A synthy slow jam named after Bill Murray? Mmkay, you got me. Phantogram have unleashed this new track, and it’s pretty great. From Sarah Barthel’s honeyed, smooth voice, to the lithe slide guitar, to the buzzy keyboards. It almost sounds like a Beach House song if they were a little more reliant on electronics. I’ve always liked when Phantogram slowed things down a bit, and this is a prime example.
Their new record Voices is out February 18 via Republic.
There’s a feeling I get when one of my favorite artists announces a new record after a long time without one. Four years may not be long in the grand scheme of things, but it has been way too long since Mirah’s excellent 2010 LP (a)spera, and I’m absolutely ecstatic about her announcement of Changing Light, her sixth solo album. The first taste of it comes in the form of “Oxen Hope”, a slowburning track resting mostly on a deep, bassy synth progression, a subtly intricate melody, and Mirah’s great-as-ever voice. Of course, this time around, her voice is doubled with some very cool robotic effects, but Mirah finds a way to maintain a human urgency behind the cold mechanical sound. Enter some beautiful strings and the whole thing takes on a melancholic, nearly soulful quality by the end of its four minutes. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for this record. Welcome back, Mirah.
Changing Light is out May 13 via Absolute Magnitude.
Avey Tare’s new oddly-named project releases its first song, “Little Fang.” This is much more straightforward than most of what we’ve come to expect from Tare, despite the slightly off-kilter vocal affect. A throbbing bass and summery guitar lead the way, with the drum beat giving the song a fresh pep. I guess we will have to wait longer to find out if this project is just a horror-pop gimmick–the name is probably still giving me too many hangups–but this song seems pretty sound.
Enter the Slasher House comes out April 8, via Domino.
The new Neneh Cherry songs–I love saying that–have been slightly underwhelming. “Blank Project” had its moments, but ultimately felt a little unfulfilling. “Everything” was better, but overstayed its welcome a tad. Now comes “Out of the Black,” and it’s arguably the finest taste of Cherry’s forthcoming record, Blank Project, her first 1996′s Man. Featuring a generous vocal contribution from pop mastermind/fellow Swede Robyn, the track feels a bit like a melding of two like-minded members of the same hierarchy. The recording is the same dry, percussive style of the last two tracks–again, produced by Four Tet–but the elements all congeal a little better than on those other songs. Nonetheless, it’s intriguing to hear her come back to solo work after all these years.
Blank Project is out February 25, via Smalltown Supersound.
Joan Wasser (aka Joan as Police Woman) has been one of my favorite under-the-radar artists since the 2006 release of her debut, Real Life. Gearing up for her fourth LP, Wasser has released a new single, “Holy City”. Percussive and punctuated with horn pops, this song is all about the killer chorus. Wasser’s very distinctive voice is all over the place, and that ascending, hopeful, joyous chorus is catchy and smile-cracking (especially when it pops up the third time after the instrumental break). Add in an outro from Reggie Watts, and you’ve got a real solid 4-and-a-half minutes.
The Classic is out March 4, via PIAS.
Tech house producer Daniel Avery has a new album out titled Drone Logic, and I’m digging what I’m hearing so far. The whole thing is up on YouTube right now for you to stream until the Internet implodes upon itself. Hopefully, that’s not too soon, because I’m really enjoying Daniel’s undeniable grooves and synthetic surroundings on the track “Free Floating.” Might I also recommend the title track? Enjoy, and grab this record over here if you’re digging on it.
Despite my somewhat lukewarm feelings on the latest album from pop rock outfit Veronica falls, I have to admit the band still manages to pack a lot of punch into a single. “Nobody There” may circle around some jangly chord progressions that are familiar to the band, but the hook is still killer. Enjoy!
“I don’t recognize you anymore,” Sarah Barthel sings at the very end of Phantogram’s new single, “Black Out Days,” atop a surprisingly soft piano. I say “surprisingly” because the 3 and a half minutes that precedes it is a booming, electronic rock song with a hell of a chorus (and what sounds curiously like a Santigold sample). Catchy and a little dark, this track really thrives off of Barthel’s emotive, confident voice. No word yet on a new album from these two, but this is a great way to tide us over.
Stream “Black Out Days” above via SoundCloud.
As we’ve already mentioned, electronic music producer Four Tet has a new album coming out titled Beautiful Rewind, and there’s a new track from it streaming above. While it maintains the particularly rigid assembly of electronic sequences that have been prevalent in Tet’s recent works, it does smooth things out a bit with some beautiful female vocal samples. Enjoy!
Have you been looking for a track that’s moody, sexually starved, bitter, and intensely passionate all at once? Of course you have! Stream the new Meg Myers single above for just that. With lyrics this bold, this West Coast singer-songwriter can’t stay obscure for long, can she? Enjoy!