Every time a new Animal Collective-related release gets announced, the fan forum Collected Animals becomes one of the most fevered areas to find even the faintest sliver of news. Now that there are new solo albums coming from both Avey Tare and Panda Bear (and maybe Deakin … what ever happened with that?) today they helped bring to the public a live Noah Lennox cut fans are currently calling “(Marijuana) Makes My Day.” It’s apparently from a mixtape compiled by Sonic Boom (who is in a full-on producer role for the tentatively titled Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, as opposed to just mixing as he did for Tomboy) for an upcoming festival they’ll both be playing. Though the live recording has been mixed there’s no word if this is a primordial track that will appear on the album. Animal Collective’s members have always made a habit of working out new material before recording so it’s likely that whatever might be going into the new album will be previewed when Panda Bear performs 5/18 in Brooklyn for Red Bull Music Academy and at festival dates this summer. Listen to the murky, but nonetheless beautiful recording, which sounds like it samples Ladysmith Black Mambazo, below.
All signs point to the New York dance-punks the Rapture quietly breaking up. As Consequence Of Sound points out, a press release for an upcoming Red Bull Music Academy event in New York lists guitarist and passionate hyena-yawper Luke Jenner as “formerly of the Rapture.” When self-titled sought clarification, Jonathan Galkin of DFA Records responded mysteriously: “I kept thinking it might blow over, but that might not be the case. Feel free to go to press with this headline: ’Did the Rapture Break Up and Not Tell Anyone?’” That’s not exactly explicit confirmation, but it’s close enough to pour one out tonight for one of the greatest bands of the dance-punk revival.
Austin’s Pure X will release their third album (and Fat Possum debut) next month. “Heaven” builds off of what we heard on “Starlight,” embracing the sun-drenched, serene vibe that they’ve spent their last two records refining. Their new album was recorded to tape over a five-day period in a century-old Texas dance hall. You can listen below.
This was one of those weeks where the best music-related video wasn’t a music video. It was Future Islands performing on Letterman and just fucking going for it. Letterman has already introduced frontman Samuel T. Herring’s dancing as a recurring joke on the show, and I sincerely hope it’s because he realizes that dancing was awesome, not because it was weird or whatever. (We’ll never know; it’s always impossible to tell with Letterman.) This was intense, everything-on-the-line performance, and it was maybe, hopefully, the rare late-night TV performance that actually makes a serious difference in a band’s career. I have this vague idea that Future Islands could be the Odd Future-style Band You Have To See at SXSW next week, and if that happens, that performance will be a huge part of the reason. But I still haven’t started including things like late-night performances in this column, so go ahead and enjoy a column that, for whatever reason, is absolutely packed with punk-identified guitar bands this week.
“I can’t recall the last time I took advice from anyone,” is the way SZA begins her entrancing new single “Babylon.” Her last words? “Crucify me.” In between, she gracefully emits breathy sighs that suggest she doesn’t need anybody’s advice over a gurgling, ominous beat from DJ Dahi, who’s done work for her TDE brethren Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q as well as Drake’s “Worst Behavior.” (Apparently Mac Miller helped too.) SZA co-directed the clothes-removing, water-submerging video with APLUSFILMZ. Immerse yourself in it below.
Later this month, the L.A. rapper YG, whose hardscrabble West Coast party rap was recently dubbed “an exciting sign that the system still works” by our own Tom Breihan, will release his major-label debut My Krazy Life. We already saw videos for his all-star “My Nigga (Remix)” and “Left Right.” Now comes a clip for the DJ Mustard-produced Drake collab “Who Do You Love.” Director Benny Boom sets these guys at a house party that makes this song feel even more fun than it did before. Watch it.
Here’s something cute to start your weekend off right. Perhaps you recall that Beyoncé and Jay Z opened the Grammys telecast with a performance of “Drunk In Love.” A video of Beyoncé’s rehearsal (with a Jay Z body double, incidentally) has surfaced that’s entertaining for reasons other than Bey’s breathtaking performance. Not that she charges through this rehearsal with anything less than authority — it’s just that in the final seconds, her baby daughter absolutely melts away her showbiz poise. During the song’s outro, Blue Ivy gets ahold of a microphone and repeats “Surfboard,” then “Hi mommy,” causing the superstar diva to crack a humongous smile. You’ll grin too when you watch it below.
Psych-pop quartet TEEN, who will release The Way And Colour this spring, have shared a new video for “Not For Long.” Roland von Tessin’s video takes frontwoman Kristina Lieberson and recreates her as a disembodied head with an insect-like headdress. In some of the shots, like the one above, the symmetry and severity of the design seem oddly reminiscent of Fuck Buttons’ iconic album covers. Watch it below.