Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of March 2–6, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.
New month, new music! This week, we had one catchy blast from the past (BRONCHO), lead singles from upcoming releases (My Morning Jacket, Twinsmith, Nosaj Thing, XYLØ), and one gorgeous deep cut (Courtney Barnett).
Check them all out below.
Last fall, BRONCHO released its excellent sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman. Earlier this week, the Oklahoma garage-psych band reminded us just how good that LP was with the official video for “NC-17.” Soundtracking VHS-quality footage of kids being, well, curious, is the commanding track with fuzz-drenched guitar riffs and echoey, yet satisfying overlapping harmonies.
Los Angeles beat-master Nosaj Thing (a.k.a. Jason Chung) has dropped a brooding new track called “Cold Stares” that features the ever eclectic Chance the Rapper. “Cold Stares” is the first single ahead of Nosaj Thing’s third LP Fated, the title of which, according to Chung, comes from “a perpetual feeling of déjà vu.”
This week, My Morning Jacket announced The Waterfall, their seventh, along with the release of the single “Big Decisions.” The track is a guitar-driven epic, because duh, but it’s also just as pretty as some of their best stuff, harking back to the It Still Moves days, complete with Harvest-style steel guitar complementing Jim James’s strange backhanded insults.
Courtney Barnett, “Depreston”
There is nothing that Courtney Barnett does better than making a large and impactful statement through minute details and seemingly throwaway observations. “Depreston,” the second single off of Barnett’s upcoming sophomore album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, is a perfect example of the Australian singer-songwriter’s unparalleled insight wrapped up in a minimalist ballad.
Siblings Chase and Paige Duddy comprise the moody LA-based electronic duo XYLØ. Their first single “America” is a darkly cinematic ballad that channels the mournful melodic sensibilities of Lana Del Rey and the catchy production chops of fellow bro/sis duo Broods, and according to singer Paige is “a love song about a country forcing two people apart.”
On Tuesday, Twinsmith announced their sophomore LP, and shared the lead single “Alligator Years.” The title track from their forthcoming album has lead singer Jordan Smith channeling his caffeine-high energy into three minutes of effervescent pop-rock, as sneering vocals cut through the saccharine sheen of a relentlessly upbeat organ.