Chances are, if you read this site or anything about music on the internet, you heard about Ryn Weaver this summer. Back in June, Weaver appeared, seemingly apropos of nothing, on SoundCloud with “OctaHate,” a song that garnered considerable buzz because A) it’s a really great, infectious song, and B) the murderer’s row of people involved. Charli XCX co-wrote, Benny Blanco and Passion Pit mastermind Michael Angelakos and Cashmere Cat produced. And then Jessie Ware and Hayley Williams and Tom Krell of How To Dress Well all tweeted it. The whole thing made Weaver ascendant overnight, and also yielded criticism from writers and readers alike, with people assuming Weaver was nothing more than an industry creation, or a rich kid with connections. (It’s kind of amazing how worked up people still get about the former in 2014.) Weaver herself took to the Stereogum comments section to set it a bit straight, and later spoke to Chris for an Artist To Watch feature, in which they talked about how, while the arrival of Ryn Weaver was sudden and definite, she’d been kicking around and working on material under her real name, Aryn Wuthrich, and briefly as FemFemFem first.
Early in the year, we saw reports that U2 were teaming up with producer Danger Mouse for a full album, one that was expected in April. They teamed up for the 2013 soundtrack song “Ordinary Love” and the free-giveaway single “Invisible.” And then the album never came out. When U2 did pull off their surprise release of Songs Of Innocence a few months later, Danger Mouse was in the credits a lot, but he was far from the sole producer, and those two previously released songs weren’t on the album. And based on what the band and their collaborators told Rolling Stone in a new profile, the band may have scrapped an entire Danger Mouse-produced album, one that sure seems like it was far along the way to completion.
CHVRCHES’ debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, came out more than a year ago, but presumably due to their inclusion on the newly reimagined Drive soundtrack, as well as the new Hunger Games soundtrack, the Scottish electro-pop trio is once again promoting The Bones Of What You Believe via a new video. Unlike the majority of CHRVCHES songs, “Under The Tide” has Martin Doherty singing lead vocals. The visuals combine anime cartoons with a TRON-like geometric, computer-generated landscape. The video is also interspersed with flashing images of the band, in particular Martin who is singing, to produce a highly stimulating aesthetic that mirrors the boisterous synthesizers in the track. Watch.
Among the great jazz musicians who came to prominence in the ’60s, Herbie Hancock always seemed to be the most together. He easily adapted to fusion and funk and synthpop and Grammy-awarded singer-songwriter fare while his peers either died or got left behind. So it’s a little surprising to learn that Hancock spent a few years fighting a crack addiction. Today, Hancock has published a new memoir called Herbie Hancock: Possibilities. Part of the book deals with Hancock’s battle with the drug, a subject that I don’t think he’s ever discussed in detail before. Right now, Vulture has an excerpt about the first time Hancock tried crack. Here’s a quick taste:
New York’s Interpol and London’s Factory Floor are two bands with very different takes on retro-minded postpunk darkness. And yet they’ve come together, with Factory Floor transforming “My Desire,” the single from Interpol’s new El Pintor album, into a heaving and twinkling seven-minute goth-house assault. It sounds absolutely nothing like the original, to the point where I wonder if Factory Floor didn’t just make a new Factory Floor song and send it to Interpol when they asked for a remix. But that’s fine; Factory Floor songs are great. And speaking of Interpol, they appeared on the most recent episode of the BBC live-music show Later With Jools Holland (which also featured their former tourmates U2) to throb their way through “All The Rage Back Home.” Listen to the Factory Floor remix and watch the Jools performance below.
Back in May, the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart released their third studio album, Days Of Abandon. Now, to match their delightful brand of indie pop, the band releases an aesthetically pleasant, thematically light video for the album’s third track, “Kelly,” which features Jen Goma of A Sunny Day In Glasgow. Directed by Art Boonparn, the video manipulates kaleidoscopic projections of color that swarm around the performing band members, creating beautiful transparent images and glimmering refractions. Check out the new video below, as well as the band’s tour dates.
Over the summer, Drew Citron’s indie-pop project Beverly (which started out as a duo with Frankie Rose) released the bright, engaging debut album Careers. After making videos for “Honey Do” and “Out On A Ride” and “All The Things,” they’ve got a new clip for the slow and stately “Yale’s Life.” In the video, we see Citron and her bandmates playing onstage and, for some reason, doing carpentry, as director Jim Larson gives them glamorous ’80s lighting and films them in ecstatic slo-mo, lending the whole affair a seedy, dreamlike feel. Watch it below.
Philip Selway is probably the last member of Radiohead anyone expected to go full singer-songwriter, but with sophomore solo release Weatherhouse, the longtime drummer affirms that he’s more than capable of stepping out from behind the kit. Recorded with Bat For Lashes touring member Quinta and Four Tet’s former Fridge bandmate Adem Ilhan, the album is more confident and ambitious than Selway’s promising 2010 debut Familial. It’s a pop record with an artful touch that further develops his tender emotional spin on the expansively moody sounds Radiohead fans know and love. On his day off from working on Radiohead’s latest album, Selway called from the UK to discuss Weatherhouse, his Tonight Show appearance with the Dap-Kings, and how one of his songs shares a name with one of this year’s biggest hits.