Those Darlins - "Summer's Dead"
What is it about handclaps that makes most songs irresistible? I was left wondering this halfway through "Summer's Dead," the new track from Nashville darlings Those Darlins. Between the country-punk twang and the garage rock guitars, this "American murder ballad" (their publicist's words, not ours) could be a total downer. But then the handclaps kick in just as the trio delivers lines like, "It turns me on / Summer's dead at the Royal Hall," and suddenly the track doesn't seem quite so gruesome. If any band can pull off such an extreme juxtaposition—and, by the way, the song was inspired by a murder at the Royal Albert Arms Hotel in Winnipeg, which they heard about when they played a show in the club just a floor below—it's this one. Just make sure those claps are loud enough to drown out the screams....
REBECCA WILLA DAVISSBTRKT-"Terminal"
SBTRKT—which by the way is pronounced "subtract" even though there are no vowels anywhere in the name (I call them SURRBTURRKT)— are the only band legit enough to get a pass for wearing masks while they perform. They dropped a new track on Soundcloud this week accompanied by the caption, "tales from the studio," letting us know that they're hard at work making more hits. But it was nice of them to let one loose in the meantime. I'd wait at least an hour in between your morning coffee and listening to this song because the combo would be too overwhelming. At first it sounds sort of basic and weirdly like a beat that the cast of Jersey Shore would bump to while they get ready for the club, but then there are these cool twists in the song remain true to SBTRKT's form—ones that no mundane club-banger beat could ever duplicate. So, this is how the cool people "GTL."
Divine Fits -- "Would That Not Be Nice"
We don't want to sound totally snobby, but we tend to shy away from any band described as a supergroup. Why? Well, most of the time they tend to boast a lot of talent, but the result is not nearly as exciting as the hype leading up to it. Plus, they usually fall apart pretty quickly anyway. But then there are the few exceptions that come together like a true all-star team and produce something completely unique and amazing (i.e. Journey, Velvet Revolver, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, etc.). Enter the Divine Fits, the latest band to prove supergroups aren't all bad. Made up of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade), Britt Daniel (Spoon) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks), the crazy-talented trio just released their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits
, and we can't stop listening to it. Don't believe us? Listen to their single "Would That Not Be Nice" and see if you can resist jumping up from your desk, throwing on your most badass bomber jacket, and dancing around the streets in a total divine fit.
ALI HOFFMAN Solange - "Losing You"
All hail Queen Solange Knowles and her new single “Losing You”, which makes for the perfect background music for daydreaming up a montage of you and an imaginary significant other on your train ride home, (I’m not the only one who does this, right?). The song was written by Dev Hynes, better known as Lightspeed Champion or Blood Orange—who leaves his distinguished imprint of patterned, romantic, dance music – that breaks your heart and heals it—from start to finish. The music video, directed by the legendary Melina Matsoukas, is a fabulous juxtaposition that was filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, showcasing townspeople in well-tailored garb (is that Solange wearing the infamous Moschino brick suit?!), waving around the UK flag, and singing along to the '80s-reminiscent, R&B-pop groove. “Losing You” is the lead single from her upcoming second studio album, still untitled, with no official release date. Until then, I’ll be playing this on repeat, hair flipping, and taking every tailored blazer I have out of wardrobe retirement.
JADE TAYLORTegan and Sara- "Closer"
I know what you're thinking, and trust me, this is not the T&S you were expecting. After a three year hiatus, Tegan and Sara dropped their new single, "Closer." A first listen will deliver quite a shock to anyone who is familiar with the twins' indie rock catalogue. It's apparent that they have traded in their guitars for synths and the results are an infectious pop song that you'll have in your head well into next season. Like all good pop songs, they keep the lyrics simple and anthemic. Don't be surprised if you find yourself singing lines like "So, let's make things physical, I won't treat you like you're oh so typical" to just about anyone standing next to you on the train. (I apologize in advance to whoever winds up next me on the L train).