Cat Power Takes a Tour of ‘Manhattan’

Cat Power’s latest album, Sun, was a sonic wonderland, and one of the best tracks was a love letter to her adopted home of New York City. Naturally, the second single from the album gets a lovely video. Watch as Chan Marshall roams the Manhattan streets by foot, by train, and by the roof of a car. There are a few amazing sights on display: the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Max Fish on the Lower East Side, a busker in the Union Square subway station, and even a Cat Power billboard. 

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Cat Power Sings For Kids, Has Inevitable Breakdown

Remember when Chan Marshall—otherwise known professionally as Cat Power—casully mentioned she’d like to audition for Saturday Night Live? I’ve seen her freak out on stage before, although definitely not as bad as some of her more notorious on-stage meltdowns (friends of mine have told tales of seeing her play shows with her back to the audience before walking off in the middle of her set), so I can’t imagine how she’d fare on live TV every week. But who knows, maybe her Miley Cyrus impression would rival Vanessa Bayer’s. She has the hair for it, after all. The folks at Funny or Die pretty much made a stellar audition tape for Marshall, who shows up in a new sketch in which she performs classic songs for second graders. As expected, everyone feels weird by the end. 

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Cat Power’s “Cherokee” Video: A Zombie Laser Tag Apocalypse

Cat Power’s new album, Sun, is the first album of new material from Chan Marshall (and, thankfully, a reprieve from her smokey blues stage that she’s been stuck in since 2006’s The Greatest). The first music video from the album is for "Cherokee," Sun’s first track. Roaming through the desert with bleached, spikey hair, it looks like Marshall is channeling Roxette’s visual aesthetic as well as embracing a synth-heavy sound on her new record. And it fits nicely with the post-apocalyptic laser tag battle against zombies in which she finds herself caught in the middle. 

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The New Cat Power Album Is Great, Streaming Online Now

Yesterday, we told you about a bunch of shiny, exciting new albums coming out this fall from some of our favorites, including Kendrick Lamar and The xx. One of the most anticipated of the bunch is Sun, the new effort from Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, her first full-length of new, original material since 2006’s acclaimed The Greatest. And you can listen to the whole thing! Right now! From the shimmering, sun-drenched opener “Cherokee” to the soulful piano ditty “3,6,9” to the darker, crunchy closer “Peace and Love,” it’s definitely worth a listen.

Sun will be released on Matador on September 3rd in the United Kingdom and September 4th in the States. If you want to hear it now though and have it at the ready for your eventual post-Labor Day weekend hangover, listen to the whole thing streaming over at The Guardian, or revisit the album’s catchy first single, “Ruin” (also a nice geography lesson with all the locations name-dropped), below.

Listen Up: Fall New Releases Roundup

Summer may be coming to a close, with hemlines dropping and day-drinking becoming less socially acceptable, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop—at least not where your ears are concerned. With the changing of seasons comes the best-of-the-best music releases to help ease the pain of summertime withdrawals. With choice efforts from phoenix-like indie goddess Cat Power, who did some major soul-searching and self-inventing on her latest album, swagger-centric hip-hop head A$AP Rocky who’s destined for mainstream acclaim, to the unusual pairing of an art-rock veteran and an indie darling sonic ingénue, this year’s must-listen albums run the gamut of aural awesomeness. Without further ado, tantalize your ears with our editor-approved picks of the season.

A$AP Rocky – LongLiveA$AP
Named after one-half of the legendary rap duo Eric B and Rakim, A$AP Rocky (neé Rakim Mayers) dominated the headphones of hipster hip-hop fans with his debut mixtape LiveLoveA$AP. After whetting the collective sonic appetite of the blogosphere A$AP Rocky is back with his rhyme-tastic full-length debut LongLiveA$AP, which features a cameo from pouty seductive songstress Lana Del Rey.

Cat Power – Sun
After enduring serious heartbreak (a bad breakup with actor Giovanni Ribisi) Cat Power chanteuse and multi-instrumentalist Chan Marshall decided to put the pain to music. The resulting sound on Sun, Cat Power’s stellar new album, is electronic-infused, soulful without being contrived, and full of lush melodies, and heart-on-sleeve lovelorn lyrics. Highlights include opener “Cherokee” and the power-pop laden “Ruin.”

St. Vincent and David Byrne – Love This Giant
While this may seem like an unlikely pairing, the Talking Heads front man and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark make beautifully artful music together. Filled with a bombastic horn section, catchy hooks, and cerebral lyrics, Love This Giant revels in its own innovation and redefines the notion of a super group. Music nerds rejoice!

The xx – Coexist
Purveyors of moody make out music, London’s The xx are back with the long-awaited sophomore album Coexist. Filled with the stunning sonic textures and slithering sensuality you’d expect from this Brit trio, Jamie xx and company deliver songs with more-fully formed lyrics, like the love-longing ambience of “Chained.”

Grizzly Bear – Shields
The sometimes-precious indie crooners Grizzly Bear are back with Shields, the follow up to 2009’s critically acclaimed Vekatimest. Staying true to the spacious dreamy layers from past efforts, Shields combines ethereal harmonies, psych-infused guitar riffs, and lush soundscapes making for a perfect Sunday morning sound.

