Sometime between the release of the teaser video for “Lonely Girl” and the release of this teaser, for “The British Are Coming,” I got my hands on an advance of the new Weezer LP, Everything Will Be Alright In The End. And while your mileage will surely vary, I’m all-in on the thing: IMO this is pretty easily the best Weezer record since Pinkerton. You hear almost none of “The British Are Coming” in this clip, but I will tell you this much: That title isn’t a misdirect; it’s a song about Paul Revere’s ride and the Revolutionary War. You don’t hear enough here to get an idea what it sounds like, so I’ll tell you this much, too: It’s a fucking great song, one of the LP’s best. What you see in this teaser won’t convince you of that, but you should check it out just the same.
We’ve been hearing all year that Kendrick Lamar would have a new album out this fall, but up until now there hasn’t been any musical evidence to support those claims. That’s about to change: The rapper just tweeted cover art for a new single called “I,” which is rumored for release next week. Early reports suggested that the tune would be called “I Love Myself,” though something tells me this won’t be your typical self-aggrandizing hip-hop track. 2014 has been a slow year for major rap releases, but between this, Nicki Minaj’s The Pink Print, Kanye’s long-rumored Yeezus follow-up, and what might be a revitalized Lil Wayne on The Carter V, Q4 is looking pretty stacked. It’s time to get excited, people!
The Rembrandts are a power-pop duo who have been around since 1989 and who became briefly famous in the mid-’90s, when their song “I’ll Be There For You” became the theme song of the TV show Friends. Obviously, Friends stayed huge, but the popularity of “I’ll Be There For You” was such that people wanted to hear it even when they weren’t watching Friends. The song was in heavy rotation on alt-rock radio and everything. It was weird. Anyway, Friends turns 20 on Monday, and someone marked the occasion by putting up a pop-up version of Central Perk, the show’s fictional coffee shop, in New York. The Rembrandts played at the pop-up, doing “I’ll Be There For You” acoustic for a crowd that couldn’t figure out that they were supposed to clap during the clapping part. They also played Phoebe’s perennial open-mic song “Smelly Cat” and then played “I’ll Be There For You” again, this time with the guy who played Gunther (James Michael Tyler) helping out. Buzzfeed has video of the theme song performance, but there were no umbrellas. Go watch it and feel old. “Smelly Cat” looked and sounded like this:
Today, UK-born, Toronto-based avant chamber-pop artist John Southworth releases a down-tempo track from his latest solo album, Niagara. “Butterfly Shadows” is on the Canadian side of the double LP, which is split into two halves: a nine-track Canadian side and an eleven-track American side, based on what Southworth felt best emulated each country’s musical styles. The experimental way of organizing the album reflects the dynamic between towns surrounding Niagara Falls in both nations. “Butterfly Shadows” is an ethereal, jazzy song with mellow synths accented by the occasional clinking of a xylophone and a saxophone interlude; the disparity of sounds makes Southworth’s musical style difficult to pigeonhole. Like Niagara Falls itself, the music is something you simply have to experience. Listen.
The Chairlift frontwoman Caroline Polachek has been very busy in the last 12 months: Writing for Beyoncé, singing with Blood Orange and SBTRKT, and releasing her own solo album as Ramona Lisa. She’s also put together a Ramona Lisa live show that involves choreography, headset mics, and very strange facepaint. Someone at Mercedes-Benz ended up writing a check to pay for a short film about that live show and Polachek’s preparation for it. The filmmaker Andrew Neel and the former Warhol associate Michel Auder made the 15-minute film, and you can watch it below.
There’s a buoyancy to “Stuck,” the first single from Caddywhompus’ upcoming sophomore full-length, Feathering A Nest. The track inhales and exhales, drawing breath up tight before letting it all loose in a whoosh of air. It sounds restless, unwilling or unable to be pinned down to one idea or sound. Blending a mix of art- and post-rock, the song sets up an off-kilter rhythm, jerking back and forth between exuberant clarity and intricate noise. The New Orleans group is only made up of two guys and it’s amazing how they manage to flesh out their full-bodied instrumentation and build an atmosphere that feels vast and limitless, yet warm and intimate at the same time. Listen below.
Australian instigators Ausmuteants’ self-described “postpop” skree reminds me of the unhinged keyboard-infused bombast of Jay Reatard’s late, great Lost Sounds. So it only makes sense that Goner, the Memphis punk and garage rock label that helped launch Reatard’s career, is also releasing the latest Ausmuteants album. If teaser track “Boiling Point” is any indication, Order Of Operation promises to go off the rails in entertaining fashion. There’s a breathless fury in this song that matches Polysics at their most frenetic; it will likely be a thrill to witness Ausmuteants charging through this one on the North American tour that kicks off Saturday. Hear “Boiling Point” below.
Peaking Lights got the Cosmic Logic promotional cycle off to a good start with the jittery tropical electro-pop jam “Breakdown.” The album’s second single, “Everyone And Us,” applies that same aesthetic to a more laid-back, soulful soundtrack. Indra Dunis lets her hypnotic sing-song float eerily over top of music that resembles Talking Heads circa “Naive Melody” as replicated by exceptionally groovy androids. Hear the alluring track below.