned starfish-shaped holes into my cerebellum. But after hearing “Whorehouse” and now “Wonderland”, I’m starting to get a little scared. There’s a new depth of sound in play. This stuff is making White Magic sound like a demo reel – and I fucking loved that record. I don’t know if my brain can process a whole record this gorgeous. “Wonderland” is six minutes long and I can’t stop listening to it. “I felt like opened Pandora’s box. And now I have to close it.”
The Men “Pearly Gates”
Another six-minute track, this one of the shit-kicking variety. I know some of The Men’s original fans are bound to be disappointed by the band’s falling in love with the AM dial and the decision to clean up it’s sound, but, what can I say? I love it. Fuck fuzz. “Pearly Gates” is still on fire. Whoever is remaking Patrick Swayze’s “Road House” would be wise to just loop this in the background for two hours.
The Notwist “Kong”
Sub Pop isn’t isn’t releasing The Notwist’s Close to the Glass until the end of next month, but, you know, it’s out there, floating in ether. Or so I’m told. If I had heard it, I’d tell you that it’s third track, “Kong”, is an absolute stunner. It’s the kind of track manages to be a number of conflicting things – defiant and defeated, anthemic and restrained, warm and metallic – without being a mess. Few bands pull that off as well as The Notwist. They’re a group that I never realize how much I missed until they reenter the picture. The first time the strings drop at the 3:19 mark, I literally laughed out loud it was so good. Or so I dreamed.
Want to travel far away to a sonic land no one has ever been? Listen to SUM/ONE, the solo debut from Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw. Listen to album favorites Bricks and (F.U.T.D.) Time of Waste featuring Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor SUM/ONE is entertaining, funky background music.
I like the syncopation and the choppy vocals. It’s not too distracting to listen to while doing something else; you’ll find yourself subconsciously nodding along to the beat while you go about your day. Great work music.
Flume ft. T-Shirt “On Top”
I listen to this on the way to BYT most days. I have two 12-inch subwoofers in the back of my car and this song sounds great through them; it’s on my wake up playlist.
ODESZA “Keep Her Close”
Every single time I listen to this song it makes me want to dance. There’s a dreamy quality to it – the melody and vocals are light and slippery. I love the constant layering; it doesn’t feel forced and all the transitions are silky smooth.
This St. Louis band combines post-rock and emo in a way that’s gorgeous and heartbreaking.
Wild Beasts “Wanderlust”
Wild Beasts have been my favorite indie band since 2009’s Two Dancers, so I’m excited that their new single takes a darker, almost gothic turn.