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, Mad City
With the lyrically dexterous Good Kid, Mad City, up-and-coming rapper Kendrick Lamar offers up his signature philosophical-heavy rhyme style to masses. On this major label debut Lamar collaborates with avant-popstress Lady Gaga and cleverly pontificates on the highs and lows of inebriation on the hip-shaking bagger “Swimming Pools (Drank).”

New Tunes for the Week: Cat Power, Childish Gambino and More

So it’s only Monday and there’s already an influx of new music for you to get through. Earlier today, we told you about Shia LaBoeuf’s crazy new role in a Sigur Ros video, "rap game Taylor Swift" Kitty Pryde and a stacked-upon-stacked Fleetwood Mac tribute album featuring Best Coast, the New Pornographers and more. Oh, and some dude named Paul McCartney turned 70 today, which is a big deal, or something. 

Cat Power – "Sun"

There was buzz for a while about a new Cat Power album for a while, but Chan Marshall will release Sun, her first album of new material since 2007’s The Greatest, on Sept. 4th on Matador. A video was released today introducing first single "Ruin," a catchy, driving geography lessons (countries all over the globe get name-dropped). There’s not much to the video, but it’s worth it to check out the new song. 

Childish Gambino – "Shoulda Known"

The Rapper Otherwise Known as Donald Glover/Troy Barnes has been leaking collaborations with the likes of Heems and Beck, all with fans speculating the imminent release of a mixtape. Here’s the latest in a long line of hints. Listen over at Complex

Twin Shadow – "Five Seconds" 

George Lewis Jr., the brains behind Twin Shadow, based the video for his new track, "Five Seconds," on a novel he co-wrote called Night of the Silver Sun. And the whole thing has a very cinematic quality to it, from the tough-guy voiceover to the epic motorcycle ride through the woods to a fight with shirtless masked baddies. The Keith Musil-directed clip appeared on a massive billboard in Times Square as part of the Art Takes Times Square project. 

Fiona Apple – "Every Single Night" (NOW WITH VIDEO)

This isn’t new by any means, but now it’s, like, official or something. This has been your weekly reminder that Fiona Apple’s new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do, is now out (as of Friday), and that there’s now a video for the first single, "Every Single Night," as well. Still got it. 

Beach House And Other Bands In Car Commercials

That’s one major car accident for Beach House.

The Baltimore-based band, which just this week released a new album titled Bloom, was allegedly approached recently by an advertising agency looking to license the track “Take Care” for use in a Volkswagen commercial. The band declined, but here we are watching that commercial and the song in it – done by an outfit called Sniffy Dog – well, it sounds an awful lot like “Take Care.”

“The ad agency actively tried to license “Take Care” from us for weeks, to which we politely declined,” the band wrote in a statement on its Facebook page. “People’s comments/anger should not be directed towards VW or us. It was the ad agency that made these moves. I hope this also clarifies to fans and non-fans just how ‘Take Care’ and the VW ad song are related.”

In our review, BlackBook called the album “shimmery and upbeat,” which might be just what got the ad agency so excited. But hey, Beach House could in worse company—bands including The Walkmen, Wilco, Cat Power, Phoenix, Sleigh Bells and Grizzly Bear have had songs in car commercials and no evil has yet come of it.

You can check out some of our favorites below.

Cat Power Releases New Song ‘King Rides By’

Cat Power’s last EP, Jukebox, was released four years ago, giving you plenty of time to either completely forget how much you love her, or conversely, build up anticipation for some new tunes.  Either way, her new single “King Rides By" is seven minutes of music heaven. Plus, it comes with a video of boxer Manny Pacquiao hitting the speed bag in slow-mo. 

 

This is a remake off her What Would the Community Think EP, but Chan Marshall is currently finishing her new album. In the meantime, you can download this song with a donation to the Festival of Children Foundation and the Ali Forney Center. 

Catfight!

imageShelby Lynne, Just A Little Lovin’ (Lost Highway) Cat Power, Jukebox (Matador)

Interpretation can be as rare and mesmerizing a talent as the act of writing great songs—and these two new covers albums prove it. Finally making good on all those comparisons to Dusty in Memphis, Shelby Lynne has recorded Just A Little Lovin’, an album of songs made famous by Dusty Springfield. The hits are there, but in place of Springfield’s dramatic sweep is the spare intimacy of Lynne’s voice, a casual triumph of feeling. There is one Lynne original, “Pretend,” but the real highlights are revelatory versions of songs we only thought we knew, such as “How Can I be Sure,” “The Look of Love,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” and the seductively perfect title track. Jukebox, Cat Power’s second covers album, transforms numbers inviolably linked to their original artists such as Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”—even one by Billie Holiday (“Don’t Explain”)—into songs only Power could sing.

imageLike Lynne, Power is all about inflection, here bending the bars so deftly that her lone original, “Song to Bobby,” ambles with the easy gait of Bob Dylan; the Dylan cover (“I Believe in You”) sounds like Power wrote it. One can only imagine what Frank would have to say about this enigmatic chanteuse’s wholesale reconfiguring of his theme song. Plenty. But Cat Power is an artist who takes in music like smoke—she exhales only after it has sunk into her lungs and run through her bloodstream. Take a hit.