Bryce Rudow is a contributing writer for All Things Go
Overloaded by all the “new music” options you keep hearing about? We’re here to help. Here’s five songs we think you should fucking know (this week). Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments too.
- The 1975 – “Sex”
There is nothing better than a good mystery…
A few days ago, my friend Claudia sent me an email with some good song recommendations (I love these, by the way. If you have something you think everyone should fucking know, send it to [email protected]) and included in it was a song called “Sleep” by the band 1975. The Jimmy Eat World-reminiscent pop anthem sounded incredibly familiar, but according to their Soundcloud, the song was only posted a few weeks ago. Not one to let nagging thoughts lie, I did a little Googling, only to discover that they are, in fact, the renamed B I G S L E E P (and thank God because that was a pain in the ass to type, with all respect to the great 1936 novel of the same name) which the wonderful music blog Sloane Ranger had posted about in May of 2011. I assume it has something to do with the fact that The Big Sleep is already the name of a band from Brooklyn, but it doesn’t really matter what these four guys from London call themselves, as long as they continue to release catchy, saccharin power-pop like this. The shimmery guitar riffs and pounding drums coast along with a melodic vocal line that, while sugary, is a treat to listen to.
* Fun Fact/Possible Coincidence: During my internet sleuthing, I learned about the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 and like to think that’s how they came up with the new name.
- Yellow Ostrich – “Ghost”
For anyone that was under a rock when Yellow Ostrich released their breakout 2011 album The Mistress, only to follow it up a year later with the matured, complex Strange Land, let me be the first person to tell you that Yellow Ostrich are without a doubt one of the most talented up-and-coming bands I have heard in a long time. Songs on Strange Land like “Daughter” and “Marathon Runner” proved that Alex Schaaf and his Brooklyn bandmates could delve deep in the sonic waters, but the title track off their new EP, “Ghost,” is a testament to the amount of work they have put in crafting their songwriting. The compressed percussion, simple keyboard play, and reverbed electric guitar help carry the spectral vocals across the barren landscape of this song to perfection. The six-song EP comes out October 22rd, and they will be playing Black Cat on October 27th. Trust me, they are worth delaying your “Saturday night of Halloween weekend” plans a few hours.
- Youngblood Hawke – “Forever”
I’m conflicted. This song is catchy as hell, and I’m fairly certain Youngblood Hawke are about to blow up, so you should probably know about them, but I have an inclination that they are so accessible, so polished, and so marketable that this is going to be like posting about fun. right before “We Are Young” (A side rant/thought: Nate Ruess of fun. is unfairly talented, and The Format were unabashedly the soundtrack to my high school days, but, ironically, because of their mainstream success, he will never be truly respected or appreciated. I shed a single emo tear for him). With “Forever,” Youngblood Hawke has checked all the boxes for an indie pop single, including the singalong phrases, the simple guitar riffs, the jubilant drums, and the whimsical lyrics. According to their Tumblr, Youngblood Hawke “captures the sound of friends mid-journey”, and if I had to put money on it, that journey is going to end with a radio single and a spot opening up for Nate and his bandmates in the near future.
- Naytronix – “In The Summer”
Coming from the uber-creative brain of Nate Brenner, the bassist of tUnE-yArDs (another pain in the ass to type), I present to you Naytronix. His album, which brings to mind shades of early Beck, Dirty Projectors, and even Black Moth Super Rainbow, was just released and is currently streaming via Filter Magazine. “Robotic” has been out since this summer, but it’s nice to hear his full, eclectic body of work. Naytronix finds a nice balance between spaced-out groove and wavy pop, blending the line between futuristic experimentation and vintage beats. It’s exciting to see something so unexpectedly different come out of the tUnE-yArDs camp, and I’m eager to give this album the full listen-through it deserves.
- LASERS – “Porto”
It’s easy for ambient electro to be boring, repetitive, or downright forgettable, but when it’s done right, it’s one of my favorite genres of music. LASERS (and his eponymous EP) is hardly a pioneer of the sub-genre, but he accomplishes crafting understated but enticing songs that use near-glitch beats to create a nice ebb-and-flow rhythm. I discovered the album thanks to The Hygenic, and “Porto,” my personal favorite off the EP, reminds me of one of my favorite Mount Kimbie songs, “Maybes,” especially due to its ability to calm yet excite at the same time. I will be keeping my eye out for LASERS in the future to see where he goes from here.