BlackBook Tracks #15: It Gets Crisp

Hello, how are you today? Good? Good. Here are the vibes for this week. Insert that quote from The Great Gatsby about fall here.

Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

In the new video for “Yet Again,” dreams turn into a discordant nightmare for a young figure skater. It’s a good match for this highlight from recently-released Shields.

Efterklang – “The Ghost”

With the recent release of Piramida, Danish band Efterklang has crafted one of the most nuanced, accomplished records of the year. “The Ghost” is a quietly majestic highlight.

Frightened Rabbit – “State Hospital”

Good news if you want to feel sad, because there’s new music from Frightened Rabbit! The mournful Scotsmen have just put out a new EP, also entitled State Hospital, which should prove sufficient for those grumpycat.jpg days.

Citizens! – “True Romance”

London’s Citizens! are gearing up for the stateside release of their debut LP Here We Are, and they’re paving the way with this sexy new video for “True Romance.” If you can pay attention to anything besides the pretty people making out, there’s a tight, magnetic pop song in there, too.

Total War – “xxx HATE xxx” (Is Tropical remix)

This Parisian duo’s impeccably titled letter of self loathing was already an excellent bite of lo-fi synth-pop. Then, pals Is Tropical showed up to make it more danceable. It’s a win-win situation, even when you think you’re a loser.

Ice Choir – “Teletrips”

Kurt Feldman of the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart takes the sounds of the ’80s and propels them into the present, with the kind of semi-detached delivery that a name like Ice Choir implies. Soft as snow, but warm inside.


Sensual, dangerous.

Crystal Castles – “Wrath Of God”

Two years ago, I went to a Crystal Castles show and then promptly hit a brick wall with my car. If that’s not a sign of a powerhouse act, then I don’t know what is. (Or I could just be a terrible driver.) Anyways, the Canadian duo’s set to release its third album later this fall, and this first single shows a surprisingly tranquil angle of their paranoiac electronics.

Azealia Banks – “Luxury”

It seems like there’s a new Azealia Banks video dropping every other week, but why not? Tumblr needs new gifs and it keeps her momentum going while we wait for her official album. “Luxury,” from the Fantasea mixtape, shows a subtler side of Ms. Banks.

BlackBook Tracks #9: Summertime Sadness

What’s your summertime sadness, fellow member of the first world reading this article? Lana Del Rey? Not drinking enough frozen margaritas outdoors? Your best prospect for a potential summer fling not panning out? Your awkward farmer’s tan? Never working up the confidence to wear a crop top? Ryan Lochte? The Teen Wolf season finale introducing too many new ideas? Never finding the perfect pair of sandals? The new Taylor Swift song? Well, it’s mid-August. We’re in the home stretch, so either go out and get it or make this playlist the soundtrack to your wallowing.

Slow Club – “Giving Up On Love”

Oscillate between optimism and pessimism with one of Britain’s finest folk-pop duos. At this point in the summer 2012 game, it’s time to give up on a lot of things, and love is probably #1 on the list.

Beat Connection – “The Palace Garden, 4am”

Seattle quartet Beat Connection’s debut LP The Palace Garden has already proved to be one of this summer’s most pleasant releases. Loaded with smooth harmonies, the title track is simultaneously soothing and super catchy.

Ladyhawke – “Anxiety”

The title says it all, but the effervescent production lightens up the eponymous track from the Ladyhawke’s recently-released Anxiety. The electro-pop artist doesn’t shy away from getting personal, and she’s all the better for it.

Discovery – “Carby” (ft. Ezra Koenig)

Rejection hurts! Dance the pain away!

Kisses – “Funny Heartbeat”

Hard-to-Google L.A. synth-pop duo Kisses made a splash with their 2010 debut The Heart Of The Nightlife, and they’re back with “Funny Heartbeat.” It’s already setting the bar high for their follow-up album.

Efterklang – “Hollow Mountain”

The Danish band is back with more stunning orchestral sounds. Here’s a glimpse at their bleak and lovely new album Piramida, out next month.

Air – “You Make It Easy”

Legendary French duo Air excels at the atmospherics, and “You Make It Easy” is no exception. Nothing restores sanity like a listen to Moon Safari.

The Antlers – “French Exit”

Get tranquil and let some of Brooklyn’s brighter sons help you deal with that sense of lingering shame and regret.

Timber Timbre – “I Get Low”

Haunting vocals make this 2010 track from the Canadian folk trio totally captivating. Listen to this any time the sun isn’t out.

Chad Valley – “I Want Your Love”

Under the moniker Chad Valley, Hugo Manuel makes immersive, glimmering electronic music. The Oxford, UK-based artist is also gifted with a preternaturally earnest-sounding voice that’s hard to not fall for. This song will go great with your pining for someone who has a water filter and non-leather couch.

Cloud Nothings – “Wasted Days”

There’s something both triumphant and crushingly defeating about this nearly nine-minute track from the Ohio rockers with the raw refrain “I thought I would be more than this.” It’s simple, but effective—who doesn’t?