Few musical comebacks have been as hotly anticipated as Death From Above 1979′s. A few years after the Ontario duo’s electrifying debut album dropped, they splintered and began working on other projects instead. I vividly remember being disappointed upon first hearing this news, because You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine left such a strong impression on me–and most of the independent rock world, too.
To hear that Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler were getting the band back together a few months ago was exciting, and it’s tracks like “Government Trash” that make it feel like the hiatus never happened. The track’s riffs are the sonic equivalent to an adrenaline shot, and the vocals could be more on point, too!
Look for The Physical World on September 9th via Last Gang Records.
Previously loved UK art pop outfit Alt-J drops yet another song from their forthcoming LP, This Is All Yours. The release date: September 22nd via Infectious.
Unlike the previously released songs off this new album, “Every Other Freckle” seems to be more in line with Alt-J’s previous output. There’s a heavy bassline matched with some equally lumbering drum beats, and atop that are the odd, soulful vocals of guitarist-vocalist Joe Newman.
The hook is great, and as the song progresses, the band manages to build the intensity up with more percussive and melodic layers. Alt-J writes catchy, upfront tracks, but their refined approach to arranging their instrumentation is what continues to keep them interesting.
Once again, Spoon comes through with a solid, catchy, enjoyable rock record.
Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums drops a new track titled “The Offbeat,” which looks like it’s going to be landing on the duo’s next full-length album, Rhythm. Not a surprising title from this band considering much of their past material has featured nothing but vocals and drums, and that’s exactly how this new track feels. Aside from a few spare “plinks” and glitches hanging in the background, Mariam Wallentin’s voice passionately rides the building drum work of Andreas Werliin.
Despite the lack of accompaniment, once again, Mariam and Andreas sound great. Mariam’s vocals continue to be a powerhouse of passion, and the Andreas’ grooves really keep the tension up.
It’s nice to hear W&P get back into the swing of things after the release of Mariam’s debut solo album, which I loved last year.
Look for Rhythm on November 3rd via the Leaf Label.
Québec band Crabe has a new record up on Bandcamp that lives up to its title: Anti-Vague. There’s nothing faint or subtle about this duo’s rough and eccentric approach to indie rock. They create a serious ruckus for just two dudes, and their songs are sung in French as well–I dunno, I figured that’d be something that interests you.
If you’re into the sounds of colorful, aggressive noiseniks like No Age, then give this thing a try.
New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten tests patience with a slow burner of a new record.
Singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten and her band hammer out a loud but patient ballad on “Your Love Is Killing Me.” Without doing it intentionally–I don’t think–the instrumentation on this one works more like a drone than it does indie or folk rock.
Sharon kicks things off with a distant drum beat, twang-y guitar leads, and some somber keys. Everything just builds, builds, and builds from there. The movement of the song is subtle, but it continues to grow more and more intense as it draws to a close, slowing the progression down a bit on occasion.
“Burn my skin so I can feel you,” Sharon calls out, lining that lyric up with a series of other contradictions that point out just how flawed this “love” she’s speaking of is. Sharon’s voice, like usual, is incredibly powerful, beautiful, and delivered with an immense amount of conviction.
Look for Sharon’s next album, Are We There, via Jagjaguwar on May 27th.
After dropping the rigid, rollicking title track from their sophomore album Sunbathing Animal last month; Parquet Courts are now offering a second glimpse of the project via the considerably wilder “Black and White.” The song features the band’s trademark snarky vocals, but throws a couple of great guitar and electronic freak-outs into the mix. Check it out above and enjoy!
Montreal’s Ought displays a pretty wide set of influences on this debut record of theirs, including experimental folk rock to tracks that blend sounds of Midwest emo with the dismal emotions of bands like Slint.
Pixies return with a textbook example of a disappointing comeback record.