Broken Bells like to add a dose of sci-fi levity to their music videos; consider, for example, the intergalactic adventures of their “Holding On For Life” clip. But the band’s new video for “Control” is the first time they’ve gone full-on Fox Mulder with it, patching together footage of crop circles and UFO encounters and editing the spacecraft from the cover of their After The Disco album into old film clips. There are also some images of James Mercer and Danger Mouse performing, if you care about that sort of thing. Watch the video below.
Oh man, 1998. Sean Combs, then a celebrated producer and tolerated MC known as “Puff Daddy,” was the hottest property in rap music; his Biggie-eulogizing ’97 LP No Way Out was well on its way to selling 7 million copies. The Smashing Pumpkins, meanwhile, were the hottest property in “alternative rock”; they were set to release the massively anticipated Adore, the follow-up to the diamond-selling double album Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. OF COURSE someone saw fit to get these two mega-gigantor superstars onto a single song. The result: a Puff Daddy remix of Adore single Ava Adore. Naturally, that thing was a fuckin’ trainwreck that got buried for a decade and a half … until now. The Diddy-remade “Ava Adore” has been unearthed for the Pumpkins’ exhaustive Adore reissue, and today, and it’s available for you to hear. Does it sound better today than it did in ’98? I very much doubt it. It removes the song’s deep, ugly insecurities, and replaces those elements with pillowy, bombastic treacle. Fortunately (or not, depending on how you view these things) Diddy saw fit not to add a verse of his own. In any case, it’s an odd and interesting relic of its era. Listen.
Earlier this month, we posted “I Make Sense,” an eccentric and wobbly piece of garage-psych from Phil Hartunian’s solo project Follies. That song will appear on an upcoming split with Wishbone, a full band made up of Hartunian, high school friend Jasper McMahon, and Harriet drummer Henry Kwapis. If “School Of Fish” is any indication, the Wishbone side of the split strips away the sludge and aims to resemble something a little more like straight-forward rock. It’s a beleaguered piece of pop, sounding like a shrug of the shoulders, but out of defeat rather than indifference. “Couldn’t face the mirror/ Where did I go?/ Where did I go? Can’t remember.” Listen below.
Zola Jesus returns this fall with the new album Taiga, and its first single, “Dangerous Days,” is a sweeping and beautiful piece of starry-eyed synthpop that couldn’t possibly be further from the gothic scrape-noise that Nika Roza Danilova started out making. In the new “Dangerous Days” video, we see Danilova singing by mountain lakes, on rocky beaches, and in deep woods. It’s beautifully shot, and it looks like a back-to-nature deal, at least until the moment that Danilova turns into a pillar of digital salt. Run The Jewels collaborator Tim Saccenti directs, and you can watch it below.
Literature’s new Chorus (which you can stream here) is a record that really earns the adjective “kaleidoscopic.” Their music is lovingly indebted to ’60s pop, while being in tune with the jangling textures of ’80s bands mining that same sound, but it’s also a record that sounds right at home with indie rock in the 2010s. Together it makes for a colorful mashup of reflective styles. The band’s new video for “Kites” essentially looks the way their music sounds, which is a compliment. Watch it below and look for them on tour.
Does the world need another Interpol album? I ask because El Pintor is best described as “another Interpol album.” This is objectively true in the sense that it is an album, and it is by Interpol, and there were others before it. It also feels subjectively true because El Pintor’s predecessors were already becoming difficult to distinguish around the time of their last “comeback album” in 2010, and this new one is not making that process any easier. These 10 tracks seem less like a standalone document than the continuation of an infinite playlist — 40 more minutes of all-black everything, from the closet full of sleek tailored suits to the stack of brooding post-punk and new wave records on the coffee table. Interpol ages, but they do not evolve.
The former Hüsker Dü/Sugar frontman Bob Mould is a punk rock legend, and it turns out that he’s also really, really great at performing on late-night TV talk shows. Remember when he ripped through “I Don’t Know You Anymore” on Conan? Jesus. Ridiculous. Last night, Mould was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and he once again rocked hard enough that I’m worried he’s going to break something one of these days. Mould usually plays with Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, but last night, he had a ringer behind him, as Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins filled in. (Split Single frontman Jason Narducy, Mould’s usual bassist, was in his regular role.) On the show proper, Mould played “The War,” a song from his recent album Beauty & Ruin. And as an online bonus, he also did “Hey Mr. Grey.” He absolutely destroyed both times, and it’s an absolute pleasure to see what this guy can do at this stage of his career. Watch it below, and be impressed. Also, check out Mould’s forthcoming tour dates.
When we named Ryan Pollie’s project Los Angeles Police Department a Band To Watch earlier this month, I had this to say about his debut album: “It’s built on regret, on making mistakes, or perhaps the even greater pain of not doing anything at all. There’s talk of caving too soon, of letting go, of biding time. It plays like a scabbed wound, gently picking away at every edge until the soft and tender skin underneath is the only thing left. It’s not without moments of levity — Pollie’s words are serious, but they’re never self-important.” Those words still stand, and Los Angeles Police Department is an album that only gets better with repeat listens, when you start to find little nooks and crannies to cozy up into that weren’t immediately apparent. You can now stream the album in full below, and make sure you read our interview with Pollie here.