Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks

Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of June 8–12, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.

Got a serious case of June Gloom? Let some new tracks off of upcoming albums (Ducktails, HEALTH, Neil Young + Promise of the Real, No Joy), one recently released EP (Dâm-Funk), and one stand-alone instrumental (Jacco Gardner) shake the haze.

Check them all out below.

Dâm-Funk, “Free”

There’s almost nothing better than a solid groove. If you can really get into something that hits, it doesn’t matter how long a track is, people will just hit play over and over again. “Free”—a track off of Dâm-Funk‘s most recent STFU EP—is exactly that type of groove. With a heavy bass line and wailing guitar solos, “Free” is nearly nine minutes of very welcomed wall-to-wall sonic funk.

No Joy, “Everything New”

In “Everything New,” Montreal contemplateurs-des-chaussures No Joy scrub away the grime of feedback and overdrive that gives their work its texture. So what’s left? Four minutes of open-armed wonder offset by a downbeat melody and a guitar line that sounds like it has sad truths to tell. Consider it a hazy anthem.

Ducktails, “Surreal Exposure”

After releasing “Headbanging in the Mirror”, the laid-back lead single for his upcoming album as Ducktails, on Monday, Matt Mondanile dropped a brand-new track called “Surreal Exposure.” The short song effortlessly blends jangly guitar and keys with whimsical echoes and harmonies that are both appealing and haunting all at the same time. Sonic synergy is the name of the game.

Neil Young + Promise of the Real, “Wolf Moon”

Neil Young has made his opinion regarding factory farming quite clear since 1977, but it seems that the Canadian-American hero is getting really tired of seeing a Starbucks on every corner. Thus we have The Monsanto Years, Neil’s thirty-sixth album (this time accompanied by Promise of the Real) that is said to ruminate over the food industry giant and its worldwide effects. A different side of the album was shown off this week with the video for “Wolf Moon,” an acoustic-based number that (if you couldn’t tell from the title) harkens back to the Harvest Moon sound.

Jacco Gardner, “You Have the Key (That Opens the Door)”

On Thursday, Dutch baroque-psych-rock master Jacco Gardner revealed a fresh and fun instrumental track that did not appear on his excellent sophomore release Hypnophobia. “You Have the Key (That Opens the Door)” begins quietly with a short piano line before building with flutes, organs, strings, and synths into a undeniably addictive and playful sound.

HEALTH, “Stonefist”

“We’re never going backwards / We’re never growing young,” sings Jake Duzsik in “Stonefist,” the latest taste of Death Magic, HEALTH’s first record in six years. “Not in our hearts,” goes the rejoinder behind him. So maybe their hearts are still aging, but the LA noise group sound younger and fresher than ever. “Stonefist” finds them taming their wild static and opens the door to big-tent pop melody.


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