With the release schedule pretty much all wound down for the year, the stream of downloadable tracks has also largely dried up. Over the next few weeks, we’re therefore replacing our regular grab-bag of free MP3s with a more general roundup of new tracks that we reckon are worth hearing, downloadable or otherwise. Never fear, though — the downloads will be back in January! In the meantime, click on through to see what’s been floating our boat this week in terms of new music — there’s a pretty awesome Lower Dens remix, new stuff from Widowspeak and Foals, a free Oneohtrix Point Never rarity, Marnie Stern vs. Infinite Jest, a shitload of Lawrence English’s field recordings, why we love Bear Ceuse, and more. Click through and get listening!
Lower Dens — “Brains” (Trentemøller remix)
We took our feature earlier yesterday on the year’s most underrated albums as an opportunity to rave anew about how much we loved Lower Dens’ mighty Nootropics LP. This turns out to have been timelier than we realized, because it turns out that the band have a new EP, featuring three remixes of songs from the album. The standout remix is by the ever-dependable Danish producer Trentemøller — he takes on album highlight “Brains,” and you can hear the results here.
Oneohtrix Point Never — “Blue Drive”
We’re generally all for anything Oneohtrix-related, so we’re rather hoping to get a copy of the new deluxe issue of his rarities compilation Rifts, which was re-released last week in a fancy box set with a bunch of new tracks. You can download one of said tracks, entitled “Blue Drive,” for free via Pitchfork
Widowspeak — “The Dark Age”
Yay for new Widowspeak! This is stream-only, but is still worth checking out — you can do so via Stereogum.
Foals — “My Number”
Foals go ’80s! This new track was premiered on British TV last month, and will appear on their new album Holy Fire. If you like vaguely Talking Heads-ish white-boy funk, then you’ll want to click through to Pitchfork and listen to this forthwith. If you’re a long-standing Foals fan, you may wish to do nothing of the sort, but we’ll leave the decision up to you.
Marnie Stern — “Year of the Glad”
In which Marnie Stern references Infinite Jest, sort of. Oh yes — we’ll have a piece of that action, alright. If you’re similarly inclined, you can stream the track at Stern’s Soundcloud.
Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras, The Congos — “Open Up the Gate” (live)
Icon Give Thank, the unlikely collaboration between Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras, and The Congos, could well have been #16 on our list of the year’s most underrated records. The collaboration has now extended to a new live EP, from which this track is taken. You can hear it via Soundcloud (where there’s also a link for a free download — yay!)
Phosphorescent — “Song for Zula”
We’ll admit to not having been familiar with Phosphorescent’s work before this, but we’ll definitely be investigating it further now — this is really pretty, a widescreen melancholy epic underpinned by big synth strings and a gentle drum machine beat. It reminds us a bit of Odawas’s excellent The Blue Depths LP from a few years back. Anyway, you can listen for yourself at Pitchfork.
Los Campesinos! — “A Doe to a Deer”
A Los Campesinos! Christmas song. Proceed at your own risk.
Lawrence English — Songs of the Living and And the Lived In
Two entire albums’ worth of field recordings from Australian avant-garde maestro and Room40 founder Lawrence English. What, you’re still here? Go and get amongst it!
Bear Ceuse — “Entertain Me”
And finally, we have something of a soft spot for NYC four-piece Bear Ceuse, mainly because they responded to our making fun of their name with uncommon good grace and good humor (we’re quoted in their press release thusly: “‘Sexually unthreatening’ – Flavorpill.”) They’re also fine exponents of classic guitar-based indie pop, and this track sounds like all the good bits of early ’90s luminaries like Superchunk, Guided by Voices, etc. We like it a lot, and you can get it right here.
XLR8R’s top 100 downloads for the year, all in one handy zip file! Go.