Fat White Family make love and war, Night Beats cruise L.A., Aaron Lee Tasjan does desk duty, Pup kid around and more in today’s Roundup. Hey, it could be worse: You could have to listen to Toto’s Africa on an endless loop.
1 Fat White Family may have changed their tune, but they haven’t lost their marketing skills. Less than a week after sharing the audio of their new single Feet — which I said sounded a bit like Leonard Cohen doing the bossa nova at a rave — they’ve shared the video of the song so that everybody posts something about it again. Well played, FWF. Well played. Of course, the fact that the clip looks like a war movie directed by Andy Warhol doesn’t hurt in that regard. Nor does it deter me from wanting to hear the rest of their album Serfs Up! when it arrives in April. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Feet is a suitably grandiose work directed by C.C. Wad, which perfectly matches the overwhelming scope and ambition of the track.” C’est la guerre:
2 If there’s one thing you’ll likely notice about Night Beats’ new single One Thing, it’s that it sounds a lot like Black Keys. That’ s probably not a coincidence: Myth Of A Man, the album on which it appears, was produced by BKs singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach. You can check out the rest of the disc when it drops on Friday. And if you want to watch Night Beats leader Danny Lee Blackwell roaming L.A.’s seedy underbelly after dark, you can check out the video for the song right now. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “One Thing embodies the dissatisfaction of today’s generation. The film is rich with the alluring temptations Los Angeles has to offer. I find L.A is immortal – it has so many classic locations, straight out of my dreams – it is the perfect location for this film. In the film Danny is looking for a way to soothe his hedonistic desires… almost an unattainable goal. The frustration, desire for stimulation and dissatisfaction, in the city of dreams are all things dealt with in this film.”
3-5 You can’t skimp on karma. Unless you’re Aaron Lee Tasjan. The personable Nashville indie-pop singer-guitarist’s latest album came with the title Karma For Cheap. But so far it doesn’t seem like he’s paying the price for it. Not only was the disc well-received; it’s led to tour slots supporting everyone from Cheap Trick to Jason Isbell — and this just-released appearance on NPR‘s Tiny Desk Concert series. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “This buoyant, East Nashville-via-Ohio soul and his fabulous band have a knack for channeling Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and The Kinks. Aaron Lee Tasjan has a knack for making music that is timeless, as good music wants to do.” What goes around comes around:
6 One way or another, an incalculable amount of music has been directly or indirectly inspired by the seven deadly sins. Polish electronica artist Perfect Son (which is way easier to pronounce than his real name Tobiasz Biliński) has wisely decided to cut out the middle man on his propulsive and darkly pounding new single and lyric video for Lust, the latest preview of his Feb. 15 release Cast. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “With powerful, sweeping production that recalls the best pop beats of Matthew Dear and arcing melodies that conjure the majesty of Jonathan Meiburg, Perfect Son animates sensations of lust, belonging, and newfound trust with tumescent electronic arrangements that threaten the safety of any sound system.” Word:
7 You like Superchunk? I know, who doesn’t? How about The Hold Steady? You into them too? Well, good. Because believe it or not, on Pup’s anthemic new single Kids — the first preview of their upcoming self-released third album Morbid Stuff — the Torontonians sound like a cross between those two bands, thanks to their blend of edgy punk-pop energy, riffy guitars and wordy, yelpy vocals. Granted, the lyrics aren’t exactly sunshine and rainbows — “I don’t care about nothing but you / I guess it doesn’t matter anyway,” is the surprisingly catchy chorus. But hell, who isn’t a little morbid these days? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Kids is a love song from one nihilistic depressive to another,” explains Stefan Babcock. “It’s about what happens when you stumble across the only other person on the face of this godless, desolate planet that thinks everything is as twisted and as fucked up as you do. And thanks to them, the world starts to seem just a little less bleak. But only slightly – it’s still pretty fucked up to be honest.”
8 If singer-songwriter Shana Cleveland’s name rings a bell, you might be a fan of her surf-rock combo La Luz. And you might have to get used to seeing her in drier climes on her upcoming solo album Night of the Worm Moon — if first single Face of the Sun is anything to go by. For this dreamy number, Cleveland steps from the beach sands to the desert sands, delivering a slice of dusty noir flecked with plenty of lazy twang, haunting reverb and fallen-angel vocals. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Night of the Worm Moon occupies a different, vibrant kind of headspace. UFO sightings, insect carcasses, and twilight dimensions are all grist for Cleveland’s restless creativity, and they and other inspirations collide beautifully on the album’s 10 kaleidoscopic tracks–a spacebound transmission from America’s weirdo frontier.” Eat the worm:
9 While you’re in a desert frame of mind, here’s another number from a very different dune. Groundbreaking Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar unleashed his new single Kamane Tarhanin from his March release Ilana (The Creator), the Saharan artist’s first album to be recorded in a proper studio with a live band. It definitely sounds like it — though the setting certainly hasn’t diluted the song’s urgent energy, circular groove and hypnotic vibe. And it certainly hasn’t tempered his fierce fretwork. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “In Kamane Tarhanin, a call and response lyric lifts up over a traditional vocal hum before breaking into a wailing solo with tapping techniques learned from watching Youtube videos of Eddie Van Halen.” Seriously.
10 Norwegian saxophonist Bendik Giske has already shared the singles Adjust and High to advance his debut album Surrender, arriving later this month. After that, there’s nowhere to go but up. So here comes Up, a gorgeously swirling, multi-layered creation that flutters and soars and dives in keeping with its title. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Giske is pleased to shared Up, a euphoric collage of sound, driven by Giske’s saxophone and rhythmic finger tapping on the instrument’s keys. “Up. A direction. A state of flux. In direction of an elevated state,” says Giske. “I often find my self aware of where I want to be, but uncertain of how to get there. My chosen city of residence offers many remedies, music being just one of them.” Catch some air: