Bryce Rudow is a friend of the All Things Go family.
Overloaded by all the “new music” options you keep hearing about? We’re here to help. Here’s several songs we think you should fucking know (this week). Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments too!
- Drop Electric: “Empire Trashed”
Remember the first time you heard “First Breath After Coma” by Explosions in the Sky? There’s that slow, gradual build and for a split-second, right around the 3:18 mark, there’s a brief rest, just enough for you to get snapped out of the trance, only for the snare and guitar to come roaring back, blowing you away with a feeling that is both overwhelming and comforting at the same time. I had that feeling listening to this song for the first time. The Jonsi-esque vocals deftly transition from something that could be on anything Jagjaguwar releases to a soft croon that rolls with the song as it grows (does that drum beat remind anyone else of something Dismemberment Plan could have done on Emergency & I?), but it’s the near-instrumental breakdown and outro that really make this song. While I’m disheartened that their Paperhaus show was cancelled, as I’ve heard they put on one hell of a live show, I will not be missing them when they roll by 9:30 Club later this month. *
*While doing my homework on the band after I wrote this, I realized I am apparently nowhere near the first person to make, of course, the Explosions in the Sky comparison, but also the Sigur Ros one as well. Oh well; it’s exactly what they sound like. And they are getting zero complaints from me for that.
- David Byrne and St. Vincent: “Who”
I mean, of course there is a funky horn line that even DFA would be jealous of…
I am young enough to only know The Talking Heads via cooler older brothers and uncles, but I have always enjoyed the living myth that is David Byrne. He is one of those people that I just assume I will one day read a biography of and immediately label as a genius that is only truly understood by a select few (Van Morrison, Marc Maron, and Chuck Klosterman are all also on this list by the way). In the meantime, I get to enjoy constantly hearing different samples of what seems to be a very interesting musical journey. Love This Giant is what I expected from Byrne, but have thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. On “Who”, he has truly mastered the art of turning layered melodies into percussion, nearly transforming a fuzz guitar into a tom drum. More importantly, however, he seems to have let Annie Erin Clark aka St. Vincent give herself permission to have fun on this album, as any semblance of her baroque-pop attitude has given way to confident near-sassiness; I can’t help but wonder if her time touring with Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards had anything to do with that as well…The album itself is well worth a few listens with a pair of good headphones and “Who” is a definitely a standout opening track.
- P.O.S. – “Bumper”
Holy. Shit. Who is P.O.S and why have I just recently heard of him? The guy is in more groups, collectives, and side-projects than I can name (though I’ve only heard of one, Gayngs). After hearing “Bumper”, he is immediately on my radar, especially his show at Rock and Roll Hotel in November. He is everything I love about punk mixed with everything I love about rap, and he immediately finds a way to latch onto the inner angst inside of the listener. The raw energy in this song is palpable, emphasized by the frenetic synth line that he melds into chaos before breaking in with venomous verses aimed at everyone and anyone who will listen (and was that a Weezy/T-Pain/DJ Khaled diss he casually threw in there?). I have no idea what to expect from his upcoming album We Don’t Even Live Here, but I sure as hell am excited about it.
- Suckers – “Turn On The Sunshine”
I defy you to watch this video and not smile.
On Suckers’ sophomore album, they have found a good way to bottle their care-free, sometimes eccentric energy into a well-crafted record. “Turn On Your Sunshine” gives a nod to the “whatever we are calling beachwave these days” genre, while still feeling more grounded than anything Best Coast or Vacationer would put out. That may be due, however, to the fact that vocalists Austin Fisher and Quinn Walker would feel at home on any college-rock station in the 90’s (not complaining by the way; The Eels for life). But enough about the music, how about this distractingly awesome video? Apparently Austin Fisher spent some time working at the MoMA, and it shows in this delightfully quirky video. The bacon dancing with the over-sized fork is a personal favorite. And now I want breakfast for dinner…
- Robert DeLong: “Global Concepts”
Okay, fair warning: The far-from-prolific Robert DeLong may be terrible. I’m not sure. I have only found two songs (not including remixes) and one, “Happy”, is just decent; however, the other, “Global Concepts”, is definitely something of a banger, even if there is a small part of me that thinks this might be an eventual guilty-pleasure. Since it’s no fair to postulate with such little evidence, it’s important to applaud DeLong’s ability to make an intriguing, fairly-complex electronic jam. The production on this is very solid, and his next release will probably do a good job in swaying me either way. In the meantime, I will enjoy this song and answer its hook’s existential question by dancing my ass off to it.