Julian, where’d you get that voice from? (Photo: Brian Valdizno/treeswingers)
Rumors have been swirling around a possible new Strokes album since last summer. It was stated, then denied, then confirmed, then unsubstantiated, then left a little unclear. Today we know at least one song has been produced.
“One Way Trigger” is a wholly surprising piece–from its seemingly random emergence to its unexpected sonic makeup. A speedy synth snatches you into a strange new world. We then meet with an unfamiliar woman whisper-singing in a Strokes song? No, wait! It’s Julian Casablancas, as he’s trying his damnedest to get us into bed with a new Timberlake-esque vocal approach. While this first verse in falsetto borders on the comedic, the track almost immediately opens up to that familiar NYC garage-bred place: scorching guitar licks, whiskey-voiced Casablancas, and the feel of a classic Strokes composition. Restricting the falsetto to the chorus throughout the remainder of the song, the lead man ensures that there’s still a little freshness as they approach their fifth studio album–the final guaranteed release on their current RCA deal.
Devendra Banhart’s new ballad chronicles Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th century polymath and Catholic saint, and her decision to drop all that divine mystic stuff and join the ranks of MTV’s Golden Age (1990s, of course) VJs! (Seriously, what the fuck?) The track steadily churns along a path carved out by pedal-guided guitar licks, a crispy snare and Banhart’s patented shadowy/fluttery vocal chorus. The path ends in a very funky place, umlauts and all. I won’t spoil the ending.
Devendra Banhart-Für Hildegard von Bingen (download)
Crystal Castles have shattered their silence. Absolutely shattered it. Their new track “Plague” violently disrupts the pax electronica that has existed over the last two years. It marks a thunderous return of the pair’s signature brand of aggressive yet stunningly nuanced noise pop. Their new record is rumored to be ready for release by the end of summer 2012. This first taste is more than enough to grapple with for right now. Press play for beautiful chaos below.
Is there any sound more comforting than that of Paul Banks crooning esoteric nothings over impeccable fret work? No (maybe whale songs though). That’s why this is the right time to know that he has released new music under his solo Julian Plentialias. “Summertime is Coming” is one of five tracks featured on his new Julian Plenti Lives… EP. It’s a spacious, multilayered effort that has a near theatrical feel. It has the gusto of Interpol’s “Take You on a Cruise” but all the humble sentiment and personality we have encountered in Julian Plenti’s world thus far. It’s a beautiful (and clearly tardy) announcement of summer’s arrival.
Catch Banks this summer at FYF Fest in September in Los Angeles.
There’s a painfully brilliant light peeking through my blinds. I think it’s called “summer” and I think it’s about time to go play in it.
While I bask in my Southern Californian birthright, the deceptively named “Lunar,” will certainly be on repeat. From the mind of Fingerpaint, one half of electro duo Classixx, comes a woozy, sun-drenched, slow-rolling disco house track that’s sure to inspire a poolside romance or two. Throw on some shades, don some artificial melanin and go out and enjoy the rays.
Purity Ring quietly supplied the world with a taste of their much anticipated full-length release, Shrines, late Monday night. “Obedear” is as rhythmically infectious and stunningly crafted as any track the pair have released to date. The lush, lingering atmospheres, rapid claps and snares and maddeningly addictive beeps form a perfect playground for Megan James’s entrancing vocals. All signs point to this record being a massive summer debut.
Shrines is set to be released on July 24th via 4AD/Last Gang.