White Lies go south-east, Cherry Glazerr raise a holy racket, Ten Fe coast and more in today’s roundup. Nailed it!
1 Think fast: Where did the English post-punk band White Lies shoot the darkly exotic video for their anthemic new single Tokyo? I bet you can guess. That’s right: It was Tijuana, Mexico. And they say there are no surprises left in rock ’n’ roll. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The triumphant synth-laden pop nous of Tokyo encapsulates the trio’s unerring knack of penning a big tune and is a brilliant precursor to the band’s imminent album Five.” Well, as long as the nous is triumphant:
2 Since you didn’t do so well on that last brain-teaser, here’s another. L.A. pop-rockers Cherry Glazerr have just released their crunchy nugget of a new single and a provocative video to boot. The first word in the title is Wasted. What is the second word? Imagine you’re playing Match Game and I’m Gene Rayburn (or Alec Baldwin). I put the skinny wand mic under your chin and you say … ? Wasted youth? Wasted years? Wasted food? Nope, nope and nope. The correct answer, of course, is nun. Wasted Nun. Nipsey Russell could have told you that. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Wasted Nun is about a woman trying to come to grips with her life,” says frontwoman Clementine Creevy. “She’s a tragic woman. She hates herself and is trying to move through the world but gets deflated by extreme self-loathing. She wants to harness the power of the universe but instead she turns to self-destruction. The song is aggressive and intense because I’m letting out my anger, I’m enraged. People want girls to be strong, I want to be strong, but I just feel angry, and those are two very different things. There’s a stubbornness there, I know.” Make it a habit:
3 London quintet Ten Fe are far from the first British band to fall in love with North American places, people and pop culture. Nor are they unique in wearing that affection on their collective musical sleeve. What might set them apart from many of their predecessors and contemporaries, though, is their uncanny ability to channel that affection into slices of magnificent pop and rock. The latest example is the laid-back heartland charmer Coasting, the latest preview of their upcoming Future Perfect album and the followup to last month’s gorgeous Echo Park. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The band drew inspiration from The E Street Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival and say the song is a “celebration of new love”. They explain: “it’s a simple statement – ‘when I’m with you, I don’t need anything or anyone else. This feels easy, it feels like a fresh start: I’m coasting’. Musically we kept it really simple too to reflect the sentiment. We wanted it to feel rootsy like The E Street Band and CCR and also channel a Britpop directness.” Toss in a dash of War on Drugs and Fleetwood Mac and you’re right where you need to be:
4 It always feels good to do something you haven’t done before. For eccentric British rockers Fat White Family, it apparently comes in the form of their upcoming sophomore album Serfs Up! Word is that it’s a more ambitious, thoughtful, sophisticated and engaging album than their challengingly weird 2016 debut Songs For Our Mothers. Good for them. And for me, since I also get to do something I’ve never done. I get to type the following sentence: Their new single Feet sounds a bit like Leonard Cohen doing the bossa nova at a rave. Thanks, FWF! SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Gregorian chants, jackboot glam beats, string flourishes, sophisticated and lush cocktail exotica, electro funk and the twin spirits of Alan Vega and Afrika Bambaataa punctuate the record at various junctures, while the dramatic production of Feet is as immaculately rendered as Hounds of Love-era Kate Bush. The dirt is still there of course, but scrape it away and you’ll find a purring engine, gleaming chrome.” Hang 10:
5 When I interviewed Canadian singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas a couple of years back about her latest album, she had just stopped by my old employer’s office studio to videotape a cover of Sade‘s Right By Your Side. Sadly, that song does not appear on her upcoming covers EP Imprints. But the four-song disc does pay tribute to some of her other favourite female vocalists and songs, including this lush version of The Cranberries’ No Need to Argue featuring harmonies from lookalike duo Lucius. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Cranberries had such an impact on me growing up and is still one of my favourite bands. There is so much emotion and realness behind Dolores O’Riordan‘s lyrics and in my opinion, this track is one of the most simply and perfectly put ‘break up’ songs. I was gutted when I heard the news of Dolores’ passing this time last year. I know I don’t know her but I feel like I did because she helped me through so much growing up listening to her music.” Savour it:
6+7 Before Pearl Jam and Mudhoney, there was Green River, the Seattle proto-grunge outfit that included Mark Arm, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard. If you don’t already own their Sub Pop releases — the 1987 EP Dry As a Bone and the 1988 album Rehab Doll — today is your lucky day. Well, actually, Jan. 25 will be your lucky day, since that’s when Sub Pop is reissuing both of them in deluxe expanded editions. But today, you can check out two more cuts: Dry As a Bone‘s bluesy grinder Unwind and Rehab Doll‘s swaggering title track. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Green River’s place in American music history is without question, but these recordings paint a more complete picture of the band — and of rock in the mid- to late-’80s when punk’s faster-and-louder ideals had begun shape-shifting into other ideas.” Take a dive: