BlackBook Tracks #30: Catfish Is A Verb

I guess that these songs are for you to listen to while you think about sports and use “Catfish” as a verb, but I have approximately zero comprehension of what’s going on with that.

This Many Boyfriends – “Tina Weymouth”

It’s been a while since I came across a solid song about music itself, and this track named after the Talking Heads legend fits the bill perfectly. Opening with the line “You love pop songs about love more than being in love in the first place,” it captures the enduring spirit of High Fidelity.

Jamaican Queens – “Kids Get Away”

Unlike what their name suggests, the self-described “trap pop” group actually hails from Detroit. They specialize in pairing accessible hooks with unexpected textures that are worth taking a few listens to unravel.

Shout Out Louds – “Walking In Your Footsteps”

The latest from the Swedish indie poppers might just be warm enough to melt their record made out of ice.

Dutch Uncles – “Flexxin”

The Manchester, UK band has started the year off right by releasing a uniquely intriguing, exquisitely arranged album, Out Of Touch In The Wild. “Flexxin” is no exception.

Foals – “My Number” (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs remix)

The moody British rockers turned to electro-pop wiz kid Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs to create a haunting, bass-heavy take on “My Number,” a cut from their forthcoming album Holy Fire.

Brandt Brauer Frick – “Broken Pieces” (ft Jamie Lidell)

Alongside preparing the release of his upcoming self-titled album, Jamie Lidell found time to lend his voice to the German electro outfit Brandt Brauer Frick. On “Broken Pieces,” he punches up their raw, pulsing production.

Flume – “Left Alone” (ft. Chet Faker)

Already a hit in his native Australia, electronic artist Flume has his eye on taking over the world. On “Left Alone,” his production serves as a steady foundation for Chet Faker’s soulful, urgent vocals.

Darlings – “Sit On It!”

Brooklyn favorites Darlings serve up crunchy guitar pop that’s perfectly pleasant. This is the best song about waterslides I’ve heard in recent memory.

Woodkid – “Brooklyn”

This one goes out to the endless parade of French people on Bedford Avenue.

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Jamie Lidell Returns With More Electro-Funk, Underscores

Back in November, we heard the first single off Nashville-by-way-of-England electro-soul weirdo (and former Target commercial mainstay) Jamie Lidell’s upcoming self-titled album, his first with Warp Records. This week, he follows up with the big beats of "What A Shame" with a swampy, almost Tom Waits-ish number, "why_ya_why." The beat galumphs, the brass blares, Lidell wails and it all seems to come together. 

The last third or so, which is mostly synths and such, feels a bit tacked-on, but the rest of it is a treat, especially the trumpet solo in the middle. Check out the video below, which will be especially advantageous to you if you have 3D glasses. Because everyone has 3D glasses just lying around these days, no? 

BlackBook Tracks #21: Bringing In The Funk

Hey, how’s your week been? Good? Well, it’s about to get better. Drink some craft beer and listen to these songs. Things are about to get funky.

Jamie Lidell – “What A Shame”

Jamie Lidell moved to Nashville last year to record his forthcoming self-titled album, and “What A Shame” is the first hint at what he’s been up to. It’s a blistering cut from the British-born electro-soul artist, heating things up even more since 2010’s Compass.

School of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”

School of Seven Bells just put out the Put Your Sad Down EP, helmed by a sprawling, majestic title track that clocks in at nearly 13 minutes. For something a little less intimidating, check out another track from the release, “Secret Days,” still a strong listen from the Brooklyn psych-pop duo.

inc. – “5 days”

So, how about that indie R&B scene? L.A. duo inc. are the latest to arrive, and they have a vision that’s dreamy, hazy, and altogether intimate.

Alt-J (feat. Mountain Man) – “Buffalo”

There’s a real cinematic quality to Alt-J’s music, and it’ll be put on full display when this previously unreleased track appears in the upcoming Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper film Silver Linings Playbook. It starts off more airy than what we’re used to hearing from the British art-rockers, but still hints at their characteristic driving low end.

El Perro Del Mar – “Home Is To Feel Like That”

Swedish singer-songwriter El Perro Del Mar’s fifth album, Pale Fire, came out this week. It’s a quiet stunner, and “Home Is To Feel Like That” sees her flirting with electronic glances.

