Tom Breihan
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In 2003, three of the four members of the Exploding Hearts, an enormously promising Portland power-pop band, died in a horrific van crash. Terry Six, the only surviving member of the band, has somehow kept making music since then. And now he’s teamed up with King Louie Bankston, a former Exploding Heart who’d parted ways with the band before that van crash. As a duo, Terry & Louie are gearing up to release their first 7″ single. Its A-side, “(I’m) Looking For A Heart,” is fired-up power-pop in the Exploding Hearts vein, while “She Loves Him” is a weepy oldies-radio ballad that might be even better. Both songs are thoroughly enjoyable, and you can hear them both below.

As Blood Orange, Dev Hynes is an underground pop star unto himself. As a songwriter and producer, he helped Solange and Sky Ferreira find their own kinds of cool-kid stardom, and he’s worked with a ton of very good artists in the past few years. Britney Spears, ultimately, is not one of those artists. Spears’ people brought Hynes in to write a couple of songs for her last year’s album, Britney Jean, and he recorded demos of two songs, both of which were rejected. Both of those untitled songs made their way to the internet recently, and they’re very much in Hynes’ wheelhouse: Breathy, skeletal, chiffony pop songs that drift like clouds. It’s hard to imagine Britney ever singing either of those songs, but it would’ve been cool. Listen to Hynes’ demos below.

It’s a bit weird to hear the young New York rap traditionalist Joey Bada$$ jump on a track with a rising dance-pop singer. But then DJ Premier did produce a bunch of songs for Christina Aguilera, so maybe it’s on-brand. And anyway, “Bad Thing,” the new single from Canadian singer Kiesza, doesn’t sound anything like her breakout track “Hideaway.” Instead, it lurches and twinkles, a bass-pop approximation of that old boom-bap sound. Bada$$ and Kiesza also show more chemistry on the track than you might expect. Listen below.


 +4Posted on Sep 19th | re: Laura Jane Grace Slams Ex-Against Me!/New Slipknot Drummer (16 comments)

The drummer’s Daddy, it might be worth mentioning, is Max Weinberg. Also, Jay was really fun to watch onstage, and he totally acted like he was the frontman of the band. SO MUCH stick-twirling.

 +1Posted on Sep 18th | re: DJ Quik - "That Getter" (3 comments)

Great answer. I was thinking possibly Scarface too, but he’s been pretty inactive for the past few years.

 +10Posted on Sep 11th | re: Premature Evaluation: U2 Songs Of Innocence (144 comments)

These are the things that happen when you’re trying to speed-write. Fixed, thank you.

 +78Posted on Aug 29th | re: Riff Raff To Sam Smith: "Your Face Is Super Huge" (50 comments)

You have to adjust for distance. Sam Smith is sitting one mile away from the camera.

 +1Posted on Aug 22nd | re: Dummy Turns 20 (43 comments)

They were great! Early on, anyway! But the idea of grouping them into a hot-new-scene with Portishead was a fundamental misunderstanding of everything all 3 of them were doing, as was the idea that they represented the music of the future.

Yes. This is not up for debate. Nobody has ever cried to Aesop.

 0Posted on Jul 31st | re: Tom Petty's Lackluster New Album Will Be His First #1 (16 comments)

Man I’m just fucking with you. Lese Majesty is a fine piece of arty rap splurge, but I don’t love it the way so many of y’all do. And I can’t get my mind around the idea that it’s better than a sparkling, insightful, gorgeously recorded Jenny Lewis album.

 +3Posted on Jul 28th | re: Premature Evaluation: Spoon They Want My Soul (100 comments)

Thanks guys. Fixed.

 +1Posted on Jul 24th | re: Chance The Rapper Teases New Music In Video (3 comments)

You are exactly right. My brain is breaking.