Song of the Week (02/25/17): Marika Hackman -“Boyfriend”

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U.K. singer-songwriter Marika Hackman’s new release has much more of full-band vibe to it than her earlier work. Bringing her friends from The Big Moon to back her up, she turns “Boyfriend” into a hazy, woozy rock tune. Listening to the opening melody, you’d swear that the guitar slide is being played in reverse. It’s a wonderfully weird bit of riffage that sticks in your brain.

“It’s fine ’cause I am just a girl/’It’s just a dream’/A woman really needs a man to make her scream,” she sings, the sarcasm dripping off every word. If her tone wasn’t enough to make her point, the furious squeals she forces out of her guitar sends the message.

Hackman’s new album, I’m Not Your Man, will drop on June 2. It will be her first record on Sub Pop.

SONG OF THE WEEK (02/18/17): Los Campesinos! – “The Fall of Home”

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Los Campesinos! isn’t exactly known for low-key ballads (See: the exclamation point). But on “The Fall of Home,” they turned the volume way low, for a simmering, sad slow-burner. Acoustic guitar patterns play alongside heart-tugging strings, rising and falling like the bumps of a slow car ride.
 
Gareth Campesinos, never one to shy away from melancholy, sings about the downsides of nostalgia. It looks at that time when you grow up and become a stranger to your childhood home. “Left your home town, for somewhere new/Don’t be surprised now it’s leaving you,” he croons, using the upper-end of his range like never before. “Battery dies on your monthly call/Budget cut at your primary school/Another family friend fell sick,” the lyrics go, as one-time earth-shattering changes become footnotes.
 
For fans of the band, many whom have followed them since their debut in 2008, time seems to have flown by just as fast. Now, as the group prepares its sixth LP, Sick Scenes, it may be as good as time as any for a sigh and a wistful look back.

SONG OF THE WEEK (02/11/17): The Staves – “Tired As Fuck”

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The end of a relationship can be exhausting. With so much energy invested, you can feel drained when things fall apart. Not only emotionally, but physically. Over time though, that exhaustion transforms into resolve. You dedicate yourself to moving on and moving forward.

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SONG OF THE WEEK (02/04/17): MASTODON – “Show Yourself”

The latest by Mastodon sounds more like Queens of the Stone Age than the sludge or progressive metal that fans expect. But when the song’s this good, who cares?

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SONG OF THE WEEK (01/28/17): The New Pornographers- “High Ticket Attractions”

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The best songs by The New Pornographers are always high-energy. Usually, they also feature duets between Carl Newman and Neko Case or Kathryn Calder. And their newest single, “High Ticket Attractions” is no exception.

Doubling down on the sparkling synths that made their last album, Brill Bruisers, such a standout, the track is just fun. You’ll want to dance or jump around to it. The synth melodies move from the foreground to the background effortlessly, working either with the rest of the band’s performance or given opportunities to shine on its own.

“This thing could go two ways/Won’t be another exit for days/So pack a small suitcase/Anything else can be easily replaced,” the chorus goes. Those lines are only partially true. When this Canadian band is on point, you can’t easily replace The New Pornographers.

Luckily, this is just our first taste of the group’s seventh LP. Titled Whiteout Conditions, the record is due to drop on April 7.

Song of the Week (01/21/17): Gorillaz – “Hallelujah Money”

Welcome to a new feature called Song of the Week. It’s a fairly self-explanatory addition! Each week, we’ll chat about our favorite tune released in the last seven days. If you’re looking for great new music, you’ve come to the right place!

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