LISTEN /// TOM WAITS - BAD AS ME
The insane musical genius that is Tom Waits has a new album on the way, as previously reported, and here’s the first single and title track from it, "Bad As Me". It’s classic Waits; a jukebox staple from some demented bar, the trademark howled vocals as deranged as ever. Basically, it’s bloody fantastic, and if you’ve never experienced Waits yet, I suggest you do right now.
LISTEN /// BON IVER - BETH/REST (SOLO PIANO VERSION)
It’s pretty safe to say that I hate the album version of this track with a passion usually reserved for Mumford & Sons, and a lot of people are with me on that. Whereas the preceding nine tracks on Bon Iver's eponymous second LP are beautiful, restrained and tender, only briefly flirting with electronics, "Beth/Rest" goes all-out cheesy, 80s soft-rock, enough to make this blogger wretch. However that all changed when Justin Vernon swung by NPR to record a stripped down solo version of the song, using only his voice and piano. The new version is hauntingly beautiful, sending chills down your spine. It even sounds a little like Tom Waits’ early work in the beginning. More of this for album #3 please, Justin.
LISTEN /// M83 - NEW MAP
It’s safe to say M83's upcoming “epic double album” Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is going to be just that; epic. First single “Midnight City” was a gloriously throwback piece of synth-pop, saxophone solo and all. "New Map" follows in that vein, cramming in so much joy I didn’t think was possible to fit into a pop song. Those drums sound as if they should be on a Blink-182 song, the synths just keep building and building, those flutes in the outro clearly hinting at the 60s wall of sound production… I’m struggling to find words for how much I love this. It might just top Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Shuffle” as my song of the year.
We’ll have a full review of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming some time this week.
LISTEN /// WU LYF - GO TELL FIRE (REPRISE)
I know I wasn’t too kind in my review of Wu Lyf's debut album Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, but certain aspects of that record and the band’s sound have grown on me in the last month or so. "Go Tell Fire (Reprise)", which was released yesterday on the band’s blog, was meant to end Go Tell Fire To The Mountain but, according to the band “we couldn’t figure it right”. The track is much in the same vein as the slower songs on the album and you can actually sort of make the lyrics out for once. It’s also sort of beautiful.
LISTEN /// JUSTICE - HELIX
Now this is more like it. When “Audio Video Disco” dropped the other day, it was a little underwhelming. It wasn’t bad, just a little too muted and a little too slick in comparison to the big, brash dance-pop of yore. "Helix" pulls a 180-degree turn on that, bolting out the gate with a rock riff, which will draw countless comparisons with Daft Punk, and a slinky groove that fades in and out and back in again. They’ve still got it.
LISTEN /// COLDPLAY - PARADISE
Now Chris Martin & co aren’t regular fixtures on Hitsville (they’re a little too beige for us cool blogger kids), but their upcoming Mylo Xyloto album is quite anticipated, so it’s worth posting "Paradise", the latest single from the album. One word comes to mind, or to be more accurate, one name; Kanye. This genuinely sounds as if it could slot in on a Yeezy album or at least have been produced by him. It’s got the dark synth undercurrent, the unsubtle stadium guitars, the lolloping beat and bombastic strings that have become hallmarks of West’s sound in the last few years. It’s already being trashed by fans, but for some odd reason, I quite like this. What do you lot think?
LISTEN /// KANYE WEST vs M83 - MIDNIGHT LIFE (THE WHITE PANDA MASH-UP)
I’m a complete sucker for a good mash-up, and this one flies straight into my list of favourites. Pitching a classic Kanye track with M83’s sublime latest single, White Panda has served up something that really shouldn’t work, but really really does.
LISTEN /// M83 - MIDNIGHT CITY (TRENTEMOLLER REMIX)
A second helping of M83-related goodness for you lot today. The French band are releasing a remix EP at the end of the month and this reworking from Trentemøller is sure to be a highlight. Stringing out the track into a subtle, wiry groove that resembles a DFA band-gone-goth, it’s a U-turn from the original’s bright sugar-rush of synthpop. It’s an impressive slowburner of a track and one you should definitely be listening to right now.
LISTEN /// SAMARITAN - DON’T TRY LOVE
Another day, another post-dubstep bedroom producer at the centre of the blog circle-jerk. However, "Don’t Try Love" is undoubtedly worthy of the buzz surrounding it. Mature and well crafted, it encapsulates the mixed and messy feelings implied by its title. The sparse beats and vocals are reminiscent of Burial and Lykke Li, and the track does have an air of unease about; it’s a little creepy in parts. Basically, it’s great.