Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of August 10–14, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.
It’s getting to be that time of year: the heat is unrelenting, the humidity is bearing down, and the music festivals are all starting to blur together. The good news is, fall is almost here, and with it come a slew of new releases. And that means we’re already being treated to the firstfruits of what’s looking to be a bountiful harvest over the next few months. This week, we’ve got futuristic hip-hop, a Dead-worthy throwback, and a stone-cold cover of Mazzy Star. Give it all a listen below.
Skaters, “Save Her Something Special”
New York’s Skaters told The FADER that “Save Her Something Special” is an admixture of “Fat Boy Slim, Faust, and Pavement” that the group jammed out after leaving their label. Turns out that unholy combination is a nice little distillation of summer’s dog days: humid, thumping, and a little bit of a challenge to get through, but still the sweetest thing going.
The ’90s novelty cover is a tiresome idea. Generally. But when you handle a song as classic as Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” with as much delicacy as LA singer/songwriter Korey Dane does, you leave behind any notions of what is or isn’t cool. Dane’s take on the trip-hop classic is all stormy guitar and brush drums and slightly twanged vocals, something like what would’ve happened if Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris had met in a Starbucks in 1992.
A gentle rock dirge in the canon of Todd Rundgren freak-pop ballads and hyper-melodic Galaxie 500 slow-burns, this track from two members of Angel Olsen‘s backing band is savagely biting, but very pretty. Lionlimb have also given us the second great song this year to warn of the dangers that come with not paying train fare, however which way the ride manifests itself.
We might still be dragging through August, but Devon Walsh allows us to pretend that the leaves are changing with “Silver Car Crash,” the synth-driven first single from Are You Alone?, the forthcoming Majical Cloudz record. “I will be honest: I am afraid of love,” he sings over an austere soundscape. “But I am always perfect when I am holding on to you / And I know love is worth it.”
“The Mystery of Lonnie The Døn”’s textured layers of various glitchy synths, droning melodies, and echoed, whispered vocals bore their way into your head as the slow-jam beat repeats over and over. It’s hard not to get caught up in the sonic mystery and fog that the Shabazz Palaces have concocted.
Jacuzzi Boys, “Sun”
“Sun,” the second single from Jacuzzi Boys’ upcoming Happy Damage EP, is just about what you’d expect from a group of Miami-based noisemakers: swampy surf rhythms, a menagerie of horns, and a coo-along melody that recalls Pixies at high tide. It’s a different kind of beach.
The family vibe of Alex Bleeker‘s third LP with The Freaks is reflected in the album’s first single, which sounds like it could’ve been written backstage while the band prepped for their recent Grateful Dead tribute shows, or perhaps in a Haight Street apartment just as the needle began to spin idly on the dead grooves of Workingman’s Dead—rent hikes be damned.