Overloaded by all the “new music” options you keep hearing about? We’re here to help. Here are four songs we think you should fucking know (this week).
First off, a bit of house-keeping. For you loyal readers, we’ve got a quick new addition to #MESITAWATCH2013. My (and subsequently your) favorite act out of Colorado released a one-off single called “Forward” that is a strong follow up to the XYXY EP that was released earlier this year. While Mesita has admitted some unfortunate delays in terms of the writing/recording process, as long he continues to satiate us MesitaWatchers with songs like this, we’ll survive.
Secondly, and more importantly, you’ll notice that from now on, we’ll have a guest writer contribute one song of their choosing to the Tunes You Should Fucking Know for the week. I have carefully vetted their credentials (or they’re friends of mine…or I’m using them for a favor down the line… or they’re just a pretty girl who said she likes music and stuff…), but this will give you a chance to broaden your horizons with some different writers and their music tastes, and it will give you a chance to talk shit about someone other than me.
This week we’ve got All Things Go head-honcho Zack Friendly, and I’ve got some great writers in the pipeline, but if you/someone you know is up for the task of writing non-sequitered musical ramblings, feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected], tell me I look pretty, and, convince me why you should be a Guest Writer We Should Fucking Read.
On to the music!
- Pixies – “Bagboy”
Unfortunately, due to my relatively young age when it comes to music snobbery, I mean journalism, I wasn’t around to REALLY know the Pixies. They were passed down to me in bits and pieces from friends with cool older brothers, through indie pop-culture references, and as habitually name-dropped influences from bands I liked.
It wasn’t until around high school that a group of musically-enlighted friends that I will be forever grateful towards would play Doolittle and Surfer Rosa as we drove around town doing nothing or as we drank pilfered alcohol in basements and attics. It was then that I was really introduced to the Boston legends, and I remember it not exactly being love at first listen; I had to train my ears to appreciate Black Francis’ yowl and to discern the melodies through the static that were stemming from Joey Santiago’s buzzing guitar. But after a few years, my palette had matured and I, like my contemporaries, stretched to annex the Pixes as part of my musical heritage, even though they were realistically just before my time.
I didn’t get to experience the magic when their seminal albums were released firsthand, and I don’t know the drama all the emotional shakeups and breakups the band (and its fans) endured, but in the midst of an abundance of Pixies-related news coming this week (including Kim Deal leaving the band, a bizarro-Kim replacing her, and a European tour being announced), I do know one thing: their new single, “Bagboy,” is a pretty solid Pixies song, and I really enjoy it.
Which is scary…
Because I’ve never felt true ownership of the Pixies, I don’t know if my opinions are “right” (we all know there is no “right” and “wrong” when it comes to subjective opinions but, ya know, there kind of is sometimes). “True” Pixie fans may shit all over this, and they may probably have some very validated reasons for that (i.e. the lack of Kim Deal, Francis’ attempt to recapture lightning in a bottle, etc), or I might just be throwing my drop of water into an ocean of praise for the single. But I won’t even allow myself to click around the interweb to find out because I don’t want how I feel about this song to be tainted. It’s harkens to elements of the Pixies that I cherish, but it has a tinge of modernity that discerns it above just being a new song from an old, great band.
I did happen to see that Francis claims to have written the song, which was recorded last October and produced by Gil Norton, in a Starbucks “about a hundred feet from where, 25 years ago, [he] composed some of the lyrics to…’Break My Body,'” which gives this nostalgia-inducing single a bit of cyclical history to lean on. So while I’m not sure where this fits in the ultimate Pixies-song hierarchy, I am positive that this is going to be a staple of my summer soundtrack, and I will be eagerly awaiting the long-rumored album to come out and prove to me that Bizarro-Kim is a suitable stand-in for Mrs. John Murphy.
“Bagboy” causes more questions than it answers, but I’m anxious to see what those final answers are.
