Here’s another collection of music culled from recent releases to help keep the summer vibe going. Check out new songs from indie veterans Spoon, Interpol, the New Pornographers and the Shins along with new bands such as Jungle and the Orwells. Vacationer, Parquet Courts and Ex Hex bring the party atmosphere while Christopher Owens, Stand of Oaks and Tweedy (Jeff Tweedy of Wilco) craft a mellow musical vein.
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Actually, it does reside in that rarefied space—just not according to your average listicle on the subject or the band’s “greatest hits”. “The Way Love Used to Be” is a ghost classic mainly due to its undistinguished release history, appearing first on the soundtrack to Percy, a 1971 British comedy about “the world’s first penis transplant”, and then two years later on The Great Lost Kinks Album, an odds-and-ends collection that was discontinued in 1975 after Ray Davies initiated legal measures against Reprise Records.
Summer is finally here. Fire up the BBQ and get out those picnic blankets, along with this playlist of new tunes from recent releases to provide the perfect soundtrack. This compilation of 17 songs is culled from a bounty of new music out of the West Coast, especially San Francisco (Waters, Papercuts and the Fresh and Onlys), plus an international mix from across the pond, especially the UK (Eno*Hyde, the Horrors, Damon Albarn and Jimi Goodwin). Listen up and see what catches your ear.
You’re half-listening to 20/20, the Boys’ so/so 1969 release, and you’re more-or-less resigned to the lead track, “Do It Again”, doubling as the high point. Then Side Two rolls around, and you find yourself totally caught off guard as beauty strikes in the restful, baroque pop form of “Time to Get Alone”. If you’re unacquainted, change that. “Time to Get Alone” is a dream, right on down the line from Carl’s feathery lead vocal—and the way it contrasts with the up-and-down crunch of the waltz backdrop—to the sumptuously layered arrangement of the chorus to the immaculate production job to the unadorned coda (which is from the extended version; see below).
With spring finally making an appearance, there’s plenty of news songs for another playlist thanks to the constant renewal of the music scene. Bands such as Cage the Elephant, Wye Oak and Real Estate are back with album releases along with Future Islands and Lost in the Trees. Female voices abound on this playlist, from Annie Clark of St. Vincent and Kelis, to Courtney Barnett, Sharon Van Etten and Monica Birkenes of Mr. Little Jeans. Also check out new music from veteran bands Elbow and Maximo Park, along with indie heavyweight Beck.
// Notes from the Road
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