Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Weeks of 1/9/17 and 1/16/17

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Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Weeks of 1/9/17 and 1/16/17

1. “Hot Thoughts” :: Spoon


Three-Sentence Review: An unexpected surprise was borne when I was sent an older song of Spoon’s earlier this week, the tune which got me all rattled up and thinking”hey I forgot how much I dig this band”, which led me to their “Spotify” page to spin some more. It was there I found A NEW SINGLE. I pushed play, and have been returning, and re-pushing play, on and off all week- and I bet you will, too.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+


“Hot Thoughts”

2. “I Gave You Power” :: Arcade Fire, featuring Mavis Staples


Three-Sentence Review: I’m pretty well versed in all things Arcade Fire, an aurally addicted follower since 2004’s Funeral, which still resides in my (long) list of all-time favorite albums. Most of the time I know what to expect from Arcade Fire, what sounds will be emitted, what beats and rhythms and melodies, but this song, featuring the great Mavis Staples, bucked up against my expectations, and knocked me over with its dirty funky sensibilities. The fade and build in the end sticks around long after the air goes silent, and it remains there, creeping up my spine, making me want to call up David Lynch and suggest he finds a way to include this song in his next cinematic adventure – maybe played live in the Black Lodge?

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

“I Give You Power” :: Arcade Fire, featuring Mavis Staples

3. I See You :: The xx


Three-Sentence Review: Electronica meets up with dream pop, while winking at jazz over there in the corner, but then turns around and goes off to make it with some indie rock, the end result the making of a new “xx” baby. Initial favorite, “On Hold”, has a 90’s Trip Hop feel to me circa Morcheeba and Everything But The Girl (always a good feel, to me). Overall, the album is a bit more on the pop/upbeat side of things than my favorite of theirs, 2009’s self-titled – but the elevated melodies, and the shifts in sound, do possess a quality that I bet is going to grow on me after a few more listens.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “A Violent Noise”, “Replica” and “On Hold”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

“On Hold”

4. Hang :: Foxygen


Three-Sentence Review: So, now I get what all the Foxygen fuss has been about, while I sit here listening, and wondering why I haven’t noticed before. Throwback with a capital “T”, 70’s infused, especially with all that brass lifting up some of these songs (check out track one, “Follow the Leader”, and you’ll know what I mean) – there’s much groove to get down with here; but then the album goes and gets all “big stage theatrics” overloaded with drama, full orchestra and big belted emotion that still has me recalling the 70’s, especially in that midnight movie-esque musical sort of way. Nice touches from both the Flaming Lips and The Lemon Twigs on this new album- they really have left a mark.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Follow the Leader’, “On Lankershim” and “Trauma”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Follow the Leader”

5. “Doomsday” :: Ryan Adams


Three-Sentence Review: Will we slowly be gifted the entire upcoming new Ryan Adams album, Prisoner, single by single, or knowing his musically prolific proclivities, will all these “previewed” tracks end up being the new album’s “B-sides”? Whatever the outcome may be, I’m certainly not complaining about this slow leak of melody and lyrical refrain. Though this is my least favorite of the three released  (so far), its still Ryan, simmering in a little bit of sadness, a little bit of hopeless hope, and a lot of that guitar-riffed strum, punctuated by harmonica and heartbreak.

Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4


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