PS: For those looking to get a little more Frank Black in their lives, he’s involved with a side-project called Thriftstore Masterpiece with Pete Yorn, Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), Courtney Taylor-Taylor (The Dandy Warhols), and more equally hip people that you can check out here.
- Fatboy Slim – “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat”
I once casually mentioned a co-worker of mine named Taylor who moonlights as a DJ under the name Geedon. He’s only a year out of college, and he is my only real connection to the youthful world of EDM music. He is constantly sending me songs from “world-famous” DJs that have hundreds of thousands of Soundcloud plays, but I can’t get in to any of them. House music and Snapchat are the two things in the world that really make me feel like I’m losing my edge. As a whole, EDM makes me feel disconnected from a large audience of music listeners and uncool for feeling that disconnection.
But the other day, he sent me Fatboy Slim’s “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.”
First off, I didn’t even know Fatboy Slim was still around. Copies of “Rockafeller Skank” and “Praise You” had been buried in a mental time capsule sometime in the mid to late ’90s next to that “da da da” VW commercial and the blue Walkman alien guy who somehow got all the chicks. But apparently he’s been steadily making BEATS ever since then, including this recent gem.
A steady but enrapturing rhythm plays background to the rave equivalent of “Drinking Out Of Cups.” According to Mr. Slim’s website, he and Riva Starr were out vinyl shopping in Williamsburg (because of course they fucking were) when they ran into a random dude who was “ranting in the street about some 3 day bender he had been on (and possibly still was…) when [they] hooked hooked him into [their] serato and chopped him up into a tune.” The end result is a quirky but charming dance track that makes me want to laugh just as much as he wants to dance.
PS: For you kind-hearted souls, DJ Geedon is competing to play the Echo Stage somewhere at sometime and could use some votes. Throw some good karma his way here.
- Olympic Ayres – “Magic”
Last week, all of All Things Go was drooling over our EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE of a song called “Magic” by some band called Olympic Ayres, but I let it slide past my radar a bit and assumed it was just the hype machine’s snowball rolling down the mountain. That was, until a few days ago, when I finally decided to catch up on my homebase’s latest offerings (via the awesome Hype Machine iPhone app) and was blown away by what I heard out of the Sydney duo of Olympic Ayres.
It’s immediately apparent why ATG was all about this track; it’s everything the website collectively loves about indie pop: a slightly disco-infused style, smooth vocals that percolate across the song, a hand-clappable beat, and even a near-acapella breakdown that is meant for the latest nights of a U Hall set after the strong drinks have kicked in (and after the invading Dupont riffraff has left).
On Monday, a remix package featuring Luke Million, Night Drive, and Pharao Black magic was released that finds all the enticingly catchy elements of this song and blows them out to near-absurd proportions, solidifying what my ATG brethren knew long before I: Oympic Ayres are a pop force to be reckoned with and a group to pay attention to in the future.
The GUEST WRITER YOU SHOULD FUCKING READ: Zack Friendly Edition…
- ANG LOW – “Life Goes Down”
I was introduced to “Life Goes Down,” the debut track released by Brooklynite ANG LOW, by a close friend recently, and, after a quick listen or two (or six), it became clear that not only was “Life Goes Down” an absolute stunner, but clearly my relationship with said friend should be taken to the next level, because her grasp on my tastes is shake-weight level.
ANG LOW is the latest in a steady stream of minimalist RnB/Soul singers taking the internet by storm, following in the well-documented footsteps of Rhye, Bayou, Ofei, and, to a lesser extent, S O H N. On “Life Goes Down,” Mr. LOW focuses less on the instrumentation; using chimes, a muted bassline, and hi-hats to draw attention to his breathy vocals. It’s not a stretch to say that Low is doing his best early Seal impression, which is a compliment of the highest order.
Low croons “There will never / be another like you baby,” lamenting a lover that he may care just too much about. Relatable? Check. Mysterious? Check. Goddamn motherf*cking soulful bedroom jam you should f*cking know this week? Checkmate.