CURRENT: Foxygen – “How Can You Really”

Any lingering animosity over the past year has been put aside, and Foxygen is set to release a new, 24-track album, …And Star Power, later this year. They shared lead single “How Can You Really” to coincide with the album announcement, and the track finds Foxygen inhabiting the same musical realm of their 2013 breakthrough We are Ambassadors of Peace and Magic. It’s a welcome staying-the-course, with Sam France and Jonathan Rado sounding equally vital here as on previous recordings, proving the past is still ripe with exciting possibilities.

…And Star Power is out 14 October via Jagjaguwar.

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CURRENT: Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

When Beyoncé put the industry on standstill when she dropped her self-titled album in December 2013 out of the blue, marking the pinnacle of pop music’s flirtation with a more minimalist approach. Kanye West made his shortest record to date that summer, while also only announcing the album’s existence a mere month before it’s shelf date. On the opposite end of the spectrum stands Jessie J, who’s been promoting her new single “Bang Bang” for the past month. When first announced, the track turned heads due to her two collaborators, rising star Ariana Grande and the unimpeachable Nicki Minaj. The track pleasingly does not disappoint, and its bombastic, enormous chorus is impossible to ignore, while Nicki Minaj delivers another great feature, fitting in perfectly with the two belting chanteuses. “Bang Bang” is not shy in its intentions of world domination. In this instance, I’m not shy about giving in to the summer’s most explosive single.

CURRENT: Iceage – “The Lord’s Favorite”

Iceage trade in their scorched-earth sonics for something more akin to the great Girls records at the turn of the decade. “The Lord’s Favorite” keeps in line with the band’s unrelenting release strategy, following 2011’s New Brigade and last year’s You’re Nothing.

The most exciting aspect of “The Lord’s Favorite” is just how much the track marks a shift in the band’s well-executed sound, showing them to not be stationary objects, but rather a living entity capable of change. The song takes a critical look at white privilege, where all other creatures are here for their amusement. “Come here and be gorgeous for me now,” lead singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt sings on the track. Rønnenfelt successfully pushes us to see the real-life damning effects of a religious mind when he sings, “After all I think it’s evident that I am god’s favorite one / And now is the time I should have whatever I desire.” Notably absent are all the voices of those who have been led to believe they are no one’s favorite one. If the favorites get all they desire, what does that leave the majority of us?

CURRENT: Rustie – “Attak” (feat. Danny Brown)

Rustie and Danny Brown team up again for Rustie’s forthcoming LP Green Language. The new track, “Attak”, follows their collaborations on Danny Brown’s masterful 2013 album Old. This track hits harder than their Old collaborations, with Rustie’s production standing front-and-center. Danny Brown sounds as great as ever, with his intensity a reaction to the electronic assault from Rustie. This is the type of collaboration that pushes its individual pieces to incredible places, where there’s no tour guide, only the thrill of discovery.

ALBUM PREMIERES: Hooray For Earth, Jenny Lewis, and more

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One of my favorite albums of 2011 was Hooray For Earth’s debut LP, True Loves. Now, some three years later, they’re following up that release with a new one called Racy. The good folks over at Pitchfork are streaming the album now, a week before its release, via their Advance music streaming service.

Check out the album by clicking on the link below. And make sure to support the band by buying the album when it comes out, plus check for them in a city near you on their upcoming tour.

Racy, by Hooray For Earth Continue reading “ALBUM PREMIERES: Hooray For Earth, Jenny Lewis, and more”

CURRENT: Spoon – “Inside Out”

In terms of unexpected musical ventures from Spoon, “Inside Out” recalls another gem from one of this century’s best albums, to these ears at least, “The Ghost of You Lingers”, off their triumphant 2007 release Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Like that song, the percussive, icy instrumentation is a main draw, while Britt Daniel and company add layers of R&B and electronica to the track, making this one of Spoon’s most experimental songs to date. Whereas “Rent I Pay” and “Do You” served as highly rewarding answers to the question of “Where did indie rock go?”, “Inside Out” finds Spoon, indeed, working from the inside out. They Want My Soul, Spoon named their latest release. “Inside Out” is the band delivering the main entrée on a silver platter.

CURRENT: The New Pornographers – “War On the East Coast”

Following the triumphant “Brill Bruisers”, The New Pornographers unleash the second single from Brill Bruisers, “War on the East Coast”. Dan Bejar of Destroyer fame takes on the vocals on the thrilling track, which serves as further proof that their forthcoming LP (out 25 August) should be one of the year’s best.