CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

 
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Friday, Jan 30, 2015
With minor key synth arpeggios and a totally danceable mood, KNTRLR's "Halogen" is the second track from the electronic duo's debut record, The Great Filter.

“Charles and Michael are KNTRLR”, reads the bio of this electronic duo. While the photo of the two men above might alarm some—clearly that bartender has not had her ID checked—there’s nothing overly mysterious about what they do, even though they elect to only go by their first names in press materials. For instance, take the track “Halogen”, a number off of the duo’s forthcoming debut The Great Filter: sure, there’s plenty of vague and attention-arousing lyrics (at one point it’s sung that “we’re reptilian”, whatever that might mean), but above all else it’s all about the hook and the ability to get feet moving on the dance floor, which “Halogen” has in spades. Then again, that’s not to say this is an ordinary collaboration; after all, they’ve been described as “[if] the Walkmen joined with Death Grips and toured brothels.” To figure out what that might just mean, stream “Halogen” below.


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Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
Beatles-esque vocal harmonies meet clap-along rhythms in the latest number by the Los Angeles rock outfit Prima Donna, "Deathless".

In the press materials for their new album, Nine Lives and Forty-Fives, the Los Angeles rock band Prima Donna are described as having a “curriculum [that] includes musical road trips with Eddie and the Hot Rods, Adam Ant, D-Generation and even Green Day, who they supported on two arena tours on two continents.” The influences of those groups are certainly evident in Prima Donna’s music, but on their latest number, “Deathless”, their vocal harmonies bring to mind an influence that few if any rock bands can escape: the Beatles. With this track, Prima Donna tips their cap to their forebears while adding their own driving verve and energy, with some excellent work on the low end by the bass playing of “Lights Out” Levine.


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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015
Need some sonic rays of sunshine to cut through the winter doldrums? The joyous "In the Sun" by the Australian singer Vassy will do just the trick.

Although it’s winter in the United States right now, you might be transported to the summer months by the disposition of the Australian singer Vassy, whose latest single “In the Sun” is the kind of summer jam that’s designed to be blasted out of hatchback car radios and beach boomboxes. Of course, it’s summertime in Vassy’s native Australia, but this buoyant pop jam is enough to make it feel as if the season is spreading all around the world.


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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015
Portland, Oregon neo-americana act Drunken Prayer pays tribute to the Band with the tender and curiously psychedelic duet "Evangeline".

The Band are one of the great rock acts of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Although that time is also associated with the rise of psychedelia, the music of the Band is anchored in the roots rock tradition—put simply, their music will never bring to mind any skies with diamonds. However, that doesn’t mean contemporary artists can’t take the music of that essential Band and throw in some psychedelic flourishes, just as the Portland, Oregon outfit Drunken Prayer has done with their cover of “Evangeline”, featuring Freakwater’s Janet Beveridge Bean on supporting vocals. The video to “Evangeline” features distinct washes of psychedelic color, an appropriately quirky, Pacific Northwest touch to this classic tune. For a slightly off-kilter take on America as only Portland can bring it, Drunken Prayer will do just the trick.


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Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015
The latest from these Leeds rockers is a synth-driven, catchy number that sets the stage brilliantly for their next LP.

In the ‘00s, the Leeds, UK rock outfit Kaiser Chiefs made a big splash with their excellent 2007 album Yours Truly, Angry Mob and its earworm of a lead single, “Ruby”. Like that song, the band’s latest tune, “Falling Awake”, anchors itself on a simple, repetitive chorus: “She’s got me falling, falling / Falling away!” Also like “Ruby”, though, such repetition is extremely effective given the Chiefs’ catchy songwriting. Buoyed by a near danceable bass synth, “Falling Awake” bodes quite well for the group’s forthcoming sixth studio LP, which follows 2014’s Tony Blair-referencing Education, Education & War.


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