New Music Playlist: 6 Tracks To Set The Week Straight
You’re addicted to the good stuff. We know. Same here. We live in a technological utopia where new music is a constant, where premium and exclusive-baiting streaming services are popping up left and right (hear about the new SoundCloud ‘Go’ service?), and social media is a blizzard of mixtape-pushing indie kids and would-be superstars. But sorting through it all is madness, a time-sucking aural minefield.
We’ve got you covered. Check out the best new tracks this week has to offer below, with accompanying info provided by myself and a dose from our UK editor, Paul Tamburro. As always, keep up with our weekly new music finds as they arrive by subscribing to the Crave New Music Playlist on Spotify. Also check out our killer New Music mixtapes from previous weeks.
Headnodic & Raashan Ahmad – ‘Warm Up’ feat. Karl Denson
I’ve been in love with Crown City Rockers for twelve solid years, when the collective blew me away in their Earthtones record – seriously, if you’re into butter-smooth hip hop with utmost chill flow, check that shit out. Many years and solo careers down the line, main mic man Raashan Ahmad and fellow partner in Crown Headnodic reignited their musical short-hand, friendship and effortless connection. As the duo explain on their SoundCloud, that connection is apparent through every moment of this release of beautiful beats and rhymes. Listen to the entire EP and pick it up here.
Basement – ‘School’ Nirvana cover
A double-shot of Nirvana full-album tribute compilations has arrived on Record Store Day each of the last two years, from Richmond, Virginia’s Robotic Empire. Blasts of punk, metal, and hardcore have taken Kurt Cobain’s template and created entirely new monsters, and this year’s release of Doused In Mud, Soaked In Bleach is no different. Alongside Beach Slang, Thou, Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place, and more, England crushers Basement tackle songs from Nirvana’s 1989 debut album. The A.V. Club is now streaming the band’s cover of “School,” which sees the band stay largely true to the original, albeit with some added aggro-gusto. And I fucking love it.
Vocalist Andrew Fisher says: “We picked ‘School’ because it’s really heavy and so simple but so good. It has two parts the whole way through. Just goes to show how dynamics can make a song interesting. Whenever we play it I wish we wrote it because it’s that good. We flirted with the idea of trying to make it “our own” and change it, but because the song is so simple everything we came up with sounded forced and wrong. Instead we thought we’d try our best to do the song justice and so recorded it live and tried to keep it as true to the original as possible. I think it came out pretty cool.” Yeah, same here.
While you’re diggin’ on Nirvana covers, check out Sturgill Simpson’s positively wild “In Bloom” cover right here.
The Last Shadow Puppets – ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’
Alex Turner and Miles Kane have returned with their second album as The Last Shadow Puppets, with both men being in vastly different stages of their respective careers this time around.
Turner, now confident in his role as heir apparent to the rock ‘n’ roll throne following his love affair with all things Americana, and Kane, no longer finding himself being referred to as “Who?” after releasing a selection of crowd-pleasing anthems of his own, pepper Everything You’ve Come to Expect with hazy, ‘70s sultriness, veering from Love to The Beatles while still keeping in step with their own carefully cultivated personas.
The title track exemplifies this, with the duo matching its sweeping strings with their breathless vocals and surrealist lyricism. Turner even manages to fit in a witty aside that wouldn’t feel out of place in his pre-QOTSA years, bellowing about a “walk through the chalet of the shadow of death” in an arrow shot through the heart of the English seaside.
– Paul Tamburro, UK Editor
Holy Fever – ‘Duress’
Let’s set some shit on fire. Holy Fever are prepping their debut album The Wreckage, and have slapped us in the attention deficit with a spastic jolt of excellence one would expect after a raunchy night with members of the Raconteurs and The Hives.
Members of American Nightmare, The Hope Conspiracy, The Explosion and more populate the band – vocalist Todd Cooper explains the feeling behind the track: “The sense of urgency and aggression in ‘Duress’ mimics the headspace we were in at the time we wrote it. We were toward the end of writing the record and simultaneously exhausted and filled with adrenaline as we started to see the finish line. Sam had this idea that the chorus would just be one note and the lyric would be one word. This is one of our favorites to play live.”
Holy Fever will be self releasing The Wreckage on 8th April, 2016. Get upon it.
With Lions – ‘Down We Go’
With Lions first locked our full attention with the January premiere of “Fight Back (DestroyBoy remix),” with a thrusting melodic rhythm that’s equal parts sexy and dangerous under a swarming guitar riff. It sent us deep into their latest album Fast Luck, a remarkably potent release which finds Woody Ranere, Christian Celaya and Josh Thomas leaning into a powerful and raw collection of tracks we can’t wait to see onstage.
Directed by Sage Atwood, the “Down We Go” video was filmed in Paris and Brooklyn, backing the song’s churning rhythm and gang-chorus singalong infectiousness. We were proud as hell to premiere the lyric video for the track just a few days ago, as well as a very special remix of “Can’t Hold Me” by We Are Dark Angels.
Psychic Ills – I Don’t Mind (feat. Hope Sandoval)
The gorgeously breathy vocals of Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star (remember “Fade Into You”?) are a welcome delight on Psychic Ills’ latest offering, “I Don’t Mind”. The track is taken from the band’s fifth full-length release, Inner Journey Out, releasing June 3 through longtime label home Sacred Bones Records.
The material on Inner Journey Out was cultivated from a series of demos recorded by frontman Tres Warren, with bassist Elizabeth Hart contributing to the studio sessions. Inner Journey Out is also the first studio album to feature Psychic Ills’ touring keyboardist Brent Cordero.