Welcome to another edition of our regular Monday stream-a-thon, wherein we scour the Internet for worthy and/or noteworthy albums that are streaming this week at absolutely no cost. This week there’s the new record by Canadian indie overlords (and overlady) Metric, along with the Richard Russell/Damon Albarn-produced return of Bobby Womack, more endearing silliness from The Hives, some Monday melancholy from The Tallest Man on Earth, and Hot Chip “doing” New Order. Click through and get listening.
Metric — Synthetica
“I’m just as fucked up as they say,” proclaims Emily Haines to announce the arrival of Synthetica, Metric’s fifth studio album and first since 2009’s Fantasies. We’ve never quite understood why Metric aren’t massive — that isn’t to say that they’re our favorite band, but Haines is a charismatic singer, and the band’s sound seems tailor-made for stadium tours supporting U2, etc. Anyway, on first listen, Synthetica may well be the record to change all that — you can stream it right now via the band’s SoundCloud page.
Bobby Womack — The Bravest Man in the Universe
We mentioned last week that we were intrigued to hear this Richard Russell/Damon Albarn-helmed new record by soul/R&B legend Bobby Womack — it’s his first since a Christmas album in 2000, and we were hoping it might do something similar for his career as Russell did for the late Gil Scott-Heron with I’m New Here. At first listen, it’s indeed reminiscent of that record, layering Womack’s vocals over very modern-sounding beats and textures. It’s fascinating listening, and you can hear it via NPR.
The Hives — Lex Hives
The Hives are largely known for a) wearing exclusively black and white clothing, b) having a member called Dr. Matt Destruction, and c) having the best inter-song banter this side of Warren Ellis. Their music has never been quite as interesting as any of the above facts, but it’s rip-roaring good fun nonetheless, and their new album Lex Hives is streaming via AOL’s Spinner blog this week.
The Tallest Man on Earth — There’s No Leaving Now
Yay for melancholy Swedish indie, especially on a rainy Monday morning. If you’re partial to the likes of Jens Lekman — and let’s face it, if you don’t like Jens, we feel bad for you — then you may well enjoy the work of Krtistian Matsson, who goes by the Tallest Man on Earth moniker for reasons that shall remain unclear. This is his third studio album, and it’s streaming via NPR.
Hot Chip — In Our Heads
There’s never been any doubt that the glut of indie dance types that emerged in the UK during the 2000s — Hot Chip, Klaxons, Cut Copy, etc — owe a great deal to New Order, but honestly, come on… you could pass the first track from this record, “Motion Sickness,” off as a hitherto-undiscovered outtake from New Order’s mid-’80s period and no one would bat an eyelid. We’re not saying that this record is bad, but why not just go out and buy Brotherhood or Technique instead? Anyway, listen here and see what you think.
You may have heard of this record. A remastered 40th-anniversary version is being released today, and it’s streaming right now via NME.