It certainly seems like St. Vincent (real name Annie Clark) is gearing up to issue her next album, considering the recent announcement of a 22-date European/American tour (called “Fear the Future”) and last week’s release of a melancholy new single, “New York.” The song is a beautiful, straightforward piano ballad with none of the fiery guitar you’ve come to expect from the American singer-songwriter. Listen below.
I honestly don’t know a lot about D.C.-born-and-bred punk band Priests. But that’s going to change. “Suck” — the funk-y closing track from their 2017 album Nothing Feels Natural — is reminiscent of Remain in Light-era Talking Heads. Go listen. Let me know what you think on Twitter.
I’m so happy for Pete(r) Doherty. It’s been 15 years since this Libertines co-frontman made good with the English guitar band’s debut album Up the Bracket. From there, the majority of his musical career has been chaotic — with Doherty’s tremendous songwriting abilities many times overshadowed by a very public drug addition, trips to jail, his relationship with Kate Moss, dissolution of the Libertines… the list goes on.
But it seems Doherty has come through it, and is as sharp as ever on his 2016 LP Hamburg Demonstrations. “Birdcage” — the album’s second track, which includes lyrics written by Amy Winehouse — has a modern-day “Mockingbird” feel, with Doherty alternating vocal duties with singer Suzi Martin.
“Melted Dice” is a stand-out track from Honus Honus’ first solo album, Use Your Delusion — a collection of weird pop songs about the equally-weird city (Los Angeles) this artist now calls home. Honus Honus is a music-making machine: Use Your Delusion was self-released in 2016, and new records seemingly are in the works for his two most noteworthy projects: experimental band Man Man and the “doom wop” supergroup Mister Heavenly.
Full disclosure: I co-financed Use Your Delusion (to the tune of 40 bucks).
While we anxiously await the first sounds from her recently-announced collaborative album with Kurt Vile, here is a new-ish single from Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett — released last month — that would have felt right at home on her brilliant 2015 album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. This is probably because “How to Boil an Egg” isn’t a new song per se — it was a staple of open mic setlists earlier in Barnett’s career.
I’m a casual fan of Vampire Weekend. Don’t get me wrong — it’s an amazing band (Modern Vampires of the City was my favorite record of 2013), but I’ve never taken time to drill down past the established narrative and learn their story.
So I didn’t fully understand the significant contributions of Rostam (full name Rostam Batmanglij), who officially-but-amicably left the band in 2016; and definitely wasn’t prepared for the excellently-fuzzy, anthemic indie pop of his initial solo offerings. “Bike Dream” is from Rostam’s debut album under his own name, Half-Light, which will be released September 8.
Kendrick and Chance might make all the headlines, but no one in the hip-hop world is making more interesting music right now than Young Thug. “Me or Us” — which builds around the guitar line from Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life” — is from the Atlanta rapper’s self-described “singing album,” Beautiful Thugger Girls.
There’s a complicated backstory to Amber Coffman’s debut record City of No Reply, which was produced after a break-up that left this former Dirty Projectors vocalist/guitarist alone personally and professionally. But the album is no dirge, evidenced by the upbeat track “Under the Sun,” with its bouncy guitar work and theme of moving on with confidence.
Declan McKenna is an 18-year-old musical wunderkind best known for winning the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. Though if lead track “Brazil” is any indication, the English singer/songwriter’s celebrity will grow significantly with release of his debut LP — What Do You Think About the Car? — later this year.
I started SOMETHINGGOOD for my brother, who often laments “they don’t make music like they used to.” I mean, *technically* he’s right — but it’s for all the wrong reasons.
Music is better than it’s ever been. Full stop. You no longer need expensive recording sessions to get a professional-quality sound, nor do you need a record deal to reach a global audience. With fewer barriers, sheer volume wins out. Now there’s a daily flow of new music from a diverse, and always-growing, pool of artists. It’s awesome. And on the consumer side, you can play almost any song ever made, within seconds, with just a few taps on a phone. Equally awesome.
My intention with SOMETHINGGOOD (@SMTHNGGOODmusic) is to shine a spotlight on new, (what I think is) good music. That’s it. I’m 100% independent and have no financial stake in anything music-related (but willing to hear offers). Please follow along as SOMETHINGGOOD takes shape with daily posts.