Björk’s staggering new album Vulnicura entered the world early thanks to a leak. In a new interview with BBC Radio 1′s Zane Lowe (via NME), Björk discusses the leak for the first time. She told Lowe that due to the album’s raw emotional subject matter — her breakup with longtime partner Matthew Barney — she wanted to get it out ASAP, even though her manager assured her that he’d “erased all the leaks.” (Ha!) Here’s Björk’s take on the situation:
Portland-based bedroom R&B purveyor Dan Vidmar hasn’t put out a new project since 2013′s Timeshare EP, but he revealed to Billboard today that a new mixtape entitled 4WZ will drop “any day now.” The first taste of the mixtape is “Right, Alright” a track that feels like a pillowy backtrack from the posturing of last month’s “Renegade,” which was all moody independence and edginess. No word on whether “Renegade” will also be on the tape, but it will include features from Tei Shi, Rome Fortune, and Antwon. Between the warped horn sample and Vidmar’s echoing falsetto chorus of “Right, Alright” I’d be inclined to forgive him. Listen to both tracks below.
Fucked Up’s Ben Cook will soon release Ripe 4 Luv, his latest LP under the moniker Young Guv, and earlier this month we heard the album’s first single, “Wrong Crowd.” Today, Cook shared another new song, the lo-fi power-pop tune “Crushing Sensation,” along with a low-budget video by Danielle Nemet. Watch below.
Earlier today we learned that Fat Possum signed L.A. indie-pop Band To Watch Los Angeles Police Department. It seems they’ve been on a signing spree: Shreveport rockers Seratones are also new to the Fat Possum roster, and their saucy garage-rock track “Chokin’ On Your Spit” is right in the Southern rock wheelhouse that used to define the label. It’s kind of like if Alabama Shakes were a punk band marked by equal parts swagger and aggression. Hear them whoop it up below.
Coming into the new year, the five guys who curate the Black Market — Ian Chainey, Aaron Lariviere, Wyatt Marshall, Doug Moore, and me — had a few long discussions on what we might do to improve this feature in 2015 (and beyond). We considered expanding its scope, increasing its frequency, changing its format and/or structure, and pretty much any other possible remodeling options that might make the Black Market better. I feel comfortable speaking for the team when I say this: We all love talking about metal — and we all talk about metal pretty much all the time — and we wanted to make sure that enthusiasm came across here. We wanted to make sure this space reflected not only our tastes, but our conversations: to accurately reflect us, but more importantly, to accurately reflect metal in the moment. This is not a genre that can be comprehensively covered by five people on a once-a-month basis, but we take that as a given. Truthfully, this is not a genre at all: It’s a galaxy of subgenres, and sub-subgenres, and microgenres. And to be comprehensive, you’d need a dozen people working 24-7. So our goal was merely to make the Black Market the best it could be given our constraints.
Here we have two new songs from Only You, the project of California-based singer Rachel Fannan. She only has a one other little-known single to her name so far, but based on the strength of these tracks, that won’t be the case for long. Her voice is a towering, exquisite masterpiece; it occupies these songs wholly, imbuing them with the power of centuries worth of heartbreak, all wrapped up into a single wailed cry. “The Pressure” and “Let Me Burn” serve as flip sides of the same coin. The former is a heavy, restless track that builds from a beginning that pulsates with the twangy melancholy of an old Spaghetti western. “Came from the smoke rings around your hair, worn like a crown of humble despair,” goes the massive climax. “Let Me Burn” wallows in dusty remorse, a slow-dance number for anyone who feels like their heart has been ripped out of their chest. “When I’m feelin’ low — and, honey, you know I feel so low, living around without you/ And my poor heart, it can’t seem to unwind/ And so I hit that wax, let me burn. One more time, let me burn.” This pair of tracks is timeless, a penance at the altar of great love and great loss. Listen below.
We recently learned about Kenny G’s contributions to Chinese culture and his obsessive stock trading, but did you know he also invented the Frappuccino? OK, invent is too strong a word here, but in a new interview with Bloomberg, the world’s #1 smooth jazz musician says he was a catalyst for the eventual creation of Starbucks’ frozen blended beverage. Apparently G was an early investor in Starbucks after his uncle introduced him to founder Howard Schulz, and at one point down the road he was involved in reshaping the company’s menu. Here’s how the man himself explained it:
I spent a few days in Boston last summer and was genuinely saddened when the dudes I encountered in Allston didn’t have the same kind of grating, goofy voices that I’ve grown accustomed to when I hear music coming out of the area. Kal Marks, Pile, Krill, and occasionally Bad History Month all have a very particular vocal affectation that makes their music unmistakable even to an untrained ear. Despite their obvious differences, there’s a supreme lack of self-seriousness in all of these voices that’s so refreshing — you can practically hear the corners of their mouths curl up at the end of each verse. Rye Pines can be added to this list with their latest track “Pessimist,” a song that starts off with Edward Maguire’s contrarian declaration, “There’s no such thing as summer or spring.” Maguire knows how to shout memorable lyrics with wry conviction (“Can you smell it?/ There’s change in this house and I’m gonna sniff it out”), and accompanied by Alex Page’s semi-spastic, wholly cathartic drumming, “Pessimist” sounds like an anxiety attack. The song will be released on the band’s forthcoming EP Dead Ocean, which includes the equally compelling “Atlantic Ascent.” Listen to “Pessimist” and check out the Dead Ocean tracklist below.