Grizzly Bear have just released the second single from their upcoming album Painted Ruins, out August 18. The new song, “Mourning Sound,” is an atmospheric jam perfect for driving down a coastal highway to.
“Mourning Sound” comes after “Three Rings” off the new LP, the follow up to 2012’s Shields. In addition to the new song, the band today announced a tour of North America and Europe to promote their upcoming record.
Grizzly Bear is a Brooklyn-based group composed of Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear (lol!) and Chris Taylor.
Take a listen below:
And while you’re here, might as well listen to “Three Rings” too:
This week is weird for everyone, right? Daylight Savings Time threw everything off by one cursed hour and Mercury’s still in retrograde. I knew I would get sick if I stayed up past my bedtime to go to M.I.A.’s release party, so naturally I’m on my third day of gently hacking up a lung. (It was totally worth it, though.) These are the jams, even if you’re not popping DayQuil every four hours.
Botany ft. Father John Misty – “Laughtrack”
Botany might not seem like the most obvious moniker for an electronic producer, but Spencer Stephenson poses a serious challenge for anyone who thinks the genre can’t sound warm and organic. The Texan artist just released his first record, Lava Diviner (Truestory), but he has plenty more up his sleeve. On this non-album track, Father John Misty’s soft vocals feature over a beat that’s heavy and bubbly at the same time. Lava Diviner (Truestory) is out now on Western Vinyl.
Grizzly Bear – “Sleeping Ute” (Nicolas Jaar remix)
Indie rock heavyweights Grizzly Bear are gearing up to put out the deluxe edition of their fourth album Shields. This stretched-out version of “Sleeping Ute” has been around since being issued as a limited 12” for Record Store Day earlier this year, but it’ll be making another appearance as a bonus track alongside other remixes and previously unreleased B-sides. If I get hit by a car this weekend because I can’t move my sorry feet fast enough, play this at my funeral. Shields Expanded is out November 12 on Warp.
Kitty – “Second Life”
Kitty (formerly Kitty Pryde) is tired of playing the waiting game with her upcoming LP, so she’s shared “Second Life” in advance. The internet rap princess has her head in the clouds as she rhymes over a cotton candy-flavored beat courtesy of Anamanaguchi and PinkiePieSwear. The result is soft as snow, but warm inside. Look out for the albumFlowerviolence whenever the people in charge are ready to put it out.
Moonface – “Everyone Is Noah, Everyone Is The Ark”
While former Wolf Parade bandmate Dan Boechner has been rocking out with Britt Daniel as part of Divine Fits, Spencer Krug has moved on to making pared-down piano fare under the name Moonface. This is his simplest project yet, but the effect is still bold and totally arresting. The album Julia With Blue Jeans On is out now on Jagjaguwar.
Air – “Playground Love”
This is undoubtedly one of the most soothing songs ever committed to record. The French duo’s soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides is legendary, and “Playground Love” is a big reason why. The sax and synths woven together are enough to make anyone a hopeless romantic, and the whole package is a cocoon-like tribute to doomed youth.
When a person endures in one year a rat infestation, a break-up, and a barren bank account, you’re tempted to say, “yeah, yeah, so what?” But when it happens to a musician? Well, the whole tumultuous 365 days are rolled into a 10-song solo album featuring a new, surprisingly sunny tune you play on repeat, whose video resembles a watch commercial. Such is the case with BlackBook‘s exclusive lyric video premiere of the song “Swimming In ‘99” from next month’s release of Fred Nicolaus’s new, namesake album.
As a 13-year member of the folk-electronic duo Department Of Eagles, Nicolaus sets out on his own under the band name Golden Suits, and, in the new video from the eponymous album, brings us along on his journey across New York, from the corner bodega to a fortune teller, with each spot chronicled in Google Maps.
Why the two watches? Each is a bookend of the year that inspired the album, with one bought at its beginning, and the other at its end.
It’s freezing and gross in a considerable chunk of the country, which means it’s time to start thinking about summer, and with it, the crowded, drunken, heavily-Instagrammed bacchanalia that is the summer music festival. Your first major festival lineup announcement of 2013 happened today, in this case the third-annual Governors Ball Music Festival, which returns to its home on Randall’s Island June 7th, 8th and 9th. The biggest names on the flyer are Kanye West and Kings of Leon, as well as one blacked-out name to be revealed later (let the speculation begin!). The bulk of the bill features people whose albums you really liked last year, or whose albums you didn’t really like but maybe read about a lot on music blogs, including Japandroids, Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, the xx, Nas, Dirty Projectors, Best Coast, The Lumineers, Gary Clark Jr., Beach House, Azealia Banks and dozens of other year-end list luminaries. Like musical confetti made from cut-up Pazz & Jop ballots.
Other notable names on the lineup include one of BlackBook’s Stars of 2013, HAIM, Swedish party starters Icona Pop, Erykah Badu, Feist, festival regular Pretty Lights, Wild Nothing, Fucked Up and Dillon Francis. Those less inclined to care about the music can find food courtesy of a few familiar trucks, including Asia Dog, Mexicue and Pie for the People. There is also ping-pong, croquet and bocce and something called a "Silent Disco," which seems to be on the bill at a lot of festivals and the impetus for some half-baked thinkpiece somewhere about the way we live and share music now. Tickets for the big festival thing go on sale this Friday at noon.
