Danish producer Trentemøller worked with some exciting guest musicians on his last album, Lost, including Lower Dens singer Jana Hunter (“Gravity“), the Drums’ Jonny Pierce (“Never Stop Running“), and Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead (“Come Undone“). Next week will see the release of Lost Reworks, a remix album that features reinterpretations of the songs from Jenny Wilson (best known for her work with the Knife), Unkwon, Trentemøller himself, and more. Now you can stream the entire record below.
When Mineral announced back in April that they were playing their first shows in 17 years, it was welcome news for people who were still yearning to revisit the golden era of emo. Mineral frontman Chris Simpson never stopped making music though, first with the Gloria Record and more recently under the name Zookeeper. “Pink Chalk” is the title track from Zookeeper’s new album and, like some of the best songs, it’s a little hard to grasp the precise emotion behind the song, but it certainly knows how to make you feel something. It starts with a contemplative piano placed over some heavy breathing, both of which carry through the whole song, providing texture and a hint of weary exasperation. But there’s also hope that peeks through, a sense of comfort and warmth. It’s a song that you can project all of your worries into and feel a little better, even if only for a few minutes. Simpson’s vocals are clear and passionate — the way his voice stretches out the last syllable of every line is affecting, as if he’s crying out for help and reassuring you at the same time. It’s a gorgeous piece of music, and you can listen to it below.
In the single greatest book ever written about rock music, 1991′s Rock And The Pop Narcotic, Joe Carducci described AC/DC thusly: “They kind of took the lumpen stomp of Slade and sort of added the blues croak of early Savoy Brown (Chris Youlden) and came up with a raw, narrowly focused, grittily compacted hard rock sound somewhere in the vicinity of the intersection of blues and metal at boogie … They became so popular by 1980, that today, if you cut open young execs, young housewives, rappers, house mixers, salsa fans, hip hopsters you’ll likely as not find that about fourteen rings back there’s a layer of molten rock sediment spewed by this Australian eruption.”
Annie Clark has always been open to talking about her musical influences, from Miles Davis to Steely Dan. She even got to collaborate and release an album with one of her favorite musicians, David Byrne. During some downtime at last weekend’s Rock En Seine festival where St. Vincent was playing a set, French site Sourdoreille decided to play a little game with Clark to see if she could identify songs from her biggest influences and collaborators. “This is a very cruel game you’re playing,” she said at one point. Clark is mostly on-point, though she does mess up when the interviewer plays two Christmas songs from Sufjan Stevens and her old band Polyphonic Spree. Watch below.
The Austin trio Spray Paint make punk rock that’s appropriately noxious, but also filled with humor and fun. “Threesomes Can Wait” is brimming with oddly tuned guitars and shouted vocals, but there’s a sweetness to balance out the sour flavors. That comes through on the forceful and dynamic percussion layered all around those guitars, and those vocals? It’s hard not to bounce around to the gleefully strange lyrics that cram cat allergies and dead parents into the same line. The song will appear on the band’s upcoming third album, Clean Blood, Regular Acid, which is due next month.
In an era when many formerly blog-hyped indie rock bands with terrible names have descended into obscurity, Scottish wailers We Were Promised Jetpacks are still going strong, and their third album Unraveling is set to arrive this fall. After sharing the epic, sincere, math-rocking first single “Safety In Numbers,” they’ve hit us with “I Keep It Composed,” which uses elephantine riffage in something resembling a krautrock context and which sounds huge. This thing is absolutely going to kill when they play it live, and it sounds pretty awesome coming from my speakers this morning, too. Check it out below.
At this point, we’re used to seeing indie bands catapult from relative obscurity to national TV exposure. But if you’ve every been lucky enough to see Erika Anderson stalking the stage of a tiny club, with her old band Gowns or on her own as EMA, then you know what an unlikely triumph it is to see her standing in a late-night show’s spotlight, hearing David Letterman splutter, “Holy crap, South Dakota?!” while introducing her. Anderson is a noise-scene veteran with a gut-ripping emotional intensity; she is not supposed to be there. And yet, there she was, fronting her future-punk backing band and seething her way through “Neuromancer,” one of many highlights on her great new album The Future’s Void. I’m delighted to report that the confrontational power of her live show translates way better on television than you’d ever expect. She looked like a star last night, and you can, and should, watch her performance below.
Chicago rockers Modern Vices call themselves a “dirty doo-wop” band, but that’s not a very good description of what they do on “Taller In The Sunshine.” The song is much closer to the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand — swaggering urban garage rock with discordant guitar leads and a battered, hi-hat-heavy drumbeat topped off by a commanding croon. Thankfully the quintet is a lot better at making music than they are at describing it. This track, from their self-titled LP coming this fall, reminds me that the oft-maligned garage rock revolution of the early aughts was a worthwhile enterprise after all. Join “a romantic revolution” below.