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Tom Breihan
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The longtime Philly lo-fi bashers Purling Hiss are getting ready to release a new album called Weirdon, and at least based on the early track “Learning Slowly,” the album may be the most accessible work of the band’s career. “Learning Slowly” is piled with rickety drums and wildly overlapping guitar leads, but it’s also a big and triumphant and immediate rock song, and there’s something fundamentally catchy about its sense of propulsion. Listen to it below.

Track five on the new Jenny Lewis album starts like this: “When I turned 16, I was furious and reckless / Got a Chelsea girl haircut and a plane ticket to Paris.” The song is about meeting another American girl over there and sort-of/kind-of falling in love: “How could I resist her? / I had longed for a big sister / And I wanted to kiss her, but I hadn’t the nerve.” Later in the song, Lewis ends up in a threesome with that girl and with a doofy American songwriter that her soulmate was obsessed with, figuring this would be the only way to get with her at all. Then, the two girls separate and never see each other again. The name of the song is “Late Bloomer,” and it doesn’t even seem to be ironic. (It’s something that Nancy, the other girl, calls Lewis, or the narrator who Lewis is pretending to be, or whatever.) It all seems terribly glamorous, the idea that you could end up in a Parisian three-way at 16 and still think of yourself as a late bloomer. But the song isn’t about the glamor of its story. It’s about feeling lost, attaching yourself to someone and about doing everything you can to hold on to that person, and about losing touch with that person anyway. It’s a song about being lost. And that’s what we get with The Voyager, the new album: A series of finely observed, beautifully recorded, impossibly glamorous songs about being lost.

Conor Oberst’s greatest gift as a performer might be his ability to come off like an angry 15-year-old screaming in his room in just about any situation. Case in point: Oberst was the musical guest on last night’s episode of the Late Show With David Letterman. He had a massive 10-piece backing band with him, complete with horns and backup singers, and he was singing “Hundreds Of Ways,” the relatively ornate lead single from his new album Upside Down Mountain. But his angsty intensity was such that he straight-up rolled his eyes up in the back of his head, Undertaker-style, at least once. Watch the performance below.

Comments

 +4Posted on Jul 28th | re: Premature Evaluation: Spoon They Want My Soul (75 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.

 +14Posted on Jul 18th | re: Portrait Of An American Family Turns 20 (32 comments)

Oh shit, I missed the Punk in Drublic anniversary?!?

 +4Posted on Jul 7th | re: Death From Above 1979 - "Trainwreck 1979" (30 comments)

Yes and yes, thanks.

Yes and yes, and also shout out to Jessica Szor from Gossip Girl.

This is true. Fixed.

 +2Posted on Jun 19th | re: Mixtape Of The Week: Young L MVP (6 comments)

I had high hopes, but it’s pretty bad.

 +3Posted on Jun 17th | re: The 50 Best Albums Of 2014 So Far (253 comments)

Mine:

Pharrell – G I R L
Wovenhand – Refractory Obdurate
Vince Staples – Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2
Lil Herb – Welcome To Fazoland
Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso

 +3Posted on Jun 11th | re: Mixtape Of The Week: Tim Vocals Timtations (8 comments)

I will oblige. Here are my thoughts on the Death Grips thing: I hate it. I tried again, and I continue to hate pretty much everything they do. That’s about as far as my thoughts go.

 +3Posted on May 30th | re: The 5 Best Videos Of The Week (7 comments)

No but it’s blood and not boobs.