Several top-rated tracks of 2012, including Kendrick Lamar’s "Backseat Freestyle" and Japandroids’ "The House That Heaven Built," soundtrack the Austin Peters-helmed lineup video, which features Jonathan Sollis and Fabrizio Goldstein strolling around New York in tuxes and dark sunglasses, on a neverending quest to make it rain. Watch.
There is a great, fantastically lazy tradition in recent music criticism whereby “NPR,” “fussed-over,” and “intimate” are terms that come to signify “white bands playing preciously dull and fragile songs that you in your callous, unthinking way would call ‘boring’ but are actually quiet masterpieces, you clod.” Over at BuzzFeed today, Matt Perpetua reaches the zenith of this non-observational style with little more than fifty words, six photos, and three YouTube embeds.
“Grizzly Bear Is The ‘Frasier’ Of Rock Music,” the headline declares, while the deck cautions, as if you are already winding up to punch through your computer monitor, “It’s kind of an intuitive thing, but yes, they are.” Great! An intuitive analogy comparing a “rock” band (no they aren’t) that enjoyed mild popularity from 2006-2009 and a television series that ended in 2004. The comparison is simultaneously so strained and so obvious and so half a decade late that it’s hard to tell if it’s less meaningful than it is amusing.
Do I even need to tell you that cashmere, lattes, ennui, and The New Yorker are mentioned? It’d be one thing if BuzzFeed were merely failing to be the “leading social news organization, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and viral content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas” that it purports to be. But on top of that, do we really need a list of items once posted on Stuff White People Like? Oh, new BuzzFeed article idea: Stuff White People Like is just like The Strokes’ Is This It. Or maybe you could talk about how OutKast is the Chappelle’s Show of rap.
If you still want to help out East Coasters affected by Hurricane Sandy and do so in an environment with adult beverages and high-caliber entertainment, this week, a couple more enticing Sandy benefits have been announced. So if you’re looking for something to do next week and live in the greater New York, Atlantic City, or Los Angeles areas, here you go.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse will perform in Atlantic City on December 6th at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.
On December 10th, a group of comedians you might recognize are getting together for “We Hate Hurricanes,” a night of comedy to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. The venerable Jon Hamm is emceeing the event, with headliners Aziz Ansari, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, and music from Beck along with even more acts. All proceeds from the show will go to AmeriCares, and pre-sale tickets go on sale today; general sale starts tomorrow.
One of the biggest announced shows is the 12/12/12 benefit gig for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, on December 12th at Madison Square Garden. The headliners play like an all-star Super Bowl halftime show: Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Who, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. If you still want to help out and rock out but the idea of a Bon Jovi show at the Garden sounds a bit too overwhelming, New York’s Terminal 5 is hosting a “4Artists1Cause” benefit on December 14th, featuring performances from Grizzly Bear, Sleigh Bells, Antlers, and Cults. More acts will be announced soon. Tickets are $40, with proceeds going to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
Insert joke about tryptophan here. I’m thankful that I made it through my entire family dinner without anyone asking me if I was “seeing anyone special.” I’m also thankful that I am sane enough to have zero desire to line up outside Target to try to buy stuff that I don’t actually want. Thanksgiving’s over, let’s move on to this week’s tracks.
Saint Michel – “Katherine”
This swoon-worthy synth-pop duo is hard to resist. Hailing from Versailles, France, Saint Michel just made their American debut in New York City, and they’re sure to make more magic happen soon.
Villagers – “Nothing Arrived”
Irish folk outfit Villagers is prepping a new album, entitled Awayland. “Nothing Arrived” shows that main man Conor O’Brien still has plenty of straightforward charm.
Grizzly Bear – “Boy From School” (Hot Chip cover)
This mournful, stripped-down cover of one of Hot Chip’s breakout singles has a haunting effect that makes it just as powerful as the original.
Jens Lekman – “The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love”
Jens Lekman cures all ills.
Holidays – “Only In Dreams”
This Roman band charms effortlessly with a jangly, new wave-influenced take on indie rock. Is it summer again yet?
Cheatahs – “The Swan”
British guitar bands are supposed to be coming back, or something along those lines. London’s Cheatahs are set to lead the pack, armed with plenty of fuzzed-out pop hooks.
Girls – “Big Bad Mean Motherfucker”
Sure, Christopher Owens has gone solo now, but it’s nice to look back at when we first started loving him with Girls. With riffs rolling like the hills of San Francisco, “Big Bad Mean Motherfucker” is still a highlight from Album.
Graham Coxon – “What’s He Got?”
The story of being second best is a familiar one, but Mr. Coxon sounds surprisingly optimistic about it. If you can’t be dancing with tears in your eyes, mope with a smile on your face?
Lush – “Single Girl”
This one goes out to everyone who wasn’t lucky enough to avoid all of their aunts asking why they don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet.
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.
HEALTH – “USA Boys”
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.
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).”