Interpol have released a new single and it is better than it has any right to be.
No, wait, I'm serious. Hear me out.
Interpol was my favorite band for the better part of a decade, but I was ready to admit that the era of my melancholy magnates was over. First there was the departure of enigmatic bassist Carlos D, the Interpol brand’s masthead and only redeeming element of their live show. Then came that disaster of a self-titled 2010 album—a plodding, uninspired lesson in tedium. The end was spelled: they were out of new tricks and the old formulas had begun to fall flat. So I bought the TOTBL 10th Anniversary deluxe pressing and resigned myself to the reality of a world where the only Interpol we heard from was the one that catches terrorists.
But then Interpol went and released All The Rage Back Home last week. The first single off of September’s El Pintor is alarmingly good, even excellent. It marks a return to form, but a more important return to function. That is, Interpol have stopped trying to sound like Interpol, instead achieving a sort of musical self-actualization. All the pieces of are here—from from interwoven guitars to a ruthless rhythm section, even a respectable bassline now provided by Paul Banks—but the band has managed to capture an intensity and honesty not seen since 2004’s Antics. The lyrics, which in any given Interpol song typically tow the line between completely genius and totally crazy (You’re so cute when you’re frustrated, dear/You’re so cute when you’re sedated, dear.), are inoffensively ear worm-worthy. Interpol have cut through the doom & gloom and done the improbable: they made a damn good rock song, by any measure. In A minor!
All The Rage Back Home - Interpol
Monday, July 14, 2014
Interpol have released a new single and it is better than it has any right to be.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Hi. This is weird; I thought I was more or less done here. But I’ve been thinking a lot recently, and I might still have it in me. I just needed a motivator. It’s like when Brett Favre retired and then un-retired. Sure, Favre had millions of dollars as his motivator, but the real moral was that he loved the game too much to stay away. There’s some deep metaphor here with me being Brett Favre and football being music, but I’ll spare you that allegorical clusterfuck.
I will tell you about the motivator, though. If there’s one thing I could come out of retirement for, it’s Death From Above 1979. If you don’t know my DFA1979 saga, you can read through these old posts and learn all about it. But if you have a life and value your time, I’ll just sum up: I LOVE THEM MORE THAN MY OWN FAMILY. Soundtrack to my teenage angst, kind of thing. They released their first new track in a decade yesterday (a precursor to their first new album in a decade, out 9/9), and so in a gesture of “if they can do it, so can I,” I present you with Trainwreck 1979. It has the same raw power that made them so appealing 10 years ago, but sees that sound tightened and polished. As Asian Dan remarked, “This is what the Black Keys would sound like if they were good.” Touché.
Have a listen:
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Big industry awards often frustrate me. Be it the Oscars, the Emmy's, or the Grammy's, the nominees for these types of shows often feel all-too-predictable, seeming more the result of bureaucratic processes than true appreciation. But every once in awhile, a gem of an underdog gets the recognition they deserve in the form of a nomination. This year, we're cheering for Mikky Ekko, the Tennessee songwriter who's duet Stay with Rihanna (perhaps you've heard of her) received a nomination for Best Pop Duo Performance. But while Stay is an undeniable smash, it would have been cool to see his more recent collaboration with Active Child, the incredible Subtle get a nod, too. But hey, baby steps.
Subtle (feat. Mikky Ekko) - Active Child
While I gush away about his collaborative tracks, I have to note that Ekko is a formidable performer in his own right, evidenced by his summer single Kids, which you definitely need to check out.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Hey fellow countrymen, have y'all had enough of the cold weather yet? Me too. But don't worry, I know just what you need: JAMAICA.
Sadly no, I am not running a contest to fly all my readers to paradise, but close. JAMAICA -- the insanely catchy, pop rockin' French duo -- are back after years of doing whatever French musicians do between albums (smoke a lot of cigarettes, look cool, and eat bread probably, idk) with their sophomore release, Ventura. While the album drops in March, its befittingly monikered first single, Hello Again, is here now. It has every bit of the bouncing beats and jangling guitar work we remember from the band, with a markedly tighter, polished finish. This preview has us pretty darn excited for the rest of the album, but as for now -- a snow day never sounded so good.
You can preview the song below, but if you want a download link, you've gotta head over to the band's website.
Hello Again - JAMAICA
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The year's most stressful month has arrived. While you're busy buying Christmas presents and spending too much money on plane tickets trying to get home for the holidays to family you not-so-secretly distain, music writers everywhere are wracking their brains and arbitrary ratings systems to create their all-important Best Of The Year lists. I probably won't do a "best of" list this year; mainly because I haven't listened to more than 5 albums all the way through.* But that doesn't mean I won't preach to you at least a little bit.
Before you inevitably read other, more legitimate publications' lists, I want to tilt your bias by presenting you with what I
think know to be the best pop song of the year, no contest. (Well, barring Titanium, but that is a contentious topic, and also I'm pretty sure it was released in '12, and also also we're here to promote music's little guy, not its Guetta.) Obviously it was written by a Swede. Tove Lo's Habits is such a perfect sad girl power ballad you'll probably know all the words without having heard it. Swedish girls just get it, after all. While Habits has already been used for background on every MTV show produced this year, it has yet to go double platinum, and I think we should rectify that before 2014 rolls along.
Looking forward to seeing y'all -- and Tove! -- at the top.
Habits - Tove Lo
* [I realize this makes me the problem, not the solution.]
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
While yesterday's topic was the phenomena of avoiding a band based solely on their name, today's is the antithesis of that. When a certain "Tiger Forest Cat" showed up in my rarely-checked (sorry) submissions inbox , I downloaded the promo immediately. Normally to make it on to my precious hard drive a strict vetting process of internet streaming occurs, but I went out on a limb here because I just knew that any band with a name like that was going to be amazing. You may think I'm sounding silly and arrogant but you know what? I was so right.
Turns out in addition to having a great name, Tiger Forest Cat is from the greatest country - Sweden. So it's no wonder that his whimsical, breezy pop single With The Winds Of Despair seems destined to soundtrack the next great commercial spot -- Swedes are built and programmed since birth to make hits. This is fact. Even if you're skeptical of my sources, once you get to the chorus you'll agree with me. That run on "little darling of mine" is the stuff that dreams are made of. Kudos to me for finally checking a submission email, kudos to TFC for having the best name ever, and kudos to you for telling all your friends about him. I just knew you would.
With The Winds Of Despair
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
You know when you hear of a band and the lexemic association you place on their name completely overshadows any of their output for you? Like, "Awwwww man, Cake? I hate cake, why would I want to listen to a band called Cake?" Well, if you've ever found yourself in the preceding scenario, you're a sadist. Seriously, who doesn't like cake? But moving on.
Having lived in New York for just under a year, I've come to resent tourists with a fire equal only to how Beyonce undoubtedly feels about Kim K: I can't stand them. But I'm not letting that get in the way of enjoying Tourist, the man. Tourist is a London-based musician with an undeniable knack for the deep house-hearkening, lush production style so popular in the past year. That's not to say his downtempo beats and layered instrumentation render him a copycat act in any way -- his late night jams display a deftness artists twice his age could only dream of possessing. He's demonstrated this most recently in a string of EPs -- his next set for an early December release -- and some expert remix work. He'll be kicking off a US tour in NYC over CMJ, so be sure to shake off any xenophobia, and catch the man in action.
Stay - Tourist