26 Jan #vinyloftheday Great Tracks Fortnightly 26/1/17
Just recently, #vinyloftheday started recapping on some of the better tracks that caught our eyes in the past two weeks.
This fortnight, we’ll continue with the follow up as we wrap up some of January’s finest offerings – Foxygen, Dirty Projectors, Slowdive, T-Rex, Gorillaz, Sampha and more.
“On Lankershim” by Foxygen
Foxygen’s politically charged Hang album came out about a week ago – leading up to that was the release of “On Lankershim,” a piano-driven ballad with a fantastic vocal melody. Lush strings and organs swayed in the background – the level of richness at the other end of the spectrum when compared to the accompanying music video: a lo-fi mix of fun and LA.
“And it all but seems my lifetime dreams have ended
And I know some people hope they won’t come true ”
“Tears on Fire” by Ariel Pink, Weyes Blood
This Ariel Pink x Weyes Blood collaboration reminds us a little bit of his previous dippings in collab territory, in regards to the one he did with Jorge Elbrecht – “Hang On To Life,” “No Real Friend”. Within these you’d normally find a more subdued Ariel as opposed to the whimsical character he played on Pom Pom.
“Tears on Fire” reaches back into the same dreamy sonic and lyrical pastures, but the combination manages to mix up the soup a little, with Weyes interjecting herself into the fold – with explosive chorus melodies, juxtaposing the well-structured composition and heavenly quality to the track.
“The words came out so wrong, hold my hand it’s a nightmare”
“Hallelujah Money (ft. Benjamin Clementine)” by Gorillaz
One of the oddest tracks we’ve heard recently, Gorillaz return to ambiguity and a bold personality with their new music video for their first track in six years.
The track really puts the spotlight on Benjamin Clementine’s eccentric vocal singing style, as he sinisterly croons over buzzes and angelic choirs. In the video there’s a backdrop a of obtuse but political imagery – everything from the 1954 animated adaption of George Orwell’s Animal Farm to freakin’ Spongebob Squarepants of all people.
Like the video, the track is weird… but glorious.
“Up In Hudson” – Dirty Projectors
Mainbrain of Dirty Projectors and virtuoso Dave Longstreth returns with another sublime track – a seven minute epic that chronicles (and celebrates) his time spent with former bandmate Amber Coffman, moments of admiring her shredding on her guitar at the Bowery Ballroom for the first time, the confession, the time he wrote “Stillness Is The Move” for her, the breakup aftermath, to even having some sort of closure – even if it’s in the form of driving on the Taconic Highway listening to Kanye West.
Also really surprised by the directness in the lyrics. If this is anything to go by – a straightforwardness I’d hope to see in the new self-titled album. FUN FACT: the YouTube version includes a sample of Roberta Flack’s “First Time I Ever Saw Your Face”
“The ceilings that we ignored, the slept-on floors never ending, our feelings obscured but pure and our love ascending”
“Star Roving” by Slowdive
On their first track in 22 years, legendary shoegaze band Slowdive return with speed and a quiet, burning energy that intensifies and grows with each progressing note. Never letting up are these airy confident vocals – emboldened with this hypnotic synth riff and a chord progression that together, sound enviably powerful.
“Heartbeats” by Tomgirl
Technically this came out last year, but the Singaporean duo have come forth with an MV and an EP release of re-interpretations and demos for their seductive and sensual rock tune in “Heartbeats”. Now though, it’s been given new life and a fresh perspective following this noir inspired new music video that’s both mysterious and a visual treat.
“Manifest Destiny” – T-Rex
Singapore metal-jazz and psych-rock group T-Rex have come forth with their highly anticipated four-track EP. In addition to Protoplast, there’s another immediate whirl of rock tune to love. It’s more of a study compared to the lead single, but “Manifest Destiny” is a spontaneous, awesomely detailed and rewarding listen – should you have the patience.
You see that trailer for Logan recently? Well if Juggernaut ever has his own movie – this will be the theme song.
“(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano” – Sampha
A wonderful ballad. Love Sampha’s vocal tone and the decision to keep things minimal. On further inspection, this is a beautifully written song that explores the narrative of confiding in art in moments of grief, and in this case follows him returning to the literal piano – when he came back to his childhood home to take care of his mother after a cancer diagnosis.
“High For Hours” – J. Cole
Dive into the lyrics for this one, as J.Cole densely raps about: his encounter with (former) President Obama, oppression, racism, and the establishment in a way that reminds us of Kendrick with TPAB. One track in particular – “Institutionalized”, seems fitting (“Shit don’t change until you get up and wash your ass”) with this matching lyric criticizing inaction, “What good is taking over when we know what you gon’ do, the only real revolution happens inside of you”
Other noteworthy tracks:
“Crazy Crazy ft. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Charli XCX” by Yasutaka Nakata
“Tummy Ache” by Diet Cig
“Every Single Thing” by HOMESHAKE
“Nick of Time” by Stabscotch
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