Two weeks of the best new tracks. New music from the US, UK, Australia, Belgium, France and Canada. Tunes from Modest Mouse, Dick Diver, Best Coast, Death Cab For Cutie, Django Django, Sufjan Stevens, Calexico, Passion Pit, Surfer Blood, Fred Thomas, The Weather Station, Trust Fund, Broken Water, Cabane, Le Volume Courbe, Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld.
Modest Mouse ‘Lampshades on Fire’
So far, four tracks have surfaced from the forthcoming album Strangers to Ourselves (the band’s first new album since 2007’s We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank). This one is my current favourite, with its jittery post-punk-funk-scratch-meets-reggae rhythms and Isaac Brocks’ distinctive wired, but weirdly mellifluous yelped vocals.
Django Django ‘First Light’
It’s been just over three years since the Scottish electronic neo-psychedelicists released their debut album, but this is worth the wait, up their with that record’s highlights. Taken from Born Under Saturn (out May 4, Because Music).
Dick Diver ‘Waste the Alphabet’
Second track to surface from the Melbourne band’s forthcoming third album Melbourne, Florida (March 6, Chapter Music / Trouble in Mind). Like ‘Tearing the Posters Down’ (ITP #72) it feels like the jangle has been turned up to 11, and while they have previously been singled out for wearing the influence of The Go-Betweens, this one has elements that sounds like the early work of those other antipodeans, The Church.
Best Coast ‘California Nights’
I wasn’t a fan of the of Best Coast’s second album The Only Place, but they won me back over with the superior songs and fuzzy pop of the excellent Fade Away EP. This title track from their forthcoming third album finds them getting lost (in a good way) in a more dreampop meets shoegaze sound. It’s a better fit than the cheesy 80s FM n’ country stylings of the last album and seems a more logical progression from the lo-fi garage surf pop of their earliest records. The album is out May 5.
Death Cab For Cutie ‘No Room in Frame’
Second track from the band’s forthcoming Kintsugi, their last album to be recorded with guitarist Chris Walla before his amicable departure. Like ‘Black Sun’ (ITP #71) this suggests that the it will be a far better record than the somewhat underwhelming Codes and Keys (2011).
[Death Cab for Cutie]
The Weather Station ‘What It Is, Way It Could Be’
Last featured back in February 2013 (ITP #27) with ‘Mule in the Flowers’, The Weather Station is the work of Torontonian singer songwriter Tamara Linderman (Aussies might know her as Tamara Hope, star of early naughties Melbourne-set fantasy show Guinevere Jones). It’s gentle and beautiful folk music with a touch of Joni Mitchell in both vocal phrasing and styling.
[The Weather Station]
Trust Fund ‘Essay to Write’
This is about as 80s lo-fi indie as it gets in 2015. The stand out track from the band’s (rather good) debut album No One’s Coming For Us, following on from their also rather good split EP with Joanna Gruesome.
Calexico featuring Ben Bridwell ‘Falling from the Sky’
The Calexico back catalogue is a rich and wonderful thing. Here they utilise Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell for the first taste of their forthcoming Edge of The Sun album (Anti-, April 14), the follow up to 2012’s wonderful Algiers.
Broken Water ‘High-Lo’
Olympia, WA band with a unique blend of grunge, shoegaze and 80s indie rock aesthetics. This is taken from their forthcoming album Wrought (Night People Records, March 24)
Big Sufjan Stevens influence on this track from Belgian musician Thomas Jean Henri with aid from Bonnie Prince Billy, Kate Stables, Caroline Gabard and Sean O‘Hagan.
Passion Pit ‘Where The Sky Hangs’
Super-slick pop from Michael Angelakos and co.’s forthcoming Kindred, the follow up to 2012’s Gossamer.
Surfer Blood ‘Grand Inquisitor’
Intriguing new tune from the Florida band’s new 1000 Palms (May 12, Joyful Noise) follow up to Pythons (2012).
Fred Thomas ‘Cops Don’t Care Pt II’
Another track from the Saturday Looks Good To Me frontman’s forthcoming solo album All Are Saved (Polyvinyl), this one features Radiator Hospital’s Sam Cook-Parrott.
Le Volume Courbe ‘The House’
It’s been ten years since French London-based ex-pat Charlotte Marionneau released her debut (and so far, only) album as Le Volume Courbe. Now she’s back, this time with a single which once again enlists the help of Kevin Shields (also Martin Duffy and John Parish).
[Le Volume Courbe]
Sufjan Stevens ‘No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross’
This track from his first proper album since Age of Adz (2010) finds Sufjan Stevens return to the style of the quieter moments of Illinois for the forthcoming Carrie and Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty, March 31).
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld ‘The Sun Roars into View’
Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neifeld teams up with fellow instrumentalist Colin Stetson for an album of minimal violin and horn music that, if this track is anything to go by, promises to appeal to fans of the more esoteric end of post-rock. Never were the way she was is due out on Constellation, April 28.