Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekend Music Roundup (Singles Edition)

Given the cold spell in album releases of late, combined with the wealth of interesting singles, I've decided to devote this Roundup exclusively to singles, something I haven't done in quite some time. I've always been a big fan of singles, and B-Sides. They make nice additions to a collection, and have much snob appeal when it comes to ownership. In many of the cases here, they also serve as teasers for albums that I'm very much looking forward to. Some of my favorite bands are represented here, so hopefully you will have some time to check them out. Enjoy.

Blur - There Are Too Many of Us/ Go Out: As the release of their first album in 12 years approaches, the Brit Pop legends have released two new songs. These songs follow the glorious "Under the Westway" single from 2012. "Go Out" is an old school sounding Blur song, with fuzzy guitar and a club beat. "There Are Too Many of Us" is a beautiful, poignant ballad, the kind of song Damon Albarn has excelled at for the past 15 years. All in all, these two songs point to a wonderful return.

Bang Gang - Out of Horizon: The Icelandic indie pop's first release in 8 years doesn't stray far from the sound that made me fall in love with them years and years ago. With their fourth album due out in May, this single dropped in February. A combination of shoegaze and dream pop, this uptempo lullaby has been one of my favorite songs of the past few weeks. I'm really looking forward to the new record.

Peter Doherty - Flags of the Old Regime: Released this month, this single gives fans their first glimpse into a clean Pete Doherty and his new found passion for creating music. It seems sort of unfair to claim an artistic maturity to these two songs, especially when he has always been extremely talented, but somehow it seems undeniable that these songs show a new level of skill. Both songs are beautiful, and leave me excited to see what comes next.

Warpaint - No Way Out: The L.A. dream pop band just put out this new single, their first release since last year's amazing self-titled album. Showing no signs of losing their groove, these two tracks are eerie and wonderful. They make me think of soundtracks to empty city streets in the dead of night. A promising start to their next album.

The Dead Weather - Buzzkill(er): Released last year, this 7" contains two songs from the Jack White/ Alison Mossheart band. Both are heavy, Alison sung, blues rock numbers. Jack's guitar riffs on the B-Side are stellar and both tunes are right in line with their style. It makes me hope that they will get back together soon for their first album since 2010.

Gen X - Dancing With Myself: Released in 1980, this was Generation X's mega hit that propelled Billy Idol's career. I picked up this 12" single on vinyl in Seattle last year. I love the song, and couldn't resist the amazing cover. Perhaps the perfect '80s song, a combination of new wave, punk, pop, and synth rock. A prized possession to be sure.

Nacho Picasso - Smells Like Lean Spirit: Released in 2013, this digital single from the Seattle rapper is typical of his wit and skill. The song pays tribute to recent musical history of his town, not only in the clever cover and title, but in the verses, referencing Kurt, and Courtney. This could be his best song that wasn't a collaboration with Blue Sky Black Death.

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