Midnight Magic – “Walking The Midnight Streets”

You need more disco-funk in your life. Here’s the title track from Midnight Magic’s just-released debut LP. It’s a dancefloor-ready good time from a band featuring various DFA alums.

The 1969 Club – “Go Right Ahead”
French garage rock? It’s more likely than you think–or than I thought, anyways. “Go Right Ahead” rips hard, all churning guitars and catchy chorus.

 

Heems – “Third Thing”

 

It feels like more rappers have released mixtapes this week than usual? One of them is Heems of Das Racist, who just dropped Wild Water Kingdom. “Third Thing” sees him teaming up with esteemed Italian dance producers Crookers.

Fine Peduncle – “Hymniptera”

Let’s get weird with some sexy, sinister electro-pop. Looping vocals, choppy synths, and pulsing bass form a mysterious world.

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May Music Reviews: LCD Soundsystem, Band of Horses, CocoRosie

LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening (DFA/Virgin) Few musicians can tease a pop song for three minutes and keep it interesting. On This Is Happening, the third offering from LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy pulls it off. “Dance Yrself Clean” tiptoes gently across Murphy’s analog vocals for the length of most pop songs, before an eruption of deep synths and LCD’s trademark cowbells. On “I Can Change,” Murphy bellows, “I can change/ If it helps you fall in love,” but it’s precisely because he doesn’t change—while doing what he does best—that we love him in the first place. Happening is another classic of the dance-rock genre from the man who helped create it. —Ben Barna

The Black Keys, Brothers (Nonesuch) Akron’s reigning kings of blues-rock are busy guys. Last year, guitarist-vocalist Dan Auerbach released his debut solo album, drummer Patrick Carney formed another band named, er, Drummer, and, as the Keys, they unveiled Blakroc, a collaborative rap album featuring Mos Def and Raekwon. But despite their frenzied output, the Ohio-based duo’s sixth album, about—what else—breaking up, is a return to their unhurried roots. On “Sinister Kid,” Auerbach sings, “I’ve got a tortured mind and my blade is sharp/ A bad combination in the dark.” If only heartbreak felt as good as these two make it sound. —Averie Timm

Band of Horses, Infinite Arms (Brown/Fat Possum/Columbia) Three years have passed since Band of Horses released their second album, Cease to Begin. Without stagnating or entirely reinventing their sound, the five-member group (touring musicians Tyler Ramsey and Bill Reynolds are now official Horses) has sharpened its mastery of southern rock/indie pop fusion. Recorded during a 16-month cross-country journey, Infinite Arms blends travel imagery and homesickness into their subdued sound. —Eiseley Tauginas

Holy Fuck, Latin (Young Turk/XL) Holy fuck, indeed. Our two favorite plugged-in Torontonians surge into their third album with enough frantic energy to cause a power outage. Although it was recorded in a studio, Latin showcases rollicking instrumentation and the improvisatory bedlam of the group’s live performances. With sonic blips reminiscent of video games, saturated melodies and trance-inducing ambient noise, Fuck continues to change the electronic game. —Hillary Weston

CocoRosie, Grey Oceans (Sub Pop) CocoRosie combines graveyard musings and hip-hop beats on their fourth record, offering up the type of otherworldly escape we’ve come to expect from the freak-folk sisters. This time, however, there’s a twist: Grey Oceans is an eclectic amalgam of cross-cultural sounds, as if the duo plucked and poached from every stop on their just-completed global tour. Jungle beats underscore the jazzy “Hopscotch” and Cherokee murmurs introduce the wistful “Undertaker.” With all the sampling, Oceans risks getting lost at sea. —Ashley Wetmore Simpson

Jamie Lidell, Compass (Warp) On his fourth electro-retro release, Jamie Lidell leaves behind the soul-encased self-doubt of 2008’s Jim to embrace a new kind of funk. The blissfully schizophrenic title track—a beat-ridden descendant of junkyard blues—is proof of how far Lidell’s once-inaccessible creations have come. He now croons simple love melodies (“The only compass that I need leads back to you”), while balancing his many influences, from Stax to experimental electronica. —AWS