I haven’t been this excited about new music since I’ve been doing this blog. There’s a lot of heavy hitters putting out amazing albums, a refreshing and diverse change of pace after 2009’s Animal Collective/Grizzly Bear/Dirty Projectors monopoly. The National, The Hold Steady, Joanna Newsom, Dum Dum Girls, and Broken Social Scene have obviously all been on heavy rotation lately. Plus, I’m already itching for new records from Beach Fossils, Wavves, The Books, Cloud Nothings, Best Coast, oh my goodness, too many to name. But you already know about most of those guys. The National are everyone and the album is good and you certainly don’t need me to tell you that. I’ve been a little slack this week about posting (good shows have been lite – everyone seems to be out on tour), but here are four notable songs that have caught my attention in the past month or so. All very different, and a little more obscure for you, just in case you do end up getting tired of putting High Violet on repeat.
I found out about White Wires from a brief post by Bill Pearis on BrooklynVegan. They’re from Canada, and Pearis describes them as “seriously awesome.” Apparently the live show is full of energy, which makes sense because this rock and roll track makes me want to dance. “Pretty Girl” would be a great song for the scene in the movie where it’s finally the big high school dance, maybe a contemporary movie that’s set in the 60s. It won’t blow your mind or anything, but it’s a great rocker to throw on a party playlist or jam out to in the party-filled summer days that are fast approaching.
Mutual Benefit I found through Microphone Memory Emotion. “Here” is almost entirely just vocals and guitar, though it does get a bit more complicated in the end. It’s small and precious and beautiful. It inhabits a really tiny space; the song is comforting in the way that sometimes your bed is when you wake up and for some reason it’s extra comfy that day. A really private, small thing, but beautiful nonetheless. That’s what this song feels like. You can download a few more of Mutual Benefit’s songs here for free (the EP artwork is pictured above).
If White Wires could be in a 60s teen movie, then Buffalo Moon could be on the soundtrack for a 50s surf film. “Beach Boy” starts off with some borderline whiny vocals, lovely backing organ, and a very familiar chord progression. The song plays on the same musical tropes that a song like “Teen Angel” from Grease does. Two thirds of the way through the song, though, there’s a truly wonderful and unexpected break with woodwinds and a few other instruments, and the song becomes quite a lot more than I had anticipated. Plus, the voice settles into itself and actually becomes a bit addictive. I’ve listened to this song a bunch of times in the same way that I listened to Best Coast constantly when I first heard the group. I think you’ll either love or hate this track, and if you hate it, give it a few listens to grow on you.
Last but not least is Eric Copeland with “Fun Dink Death.” Copeland is part of Black Dice, a wonderful, fun experimental group that I really love but have never posted about on this blog before for fear that they might be a bit inaccessible for some. There’s a wonderful sense of play to their songs, and I think that carried over perfectly to this solo track from Copeland. Anyone will like this track, especially if you’re into bands like Garotas Suecas or even Panda Bear. It’s a lot of fun and is another great track to add to your summer dinner party playlist.