Justin Vernon’s latest production project has been for English trio the Staves. It was reported back in December that he was recording their sophomore album, and last week the group released the Blood I Bled EP with some songs from those recording sessions. One of those songs is “Open,” which has gotten another reworking from Vernon himself. He takes the original and runs it through his characteristic vocoder effects and adds some haunting overlapping vocals. Listen below.
Back in January, Phil Collins said that he had been asked to work with Adele on her upcoming third full-length. The singer is expected to release her new album sometime next year, but it doesn’t look like Collins will be on it. In a new interview with Q magazine (via Digital Spy), the former Genesis leader said that after he received some music from her to work on and sent it back, he never heard back from her. “She said, ’No, no, I’m moving house and the baby’s taking up a lot of my time, I’m not actually doing anything at the moment.’ And now I’ve heard there’s a [new album] coming out. I’m not on it. I know that.” He added: “She’s a slippery little fish is Adele.” In May, Adele teased on Twitter that the album would be coming out in 2014, but XL shot that down a few weeks ago in the label’s financial report.
Producer dd elle got our attention with their expansive and syrupy “Tell Me,” which Ryan Hemsworth debuted last month as part of his Secret Songs project. “Kind 2 U,” which dd elle posted a demo of earlier this year, is more gentle and insular than that track, but it doesn’t stray far from the tranquil dreamscapes that the producer conjures up so well. The demo has been slightly reworked for a new video which was directed by Adam David Littke and stars Instagram personality Adam Carpenter. dd elle describes the idea of the video to Fader as “being alone with others, feeling free in a tiny space, and feeling trapped in an open space.” Littke captures this concept well, alternating between wide shots and close-ups that manage to respectively feel claustrophobic and spacious. “The inspiration for this video comes from the pure love and fascination I have for Risky Business,” Littke explained. “It’s a loose concept based around what happens when guys are left alone. At a lake trailer. Also, it was shot in Oklahoma so it’s my love letter to the state I was born and raised in.” Watch below.
Kool A.D. has just put out a double video for “Look,” which shows up on on his Word O.K. mixtape from earlier this year, and “Jose Canseco,” which appeared on 2013′s Peaceful Solutions. The video starts with the former Das Racist member sitting on the sidewalk and watching TV — old cartoons like Thundercat and Masters Of The Universe (shoutout to Skeletor) are playing, intercut with footage of Kool rapping with images projected onto a blank wall behind him. It switches up halfway through for the “Jose Canseco” side, which is a droopy and hallucinatory hangout take. Kassa, who produced “Jose Canseco” and features on “Look,” also appears. Watch below.
It’s at least a little bit insane to write a column called The Week In Pop this week and not write it about Taylor Swift. A lot of times we use this space to tackle one of the week’s biggest pop releases, and Swift’s new 1989 is as big as they come in 2014. It’s about to become the year’s first platinum album. It will easily chart as her third straight #1 LP. The Week In Pop belongs to her, and really, so does The Year In Pop. Even after running a humongous review on Monday, even after analyzing “Shake If Off” when it debuted two months ago, not writing about Swift in some capacity this week still seems crazy. You know what else is crazy, though? Until Swift ruthlessly shoves them out of the way next week, Slipknot have the #1 album in America.
After Sleater-Kinney recorded their comeback album No Cities To Love, Carrie Brownstein joined Fred Armisen to film the fifth season of Portlandia. The series doesn’t return until January, but a new goth-themed teaser video arrived today just in time for Halloween. In the clip, Brownstein and Armisen play goths who are super stoked to plan elaborate funerals for themselves. Watch below.
Don Devore, the former guitarist for the theatrical Philadelphia hardcore band Ink & Dagger, now leads the new Brooklyn band Sick Feeling. “Liberal Arts” is the first single from their forthcoming debut album Suburban Myth, and it’s a roiling blast of ranchor, all garbled screams and hammering rhythm-section onslaught. If you close your eyes when “Liberal Arts” plays, you can almost imagine how fucking violent those live shows are going to be. Give it a listen below.
A few months after he came home from a years-long prison stay in March, Baton Rouge rap hero Lil Boosie was planning to release a commercially-available album. He cranked out a ton of singles, but the album never came out. Maybe it never will. And now, all of a sudden, he’s got a new mixtape called Life After Deathrow out in the world. Whatever! Fine! I’ll take it! Boosie is a vivid, impassioned, powerful rap figure, and this is his first full-length statement in many years. It has a few guests — Trey Songz, Yo Gotti, Shy Glizzy — but it’s mostly just Boosie in attack mode. Check out the tape below.