Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks

Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of August 31–September 4, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.

Happy Labor Day weekend! Get into the sweet, sweet groove of a well-deserved, three-day weekend with some new tracks from new musical projects from trusted artists (EL VYCoromandelles, Martin Courtney), live versions of old favorites (Animal Collective), and new singles from highly anticipated releases (Battles, WandOneohtrix Point Never).

Check them all out below.

Animal Collective, “Did You See the Words”

Earlier this week, Animal Collective announced the release of Live at 9:30, a set recorded on June 12, 2013 at the iconic Washington, DC, venue. The album is available right now on the band’s redesigned website as a limited edition 3xLP with an instant download, with iTunes and other streaming services to carry it beginning today. Right now, the Live at 9:30 version of “Did You See the Words,” the opening track from 2005’s Feels, available for streaming. As is often the case with AnCo, the group rework the track here, expanding it with a hypnotic intro and letting it rest in the pocket on a bed of chorus-driven guitar.

EL VY, “I’m the Man to Be”

Last month, we first learned about EL VY—the intriguing musical union of Matt Berninger (The National) and Brent Knopf (Ramona Falls, Menomena). Yesterday, the indie-rock super duo released the second single from its upcoming full-length Return to the Moon, “I’m the Man to Be,” through a highly entertaining lyric video directed by Matt’s brother, Tom (Trouble Will Find Me). Based off of Schoolboy Q sampling Menomena, the nonsensical lyrics (“Can’t leave me up a crick all night / Erin Brockovich is not my wife”) and slow-jam groove of “I’m the Man to Be” wiggles its way into your head. You won’t realize that you’re dancing like Berninger in Venice until it’s too late.

Battles, “FF Bada”

Fresh off their performance at FYF Fest, Battles have given us another taste of La Di Da Di. After treating us to “The Yabba,” the New York instrumental math equation have treated us to “FF Bada,” which makes the group two-for-two on nonsensical song titles. The group scatter minute pulses across a strange, jitterbugging beat that, like the best of their work, leaves you oscillating between discomfort and the need to dance.

Oneohtrix Point Never, “I Bite Through It”

A couple of weeks ago, Daniel Lopatin—the experimental sound collagist who records under the name Oneohtrix Point Never—dangled a few details about Garden of Delete, the follow-up to 2013’s R Plus Seven, via a mysterious interview with an alien named Ezra that was embedded in Lopatin’s site via PDF. Today, Lopatin is sharing “I Bite Through It,” Garden of Delete‘s first single, via a mercifully straightforward YouTube stream. The track sounds a bit like R Plus Seven‘s broad-stroked minimalism pushed through the sample-shredder Lopatin used to expert (and disorienting) effect on 2011’s Replica.

Coromandelles, “The Project”

Within “The Project,” the first single off of Coromandelles‘ upcoming album Late Bloomers’ Bloomers, Daniel Michicoff (Tijuana Panthers) turns up his bass amp and debuts his playful, yet haunting falsetto. While there are still hints of Tijuana Panthers’ surf-rock sound within the fabric of Michicoff’s side band Coromandelles, the psychedelic guitar riffs and echoing harmonies showcase another side of the SoCal musician, and we like it.

Wand, “Dungeon Dropper”

Usually, a band will take a couple of years off between releases. They’ll tour, relax, write new material, record, repeat. Apparently no one has told that to Los Angeles’s Wand. After releasing their sophomore album Golem this past spring, the garage quartet is back already with a new LP: 1000 Days. “Dungeon Dropper”—the album’s first single—features a heart-rattling bass line, reverb-drenched guitar licks, and purposefully sloppy crashing percussion. We didn’t even have time to miss Wand, but we’re already glad they’re back.

Martin Courtney, “Northern Highway”

“Northern Highway” is the second single to be released from Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney’s upcoming solo album Many Moons, following “Vestiges.” Shimmering guitars weave in and out of the light and airy track. Courtney’s sweet, layered vocals on top of the bright melody draw listeners in, but it’s “Northern Highway”‘s themes of major moves and alienation from former friends that links him to fellow Real Estater Matt Mondanile’s latest full-length effort as Ducktails.


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