With September’s “Don’t smoke in bed,” Xiu Xiu gave us our first glimpse at its upcoming Graveface Records debut Nina, a collection of 11 Nina Simone covers done in the style of free jazz. Since then, the band has shared two more tracks from the project, “Just Say I Love Him” and “You’d Be So Nice.” The former, which actually has a discernible, catchy groove, can be streamed via the Soundcloud widget below; and the latter, the noisiest offering so far, is accompanied by a classy minimalist music video that can be watched above. Enjoy!
Nina is slated for release December 3.
The Flaming Lips are teaming up with touring mates Tame Impala for an EP that will see both acts covering two of each other’s songs. Tame Impala has elected to take on “Are You a Hypnotist??” and “Silver Trembling Hands,” while The Flaming Lips have chosen “Runway, Houses, City, Clouds” and “Elephant.” Above, check out The Flaming Lips’ surprisingly understated version of the Lonerism standout.
The EP will be for sale on vinyl at the two’s shared shows on October 31 and November 1, in San Francisco and Santa Barbara respectively. The Flaming Lips have also just released Peace Sword, a mini album inspired by the upcoming movie Ender’s Game, via Warner Bros. Spotify Stream
“Ya Hey” is probably one of the most annoying songs on Vampire Weekend’s often-good third LP, Modern Vampires of the City. However, that didn’t stop Phosphorescent from ambling through a quite beautiful performance of it when they stopped by KCSN. Led by Matthew Houck’s well-worn and amber vocals, their version is a lot more bearable than the original, and is definitely worth a listen.
Look out for a deluxe edition of Phosphorescent’s very good 2013 LP, Muchacho, which includes a disc of live cuts, via Dead Oceans on October 29.
Watch Kurt Vile’s hazy take on Nine Inch Nails’ very first single, “Down in It,” for The A.V. Club‘s “A.V. Undercover” series. Kurt brings his easygoing charm to the track’s “white rap” vocals, and receives able backing from bandmate Rob Laakso on electronics. Enjoy!
Although apparently inadvertent on Kurt’s part, the timing could not be better for this cover. Nine Inch Nails’ new album Hesitation Marks is due out next week via Columbia Records and is available to stream in full via iTunes.
And here’s a review of this year’s fantastic Wakin on a Pretty Daze:
Prolific psych-rockers The Flaming Lips have shared yet another new music video; this time for a cover of Devo’s “Gates of Steel.” Shot during the same live session as the “Turning Violent” video that dropped last week, the Freedom of Choice cut is brilliantly adapted to fit the radiantly noisy sonic and visual esthetic that the band’s been flaunting since The Terror.
The cover comes across as incredibly triumphant in its own right, with it’s twangy guitar, deliberate bass, spacey synth, and driving percussion providing a lush backdrop for Coyne’s dramatic vocal delivery and mannerisms. To make matters even more epic, there’s lots and lots of glitter. Enjoy!
Latin music supergroup Ondatrópica covering man, myth, legend Fela Kuti on this new single of theirs for Soundway Records. If you’re unfamiliar with this band, they just so happened to put out one of the most ambitious records in modern Latin music last year. The band features approximately forty members–many of whom have long histories as performers of cumbia and Latin Jazz.
Check out a review of the band’s self-titled release below:
Mac DeMarco covers Weezer
Jangle pop prince Mac DeMarco drops a smile-inducing performance of Weezer’s “Undone” thanks to the good people at The Onion‘s A.V. Club. DeMarco and his band don’t seem to ache over recreating every detail in the song perfectly. Instead, to go for a more raw energy, and emphasize the song’s chorus with hilariously goofy vocal harmonies. Enjoy!
Check a review for Mac DeMarco’s 2 below:
Yeah, I wasn’t that huge on Jessie Ware’s new album. So sue me! However, I do love this stellar cover Ware executes with the help of BenZel right here. The track was originally performed by Brownstone, which is a musical act I haven’t thought about in years, but that’s the mark of a great cover, isn’t it? Recontextualize, remember, re-enjoy!
Like so many great bands before them, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart have always made sure to tip their hat to the great bands that preceded them. When you listen to a song from the affable shoegaze pop band, you feel both the band’s sincere emotions (typically about young love) and the project’s genuine admiration of indie pop’s venerable progenitors (e.g. the early bands on Sarah Records) and 90s alternative rock (e.g. Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins). On their latest single for Slumberland Records, the band has chosen to do a direct homage to a great American indie pop band, the Magnetic Fields. Electing to cover the song “Jeremy” off the Magnetic Fields’ sophomore release The Wayward Bus, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart infuse the song with an electrifying rock energy completely different to the orchestral style of the original which featured cello and tuba. The way the Pains’ ebullient rendition of the song combines with Stephen Merritt’s lyrics about foolish youth and the inevitability of aging (“Like a Galapagos turtle we grow old and stay that way”) is simply perfect.
One of indie pop’s best new bands covering one of the genre’s most celebrated elder statesman? This is a piece of wax you should definitely pick up. The single is slated for release on October 9th via Slumberland Records with “Jeremy” on the A-side and a yet to be revealed East River Pipe cover on the B-side.