Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of February 1–5, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.
Earlier this week, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, thus declaring an early spring for all of the country. That’s good news for music fans who are looking forward to a bunch of new releases that are confirmed to be coming out soon (Miike Snow, Feels, Kyle Craft, Parquet Courts) and hoping for a few that could be in the making (Eagulls, Gallant ft. Jhené Aiko).
Check them all out below.
In exactly one month, Miike Snow will release their third full-length album—the aptly titled iii. This morning, the Swedish electro-dance-pop trio released a slow-burning jam entitled “I Feel the Weight.” Unlike the upbeat playfulness of “Genghis Khan,” iii‘s newest single brings auto-tuned vocals and computer blips and bloops center stage.
The prodigious Brooklyn punks Parquet Courts released a video for the Human Performance‘s lead single, “Dust.” The track picks up where Content Nausea‘s “Anxiety” (and, for that matter, much of the band’s discography to date) leaves off: examining the stressful conditions of modern life. While it starts with a familiar chug, the song gradually expands into a sheen of noise that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on that PCPC record—it’s a strengthening of the bond between abrasion and pop sensibility that this band has always done well.
It was Zane Lowe who recently introduced the world to Gallant, highlighting the track “Weight In Gold” on his first Beats1 radio show. Naturally, people took notice, and Gallant is now returning the favor with some new music. Out today, “Skipping Stones” is part of a two-song digital single being released by Red Bull Sound Select. The track features something of a duet with Jhené Aiko, who works with Gallant to craft a “future soul” sound of gentle textures and sharp falsettos. As told to The FADER, the music was written “for the lonely ones this Valentine’s Day.”
In a sense, every Charles Bradley album has been overdue, and his upcoming release is no different (hence why it made our Most Anticipated Albums list). Bradley announced his third LP, Changes, a couple of months ago with the title track (a Black Sabbath cover), and today he shared the first original tune from the collection. Really, really emphasizing that the theme of this album involves change, the new track is called “Change for the World,” and is a brutally powerful plea to the people in the canon of “This Is My Country” or “Trouble Man.” It’s gorgeous.
For a heavy band like Eagulls, getting noticed isn’t as big an accomplishment as staying noticed. And in advance of the quintet’s follow-up to one of our favorite albums of 2014, the next steps weigh heavily. This week marked the first new step, as the Leeds group has shared “Lemontrees,” a track from their upcoming sophomore release on Partisan. The album remains undetailed, but the song—an Echo & the Bunnymen–inspired delay fest with Robert Smith–style vocals—speaks for itself.
Feels, “Tell Me”
Static has never sounded as good as it does in Feels‘ latest single “Tell Me.” In between verses of echoing harmonies and repeated vocal layers, fuzz-drenched guitar riffs explode out of the speakers. All the energetic noise makes a ton more sense when you realize that Feels’ self-titled debut album was produced by Ty Segall and is being released by Castle Face (John Dwyer).
Kyle Craft, “Lady of the Ark”
Shreveport, Louisiana, native Kyle Craft made a big splash this week with the lead single from his upcoming Sub Pop debut Dolls of Highland, which is due out at the end of April. With inviting, yet imperfect vocals and a jangly guitar melody, “Lady of the Ark” is a sweeping goodbye to a long-term relationship. It’s somehow warm, melodic, and rough at the same time.