Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)


mp3s 4 e1333124415256 Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)

“You are the music while the music lasts.” -T.S. Eliot


Andrew Bird – “If I Needed You”

andrew bird hands of glory Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)

On his latest tour, Andrew Bird has been performing “old-time” sets complete with creaky violins and sparse string arrangements. He recorded eight songs in a similar, old-fashioned style for his upcoming recording, Hands of Glory (out October 30th via Mom + Pop Records). Early track “If I Needed You” is a Townes Van Zandt cover stripped to mandolin and the occasional violin interjection. Bird’s self-harmonized vocals carry Van Zandt’s lonesome words, and you can even hear Bird mimicking Townes’ southern accent. It’s a lovely tribute to an impeccable (and underappreciated) songwriter. -Jon Hadusek

The Child of Lov – “Heal”

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There’s a certain cheesiness to The Child of Lov’s debut single, “Heal”. His falsetto is comical (he barely reaches those high notes) and that bass line (courtesy of Damon Albarn) is pretty janky. Perhaps the ornery brats in the song’s music video have colored my opinion. Whatever. Nonetheless, “Heal” is endearing, highly danceable, and loaded with retro funk nostalgia. Hopefully The Child of Lov delivers more of the same when he drops his debut album, which promises appearances from DOOM and Thundercat as well as Albarn, sometime in 2013. -Jon Hadusek

Ducktails – “The Flower Lane”

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Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile’s side-project, Ducktails, evolved from a bedroom-dwelling experiment to a fully realized pop outfit, as he’s a got a backing band and bevy of contributors behind him on his upcoming LP, The Flower Lane (out January 29th, 2013 via Domino). The album’s title track evokes Todd Rundgren with its warm synths and subtle melodies. Mondanile has never been opposed to stepping back and letting his jangly guitar do the work — especially with Real Estate — but on “The Flower Lane”, he takes control of the song, truly sounding like a frontman. -Jon Hadusek

Free Energy – “Dance All Night”

 Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)

Philly rockers Free Energy took their sweet time returning with new material; it’s been nearly half a year since since we heard “Electric Fever”. Their grand return comes in the form of a conflicted ballad called “Dance All Night”. Though the title and the slinky guitars suggest upper, heartbroken lyrics like, “maybe I’m cold/ maybe I’m blind/ I can’t understand it” ground the tune in fraught emotional territory. “Dance All Night” is the second song we’ve heard from their upcoming sophomore LP, Lovesign, due January 15th from the band’s own Free People label. Maybe they’ll trot this sweet gem out at our upcoming CoSigns: October Party? Pretty please? -Adam Kivel

Free Energy – “Dance All Night”

How to destroy angels_ – “Keep it together”

how to destroy angels an omen Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)

How to destroy angels_ — Trent Reznor’s side-project with his wife Mariqueen Maandig, Atticus Ross, and Rob Sheridan — has returned with their first new music since 2010. “Keep it together” serves as a preview for the quartet’s upcoming An omen_ EP. Described by Reznor as an “exercise in restraint,” the track’s only instrumentation is electronic white noise: it jitters, spits, and convulses like a detuned radio. “I feel the skin that separates us/ start to fade,” Maandig whispers, and Reznor adds vocals during the chorus. An omen_ comes out on November 13th via Columbia Records, and is the prelude to a full-length debut, which is slated for next year. -Jon Hadusek

Kids These Days – “Who Do U Luv”

 Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)

Chicago hip-hop outfit Kids These Days debuted their new single “Who Do U Luv” on a local radio station a few days ago, a bluesy, piano-driven jam that (of course) quotes Arcade Fire’s “My Body Is A Cage”. Lane Beckstrom’s swanky bass line underpins Vic Mensa’s conflicted love story, as he covers all the emotional bases in a single chorus: “All I really want to do lately/ is make you hate me/ call me baby.” The tune comes from the upcoming Traphouse Rock, which should drop October 30th. -Adam Kivel

Purity Ring feat. Danny Brown – “Belispeak II”

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There was definitely a clangoring hip-hop element to Purity Ring’s debut LP, Shrines, but now they’ve officially stepped into the genre whole hog with “Belispeak II”. Rather than a remix, the cut is ostensibly a sequel to the similarly named track on their album. And who better to usher them into the weirdo rap territory than Danny Brown? The King of Feats himself slings lines about “living in a bubble with my head all cloudy” over the Edmonton duo’s bouncy, clap-zoom electronic production and chilly effected warnings about rising water. -Adam Kivel

The Rolling Stones – “Doom and Gloom”

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Hard-strutting lead vocals, bluesy guitar riffs, and a totally un-ironic cowbell? The Rolling Stones bring the classic rock heat on “Doom and Gloom”, one of two new songs on their upcoming career-spanning compilation, GRRR! (due November 13th). Their first new recording in six years, Mick Jagger’s stories of crashing a plane into some zombies, “frackin’ deep for oil, but there’s nothing in the sump,” and other catastrophic sounding scenarios suits the sweaty, stompy instrumental. There’s nothing to indicate that these guys are pushing 70, instead ripping along at a sauntering pace. -Adam Kivel

Wires Under Tension – “The Light Behind Your Light Is Changing”

 Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)

Wires Under Tension’s named their upcoming sophomore LP, Replicant (due November 13th, though pre-orders are open now), after the artificial intelligence humanoids in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. After listening to the organic sounding electronics on early cut “The Light Behind Your Light Is Changing”, that connection is entirely warranted. Christopher Tignor’s intricate layering of horns, xylophones, and synths builds into a triumphant banner, as Theo Metz’s majestic drumming marches along underneath. -Adam Kivel

The Wu-Tang Clan – “Six Directions of Boxing”

the man with the iron firsts soundtrack Top mp3s of the Week (10/12)

RZA’s directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists, hits theaters on November 2nd, and the film’s soundtrack drops a week earlier. “Six Directions of Boxing” is the album’s latest cut — a Wu-Tang Clan showcase featuring Ghostface, GZA, U-God, and Cappadonna. Crippled guitar lines quiver behind the snap-crackle of an old-school beat, as the group slings lyrical daggers about the bloodstained streets. From what we’ve heard so far, this soundtrack is lethal. Let’s hope the movie follows suit (it’s produced by Quentin Tarantino, so it probably will). -Jon Hadusek