Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of January 5–9, 2015. Headphone tested, FLOOD approved.
The first full week of 2015 brought us some fantastic singles from upcoming new releases (Panda Bear, Viet Cong, The King Khan & BBQ Show), unheard demos and live tracks (Spoon, Iron & Wine), one-off jams (Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings), and the reemergence of musical legends (Swervedriver).
Check them all out below.
As part of the promotional roll-out of his upcoming album, tracks from Noah Lennox’s latest solo Panda Bear LP, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, are premiering live via radio stations around the globe. “Tropic of Cancer,” an absolutely gorgeous and angelic ballad about accepting loss, was first heard on an Australian radio station earlier this week, but is sure to be played on iPods and turntables for months to come. Click here to listen to song now.
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, “Little Boys with Shiny Toys”
2014 was one hell of a year for Sharon Jones. After being diagnosed with cancer in May 2013, Jones released Give the People What They Want—her fifth album with The Dap Kings—at the beginning of 2014, and was immediately in high demand for her addictive grooves and unstoppable pipes. Now cancer-free with her first GRAMMY nomination (Best R&B album of the year) to boot, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings just released a stand-alone dance party single, “Little Boys with Shiny Toys.” The track features an excellent horn line, a down right funky bass line, and an awesome message about being wary of falling head over heels in love or playing around. Preach, Sharon.
“Silhouettes,” the second track released from Viet Cong‘s upcoming self-titled album (after lead single “Continental Shelf“), is excellently brooding, dripping in dark synths and driving bass lines. According to frontman Matt Flegel, the Joy Division-infused song was written shortly after he was “severely electrocuted” at a show. Rock and roll, man.
It seems like Spoon is a band that isn’t content to rest on their laurels, or you know, take a break of any kind. Even though the indie-rock masters fronted by Britt Daniel just released the excellent LP They Want My Soul last fall, the group surprised a Houston crowd on December 30 with an new track entitled “Satellite.” With a good swaying beat and heartwarming lyrics that harken back to the days of Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love,” this fan footage begs the question, is there another Spoon record around the corner?
Iron & Wine, “Everyone’s Summer Of ’95”
Sam Beam has been enchanting listeners for over a decade with brilliant folk songs inspired by Southern religion, myth, and superstition. Though his most recent albums as Iron & Wine have elevated his songwriting a bit away his roots, Beam has recently announced the release of Archive Series Volume No. 1, a collection of recordings “pulled from tapes found in the back corners of closets and dusty shoe boxes—long neglected, but never forgotten.” Written pre–Iron & Wine, “Everyone’s Summer of ’95” is an immediate transport back to the quiet, thoughtful picked-out melodies and storytelling of 2002’s The Creek Drank the Cradle. The first volume of Archive Series will be released on February 24.
It had been a while since we’ve heard anything from The King Khan & BBQ Show (five years, to be precise), but as it turns out, the garage/doo-wop duo couldn’t stay apart for too long. With a brand-new album due out at the end of February, lead single “Alone Again” effortlessly blends the lyrics’ melancholy about relationships ending, with the upbeat musical appeal of a lo-fi rockabilly dance party.
English shoegaze legends Swervedriver haven’t released an album since 1998, but they’ve remained in the conscious memory thanks to everyone who knows what quality to parse from the ’90s. The band has just announced their first new record in seventeen years, and released the lead single, “Setting Sun,” a laid-back groove that has more clarity than clouds, but is an excellent, thoroughly modern jam to enjoy as the season begins to thaw.