The best 20 tracks I’ve heard in the last two weeks. New music from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. New tunes from Jack White, Pink Mountaintops, Torres, The Dodos, Honeyblood, Ought, Tweens, The Faint, Joan As Policewoman and more.
Jack White ‘Lazaretto’
Title track from his imminently due second solo album
Pink Mountaintops ‘Through All The Worry’
Stephen McBean’s Black Mountain side project return with their excellent Get Back album
One of many stand out tracks from the Scottish duo’s eponymous debut album.
Torres ‘New Skin’
“Lay off me would ya / I’m just tryin’ to take this new skin for a spin”. My favourite discovery of last year, the Georgia born, Nashville-trained, now Brooklyn based singer-songwriter-guitarist teams up with Sharon Van Etten, Adam Granduciel and Dave Hartley of The War on Drugs, and Chris Wilson of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists for this for a one off.
Montreal band with a track that seems to have a myriad of influences which the band melds into something unique, though you may hear hints of the way the Blue Aeroplanes channeled Television, plus the Velvet Underground – Jonathan Richman- David Byrne- Thom Yorke among others. Special stuff.
White Reaper ‘Half Bad’
Louisville, KY (post)punky types signed to Polyvinyl.
Mirah ‘Gold Rush’
Olympia-based Pennsylvania born singer songwriter returns with her fifth solo album and her first since her 2011 collaboration with Thao Nguyen. This track is particularly lovely and builds to an epic Americana-flavoured climax via the sort of arrangement that wouldn’t have been out of place on Joanna Newsome’s Have One On Me.
Band of Skulls ‘I Guess I Know You Fairly Well’
Southampton blues rock trio with another blues rock highlight from their Himalayan album.
[Band of Skulls]
Joan As Police Woman ‘Get Direct’
Taken from Joan Wasser’s remarkable fourth album The Classic, this number plays to the strengths of her voice and has lovely-trip-hop-meets-reggae undertone and shades of her former beaux Jeff Buckley’s Everybody Here Wants You.
[Joan As Police Woman]
The Faint ‘Evil Voices’
Nineteen(!) years since their first album and six years since their last, the Omaha dance pubnks return with one of their strongest records to date Doom Abuse.
The Dodos + Magik*Magik Orchestra ‘Substance’ (Yours Truly Session Verison)
This is off The DodosRecord Store Day release. A highlight of last year’s Carriers (one of 2013’s best albums, imho). This version features strings from Magik*Magik Orchestra.
Craft Spells ‘Breaking the Angle Against the Tide’
San Franciso / Seattle band with ambitious, breezy indie with hints of dreampop, a touch of The Cure at their melancholy peak in the guitars and percussion, and some judiciously used strings. Taken from their forthcoming Nausea album (due out in June on Captured Tracks).
Eels ‘A Swallow In The Sun’
The always-interesting E returns with this beautiful, though maudlin track from his rather lovely Performs The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett.
Gold-Bears ‘For You’
Slumberland-signed Atlanta self-described twee-punk band “Raised on a steady diet of the Smiths, the Wedding Present, and My Bloody Valentine” with lo-fi jangle pop thrills. Taking from their forthcoming second album Dalliance.
Tweens ‘I’m Gonna Steal Your Boyfriend’
Couldn’t resist the chance to share another highlight of Tweens excellent debut album. This one is bubblegum, girl group-influenced punk worthy of the Ramones or Love Is All.
The April Maze ‘Strawberry Swing’
Anglo-Australian independent alternative folk duo. This came out on their eponymous album last year, they are currently crowd sourcing funding for their next album
[The April Maze]
Jessica Lea Mayfield ‘Unknown Big Secret’
After a couple of albums produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, the still only 24 year old Jessica Lea Mayfield returns with new album Make My Head Sing… which she has co-produced with bass player (and husband) Jesse Newport. This is one of the stand outs, indebted to grunge and 90s alt-rock, but at a mogadon pace.
[Jessica Lea Mayfield]
A Sunny Day in Glasgow ‘Crushin”
Dreamy indiepop from the Philly band’s forthcoming fifth album Sea When Absent. Does mainman Ben Daniels still live in Sydney, I wonder?
[A Sunny Day In Glasgow]
Tearjerker ‘You Can’
Shoegaze meets post-rock from Toronto DIY three-piece who recently signed to SQE Music have previously self-released a couple of albums. This track is taken from their forthcoming Hiding EP (due out in May).
Previously featured here with the wonderful ‘Skyscraper’, this is another highlight from their long-awaited debut album Sky Swimming, due out on Memphis Industries next month.