As I mentioned last week, I’ll do my best to avoid repeat artist coverage. Instead, I’ll do a quick recap of artists to keep listening too. First, I urge you to listen to the track “Now” by Joywave. Straying from their heavier stuff, “Now” feels like The Killer’s incorporating Depeche Mode into their work 80’s tinged work. Today marks the release of their new album How Do You Feel, which I’m excited to give a deeper listen. In addition, my boy Snoop just dropped “So Many Pros,” another funky jam with elements of early-2000’s song writing – I kept waiting for Justin Timberlake to drop in with his falsetto on the chorus. Honestly, the rap is pretty light; it’s really more an R&B track, but the smoothness is something else. Oh yeah, and Kodaline released on album too. Things are good! Here’s what else is going on in the land of music:
“Piss Off” – FFS
FFS is a new supergroup composed of brit pop-rockers Franz Ferdinand and the baroque-synth group from the 1970’s, Spark. I’m not terribly familiar with Spark, but their sound is somewhat familiar. The singer’s voice conjures associations to “Hey Yeah (What’s Going On)”, the obnoxious song associated with He-man for whatever reason. Nonetheless, it’s great to see Franz Ferdinand branching out after their tepid last album. “Piss Off” is a bold song, trading two singers with non-traditional voices, throwing jangly piano and Franz Ferdinand’s scratchy guitars together. At it’s best, “Piss Off” reminds you of a good Queen track: rousing, rocking, and super British. Although “Piss Off” is strange on first listen, give it try gents!
“Can You Blame Me” – Matt and Kim
Flute? Whoa. If not for the flute, the intro would be a little flat – bordering on parody of Matt & Kim, not to mention Grouplove or whoever else is the top pop-indie band at the moment. It’s amazing what once instrument can do to a song. I can’t say much about the songwriting other than that if you like Matt & Kim you’ll like it, and the song has good radio potential, so I’ll continue down the flute road. The tone of the flute is amazingly breathy, almost amateur, but ultimately sweet and wistful. It pairs well with an nearly accordion based synth and flows right into a synth solo that sounds like a modified flute too. If there is any theme I’ve noticed this week, it’s the combination of styles, adapting one choice into our relatively synth heavy reality.
“Still Want You” – Brandon Flowers
With a voice as iconic as Brandon Flowers, it’s hard not to hear his solo work and think it’s the latest Killer’s output. No wonder that his music writing has tried to distance himself. It’s not a full on 180 – I doubt that Flowers could do metal – but the world music vibe of his music is a step away from The Killer’s Americana sound as of late. His last track was a latin-inspired number and “Still Want You” manages to connect an island sound as synths in a way that I haven’t heard. Frankly, matching marimbas with chill synths makes so much sense, and it’s a genius combo. Flowers also gets a great backing chorus and solid drum work. Basically, this song rocks, it’s much better than “Can’t Deny My Love” and I’m back on the Brandon Flower’s train.
“Catch Us If You Can” – Elle King
Elle King is not the only Adele imitator (Adele of course working in a long established genre) but what makes her so fascinating is that the chanteuse is the daughter of Rob Schneider! I don’t think he’s as talentless as some people do (his SNL work is solid) but who would expect his daughter to have those pipes? King’s been kicking around the music world for a long time and while “Catch Us If You Can” isn’t going to be her big break, there is a lot to appreciate. Similar to Flower’s new song which manages to add something new to an old genre, she combines country and soul quite well. Ok, she didn’t invent the trick (Ray Charles, maybe?) but the stomp-clap of both genres melds right together, so I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. If like the song, you can see it in the movie Hot Pursuit with Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, apparently. Woop-dee-doo.