As I said when we recently premiered “Sleeptalker,” TOPS have a very different sound than the one typically associated with Arbutus Records, but they still deliver smolderingly romantic songs similar to their labelmates. Their newest, “Way To Be Loved,” is filled with crisp, modest guitar riffs, not-so-modest bass lines, and Jane Penny’s soft but firm vocals. It’s a fantastic statement of purpose for an album opener — and the album it kicks off looks to be another great addition to the label’s rich catalog. Listen below.
Yung Lean — internet-beloved #sadboy, bucket-hat wearer, Arizona Iced Tea enthusiast, and teenaged Swedish rapper — has now joined the hallowed ranks of artists interviewed by Nardwuar The Human Serviette. Although a recent New Yorker profile insisted that Yung Lean and the Sad Boys self-consciously try to keep up melancholic appearances, Nardwuar manages to make them all crack up within the first minute of the interview (by singing happy birthday in Swedish, in case you were wondering). Maybe Yung Lean’s crushing emotional despair is no match for Nardwuar’s ridiculousness, or maybe he was just in a good mood because it was his 18th birthday. Either way, it’s a fun interview, and you can watch it below.
Apparently there are companies dedicated to managing and monetizing fan clubs for celebrities, and one of them called Worldwide Fan Clubs once counted Duran Duran among its clients. Not anymore; The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the new wave legends are suing the Glenview, Illinois-based company for $40,000 and claiming that Worldwide Fan Clubs failed to deliver their contractually guaranteed payments. Further details:
Electronic musician Roberto Carlos Lange will soon put out Double Youth, his new album under the long-running moniker Helado Negro. We’ve already heard the new single “I Krill You” (which somehow wasn’t already used as a title by the band Krill), and now he’s shared a video for the song. Blending glittering streamers, footage of forests, flashing blue lights, and closeups of Lange singing, it all melts into an impressionistic whole that fits the song well. Watch it below.
That impressively bearded fellow in the picture above is Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson, whose songwriting alias is the slightly more pronounceable Júníus Meyvant. The Icelandic artist just put out his debut single, “Color Decay,” a polished slice of bright folk-pop buoyed up by a sprightly horn arrangement. It’s already a hit in his native country, and you can listen to it below.
Amy Winehouse died three years ago today, and to commemorate her death, the comic book company Bluewater Productions, which seems to specialize exclusively in quickie comic-book bios of dead celebrities, has published a Winehouse comic called Tribute: Amy Winehouse. The book, which Michael L. Frizell wrote and Jayfri Hashim drew, exists in the grand tradition of the company’s recent, fascinatingly terrible Tribute: Kurt Cobain, with the troubling additional factor that it’s probably supposed to give boners. Below, check out a few of the pages, many of which revolve around a topless Winehouse getting tattooed and thinking song lyrics to herself.
We looked back at the “golden era” of emo this week, but let’s not forget that there’s still plenty of great music along those genre lines being made today. “No Hard Feelings” is from Hemingway’s upcoming debut album, Pretend To Care, and it screams ’90s in a good way. The Portland band is achingly honest, toeing the line of overly sentimental but never crossing it. It feels like the lines “You’re never coming over anymore/ I never wanna see you” have been sung a million times before, but the emotions are so universal, and Hemingway is endearing enough to make them work. Listen below.
Pharrell acts as a photographer at a fashion shoot in the video for “Come Get It Bae,” which is his next single from G I R L. Miley Cyrus, who contributed vocals to the song, also shows up about halfway through in a goofy outfit. And maybe I’m reading too much into things, but even though Pharrell ostensibly is singing as himself when he says, “I can see it the way you like/ I can do anything you need,” it still feels a little gross to see those words accompanied by girls dancing suggestively for the camera when we’re not so far removed from all of the Terry Richardson controversy, especially with Miley featured in the video. For someone who is usually pretty conscious of how he comes across, it seems like a bit of a misstep for Pharrell. Also for a video that starts with the words “Beauty has no expiration date” superimposed on the screen, it sure features a lot of twenty-somethings. Watch the video below.