The 16 best tracks I’ve heard in the last two weeks. Lots of old friends returning, including Vampire Weekend, Low, Kurt Vile, The Knife and Laura Marling. ‘New’ A-grade tunes from the archives of Rilo Kiley and The Postal Service plus acid country from Minneapolis, languorous jangle pop form Melbourne, all-female post-punk from London and Neko Case with a tune from the Stephen King / John Mellencamp musical.
Vampire Weekend ‘Diane Young’
The first of two new tracks from their forthcoming third album Vampires of The City, this one is typically quirky and infuriatingly catchy. A blend of electronic pop, a bit of rumbling Link Wray guitar, distortion, and Ezra Koenig’s Elvis-pastiche pitch-sifted vocals, on the “Baby, baby, baby right on time” chorus. This is going to be everywhere.
Low ‘Clarence White’
Two tracks from The Invisible Way were featured back at the start of the year (ITP #24). As the album finally got released this week, here’s another one of my favourites, Inspired by a flood in their hometown of Duluth, not quite sure why it’s named after the sometime Byrds guitarist.
Savages ‘She Will’
London based all-female post-punk band prepare their debut album for Matador. Like a more visceral Warpaint.
Neko Case ‘That’s Who I Am’
One of my favourite singers with a track taken from a musical written by Stephen King and John Cougar Mellencamp, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.
[Neko Case] [Ghost Brothers of Darkland County]
Kurt Vile ‘Never Run Away’
Second track from the John Agnello produced follow up to Smoke Ring For My Halo, Walkin’ on A Pretty Daze. Sounds like this will be one of the records of the year.
Rilo Kiley ‘Let Me Back In’
Some lovely guitar picking and Jenny Lewis’s voice at its most yearning and melancholy. Taken from the forthcoming Rilo Kiley outtakes album, this is head and shoulders above anything on their last album proper Under The Blacklight.
Julian Lynch ‘Gloves’
Like something from the edges of the Elephant 6 collective, with added fretless bass. [Julian Lynch]
Web of Sunsets ‘Fool’s Melodies’
Acid country from Mineapolis – sounds like a lo-fi Tanya Donelly.
[Web of Sunsets]
Free Time ‘Nothin’ But Nice’
Langorous indie jangle rock in similar vein to Kurt Vile from New York based, Melbourne ex-pat Dion Nania.
Laura Marling ‘Where Can I Go’
Deliciously soulful track taken from 23-year-old English folkie’s ’s forthcoming fourth album ‘Once I Was An Eagle’.
Yellowbirds ‘Young Men of Promise’
Fuzzy psych pop from the band that was previously the solo project of New Yorker Sam Cohen.
Vampire Weekend ‘Step’
Baroque pop with harpsichord. Ostensibly the opposite of Diane Young, but clearly the work of the same band when you drill down to the use of distortion, judicious use of pitch-shifted vocals, treated drum sounds and sheer number of words per line.
The Postal Service ‘Turn Around’
As Jimmy Tamborello and Ben Gibbard prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of GIve Up, they’ve leaked this previously unheard outtake.
[The Postal Service]
The Knife ‘A Tooth For An Eye’
Opening track from their forthcoming, long awaited follow up to Silent Shout, Shaking The Habitual. A superior track to the somewhat aimless first single, ‘Full of Fire’.
From Washington DC, featherlight dreampop in a simlar vein to Beach House.
Peals ‘Blue Elvis’
Instrumental chillout with a south pacific beach lullaby feel from Baltimore scenesters William Cashion (Future Islands) and Bruce Willen (ex-Double Dagger).