Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of October 19–23, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.
With October almost over, it’s insane to say, but the year is winding down. There are only a couple of months of 2015 left and it seems like a few artists are vying for spots on our “Best of” lists (jennylee, Bob Dylan, Boss Selection), a couple are already getting us excited for 2016 (Savages, Brass Bed), and one superstar (Kanye West) keeps stringing us along.
Check them all out below.
Our first look into Adore Life, Savages’ followup to 2013’s Silence Yourself, is a white hot blast of light in the form of a single, mammoth chord courtesy of guitarist Gemma Thompson. Jehnny Beth, meanwhile, deftly scales that wall of sound, her voice climbing and dropping and climbing again. “Loud guitar music is still alive and still connects people,” the band said earlier this week when they released “The Answer”’s video. This thing is so damn loud it’s impossible to argue.
Kanye West, “When I See It”
Kanye West has been promising us a follow-up to 2013’s Yeezus for a while now, but beyond a couple of album name changes and a few stand-alone singles with unknown artists, he’s been pretty silent about releasing another LP. On Tuesday, West uploaded two tracks to his Soundcloud account including “When I See It,” an Auto-Tuned, stream of consciousness ballad that clocks in at under two-minutes long. The track’s got serious groove—very reminiscent of 2008’s 808s & Heartbreak—but with a warm and fuzzy theme of love instead of, you know, being “Heartless.” (Click on the image to hear the track.)
In a demonstration of the range covered by The Cutting Edge: 1965–1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12, which is due out November 6, Bob Dylan’s camp just has put together an alternate dimension version of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” that combines several different approaches to the hallmark track. To accompany the intriguing odyssey, the music is set to (appropriately enough) outtake footage from D. A. Pennebaker’s legendary promo video for Don’t Look Back shot in 1965.
Brass Bed, “I Am Just a Whisper”
Driving percussion and rapid-fire guitar riffs are at the center of Brass Bed‘s latest single “I Am Just a Whisper,” the first off of their upcoming album In the Yellow Leaf. While the title of the track suggests that the Louisiana group’s latest is a gentle offering that disappears after being heard, “I Am Just a Whisper”‘s echoey, falsetto vocals and wall-of-sound instrumentation linger with anyone who has had the pleasure of listening long after the track ends.
Warpaint‘s Jenny Lee Lindberg announced right on!, her solo debut as jennylee, about a month ago and teased us with a few snippets of sound in the album’s trailer. Today, she’s giving us a bit more in the form of a video for lead single “Never.” Perhaps not surprisingly given her gig in her main band, the track leans heavily on a rolling bassline, while spangles of guitar crackle across a skittering hi-hat. Had New Order recorded “Ceremony” with a low-pressure headache under a blanket of smog, it may have come out like this.
Boss Selection ft. Rashida Jones, “Flip and Rewind”
Who knew that Rashida Jones could sing? Probably her father, Quincy Jones, but that’s besides the point. On Boss Selection‘s (a.k.a. Sunny Levine) newest single, “Flip and Rewind,” the Parks and Recreation actress lays her warm and rich voice down over a dance floor drum machine beat, a wide array of ’80s synths, and a ultra-funky bass line. The track fits perfectly within the exploding throwback sound revitalized by the likes of Solange and Blood Orange.