Son Lux comes through with a handful of songs on a new EP titled Alternate Worlds. While I’ve never been a huge fan of this guy’s past efforts, there’s just something really “big time” and ambitious about the presentation of these songs that’s catching me. I can definitely see myself loving a Son Lux album in the future if he keeps up this combination of refined subtleties and larger-than-life background vocals.
What’s even more interesting is that the 2nd track here features a vocal contribution from Lorde herself, and it’s one of the more stellar tracks on this EP, too!
I’m astounded by the level of bad-assery this new HAIM video reaches. But just what is it that makes it so damn captivating? The concept is simple – the three sisters are moving along (choreography courtesy of Fatima Robinson) to Days Are Gone cut “If Could Change Your Mind,” an earworm if there ever was one. And there’s little in the way of set design; the glowing “HAIM” sign being the only piece, really. Of course what decor there is, it’s all very, very retro.
But HAIM’s execution, as always, is what keeps things from becoming that awful kind of “sickeningly retro.” The sisters aren’t romanticizing the past for the sake of it or because it’s in style. Frankly, they look a little dorky doing their thing in this video. Still, when Danielle pops the collar of her leather jacket here, you’d better believe it’s a sincere gesture. Really, this video as a whole is a sincere gesture – the HAIM sisters are making the music they want to make and you can tell they’re having a blast dancing to it.
And most importantly, they look completely assured. If you don’t wish you were up on that stage dancing along with them; well, tough shit – it’s your loss.
Over the course of running my YouTube channel, I don’t think I’ve reviewed any one band more times than I have Woods. Though I’ve thought their discography has had its ups and downs, it’s been interesting to watch this band’s approach to folk rock go from spectral to sunny. “Moving To The Left” is the latest installment of that transition, and it’s one of their catchiest and most feel-good results yet. The vocal melody on the chorus here is absolutely killer, and the sharp guitar leads twanging away in the background are a nice touch as well. Plus, Wood’s production hits a perfect pocket, finding a harmonious balance between rickety and punchy. I’m digging this one a lot!
The band’s next album, With Light And With Love, is dropping April 15th. Also, check out this song from the forthcoming record as well.
Charlift’s Caroline Polachek is releasing her solo debut, Arcadia, this April, except she’s doing it under the alias Ramona Lisa. She has released the title track, and be warned: This is a weird song, with almost nothing to do with her main band’s bouncy electropop. Ice cold synth drones cyclically wash over the speakers for over two minutes before Polachek even begins to sing, and when she does, it brings with it nothing really resembling a hook. This is not “I Belong In Your Arms” Polachek. Hell, this isn’t even “Ceiling Wax” Polachek. This is something else. Polachek recorded the entire album without instruments, instead using MIDI sounds, and did not use external microphones for the voice. That all makes perfect sense after this song, which is intriguing, even while it leaves me a little colder than I was hoping.
Arcadia comes out April 15 via Terrible Records.
Joan as Police Woman has released an energetic new video for her recent single “Holy City” from her forthcoming fourth LP, The Classic. The video features a series of different setups, each behind a freshly opened curtain, in which Joan Wasser is dressed in a different get up, surrounded by lots of happy people. In one she sports a 70s afro, and in one she is a buttoned up housewife, for example. It’s a lot of fun, so you should just go watch it now!
The Classic is out March 11 via PIAS.
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.
We’ve been pretty stoked about this Jorge Elbrecht and Ariel Pink collaborative project ever since they dropped one of 2013′s best singles, “Hang on to Life,” last summer. You might recall the single later receiving a crazy, smokey music video that was equally great.
Well, second single “Called to Ring” has received the same treatment. The video features a strange camo-clad band playing along to the song in slow motion, occasionally being interrupted by the conjoined, mask-wearing faces of Pink and Elbrecht mouthing the lyrics. Like the previous one, it’s a trip. Hopefully there’s a full-length in the cards for Jorge Elbrose because this pair has proven to be just a machine at turning out obscenely catchy songs.
If you find yourself enjoying the pristine, banal plunderphonics of Oneohtrix Point Never as well as the woozy vocal inflection of a “sad rock” act like Porches. (or even Liars), then you might want to keep an eye on 19-year-old Bay Area musician Devlin Miski (a.k.a. Goliad). On Inevitability, you will find both of these things in abundance, and with some fine-tuning, this “plunder-pop” thing might just catch on. Happy listening!
This is Miski’s second project this year, after last month’s Gavin’s Middle Name, a beat tape he released under the name Iequoia with fellow producer Danny Spiteri. Hear it here.
Some strange, rhythmic, idiosyncratic music from Gum Takes Tooth. The video embedded above for the track “The Perfect Surface” was dropped late last year. From what I can see, the song doesn’t turn up on any of the UK-based duo’s previously released material. May this be teasing toward a new album, perhaps? I hope so!