This week marks my five year anniversary in covering music officially. With that I want to say it's been a wild ride and I've met so many amazing humans by doing this and I'm thankful for every moment I get to make some art and enjoy other's art. Here are the singles that struck me this week.
Thankfully I was a week late on this, but it happened to work out that I heard the latest from Lucius. They were the first band I covered with a photo pass and wrote about in a review and to see where they have gone in five years is amazing. Their latest album Nudes is an all acoustic affair and last week they released a cover of "Eventually" by Tme Impala that is going to be on the record. It shows off their great harmonies and musicianship and this record should be tremendous.
Local Albany jack of all trades Shannon Straney released a new single titled "a l ch e m y". She is really coming into her own in Albany with photography, videography, singing, and playing music. I don't know when she sleeps. The tracks is very mellow, with keys and drums quietly moving the song along as her vocals float over them. About half way through the song she begins to harmonize with herself for the first time and it's just mesmerizing. Check it out for yourself below!
Father John Misty returned this week with a new song that is his brand of tongue in cheek rock music with "Mr. Tillman". It sounds like a song that others are singing to him, if you pay attention to the lyrics. He has become either the biggest troll in the music industry or just really good at keeping us guessing at what he is going to do next, or both. His album Pure Comedy was one of the best last year, and if this is the start of a new campaign, sing me up!
Parquet Courts are back with a brand new single "Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience". The song goes from this rigid rocker pushed forward by Savage's vocals and then about half way through the music becomes jammy and happy, though the lyrics are still yelping. The chorus of voices behind Savage though propel the whole song into a wild party. The song, and album, was produced by Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse, and this collaboration is off to a hell of a start and the rest of the album should be wild.
Janelle Monae is an absolute bad ass. She is a true artist in the vein of Prince and Bowie as she takes care of the music and the visuals. Her new album and film project Dirty Computer is coming out next month and this week she released not one, but two new songs and videos. The first time I heard her I was blown away and she has only continued to get better. The first song, "Make Me Feel" borrows heavily from Prince, but she still puts her spin on that sound. It's a bright track full of life that is sure to be stunning live. The second song is "Django Jane" and it's an angry track about the current state of affairs in the world. Janelle has had enough of how women and minorities have been treated and she goes all in with this one. Enjoy both.
Dead Meadow released "Keep Your Head" about a month ago ahead of their album release later this year and I missed it in my emails. Well now that I found it I have been enjoying it's six and a half minutes of pure bliss. The guitar work isn't overpowering, but it is gorgeous and intertwines itself with the vocals perfectly. Just when it feels like the song is dragging a bit, the whole band breaks into an extended jam that you won't be able to help but head bang to and it stays that way for basically the rest of the song. Sign me up for more of this.
Sometimes a collaboration works out so well you want to hear even more. This week Julien Baker and Manchester Orchestra released a cover of Pedro the Lion's "Bad Things to Such Good People". The single is being put out into the world to benefit the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation that is hoping to eradicate Ewing sarcoma. The cover is gorgeous and I'm curious to see if they pop up on festival bills together if they will play it in person. Enjoy this wonderful cover. All proceeds of the song will be going to the foundation.