We’re tag-teaming the Best New Songs column this week, so there’s a bit of discovery (Tom) and a bit of poptimism (Jillian). You’re welcome, readers.
“The whitest band I’ve ever heard is War On Drugs,” Mark Kozelek utters over and over again in his new beef track, “War On Drugs: Suck My Cock.” With lines like this, it’s difficult to take the song too seriously; by similar standards of “whiteness” — meaning indie rock perceived as music for white music listeners — Kozelek’s Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters aren’t far off. And Kozelek, for all his shit-slinging, must know this.
It was 34 years ago this weekend that Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis tragically took his own life. The legacy the post-punk pioneer left behind is unmistakable, despite having only two full-length albums to his credit. His influence is evident in the sound of countless bands who continue to be inspired by his somber lyricism. The number of Unknown Pleasures wannabes is exhausting, but we’ve chosen ten of the best Joy Division covers by artists who uniquely transformed Curtis’ …Read More
Mark Kozelek has one of the most distinctive voices in American music, and has steadily put out great albums since the early 1990s. Even though the names he’s used have changed over the course of his 25-year recording career, you know when you’re listening to Kozelek, whether it’s one of his earlier albums with the Red House Painters, a solo record, or something by his newer band, Sun Kil Moon. His deep, haunted, about-to-break-at-any-second voice is as unmistakable as the famous baritones of Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, or Bill Callahan.
Yes, there’s a new Beyoncé album, and hey, maybe you’ll even enjoy it more than I did. But there has been other music that’s been released this week, too — a bunch of it, actually, and some of it really good! And so, as ever, here’s our regular Friday round-up of the best songs we heard this week, headlined by the most excellent new EMA single — there’s also a similarly awesome new song from HTRK, along with an unexpected Burial EP, St Vincent’s new single, and Mark Kozelek decking the halls with boughs of holly. See you on Monday.
Right, so January is over and done with, and it’s time to get back into the usual music industry swing of things (at least until everyone goes to get wankered at SXSW, anyway.) There are plenty of decent records to be heard in February 2013, so without further ado, here is our regular monthly roundup of the albums we reckon are going to be worth hearing over the next four weeks, from brainy electronica to decidedly brainless sea shanties, with a whole bunch of other stuff in between. If there’s anything we missed, do feel free to take to the comments section and let us know!