“So Slow”- Paperhaus
Part of the magic of Paperhaus’ new track, “So Slow,” lies in the relation between the title and the way “So Slow” gently builds. The song takes its time as the back and forth of clean guitar pops-the echo and shimmer contrasts with the staticky bent notes of their gritty electric counterpart. The latter guitar is eventually allowed wail, and does so, if only briefly, like a wild animal which has finally broken free of its cage. Though not to be outdone, it’s the lyrics, delivered without the slightest bit of solicitude, which help lend support to the genius architectural song structure that is “So Slow.”
“Do the Get Down” – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
The psych-funk blues rockers The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are set to release Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015 their second album since they reunited a few years back. The album’s first single, “Do The Get Down,” is a brilliant and wonderful return to the funky form which they channeled on Acme. “Do the Get Down,” is classic Spencer. It’s complete with stripped-down drums, toe-tapping bass, and dental drill guitar whirrs over which Spencer relinquishes his gripes with the world through that special blend of Sugarhill Gang-styled rap-rock.
“Believe the Squalor” – Lieutenant
With the release of his first record as a frontman, Nate Mendel, who played bass with Sunny Day Real Estate and Foo Fighters, seems to have learned more about songwriting from Sunny Day’s Jeremy Enigk than from the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl.
It shows on “Believe the Squalor,” the first single from the album, If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going to Eat for a Week, by Mendel’s latest project Lieutenant. In contrast to its title, the tune is full of squeaky clean guitars and precisely-poppy arrangements. Mendel’s vocals are quiet, and muffled as though he’s talking to himself, following in that great emo tradition of narcissism, which is of course part of its charm.
“I Don’t Want To Let You Down” – Sharon Van Etten
Of all the hundreds of thousands of singer-songwriters who inhabit the borough of Brooklyn, Sharon Van Etten is probably one of the hardest working of them all, and also the most talented.
Van Etten uses vocal harmonies and lyrical repetitions in much the same way as a poet does, and the results are always strikingly beautiful and indelibly heartbreaking. Although, much of that is due to their melodic structures and well-chosen words, which as they make the songs about her, they do so with an unflinching honesty that doesn’t beg forgiveness but rather expels empathy. This is precisely the feeling one gets from Van Etten’s latest, “I Don’t Want To Let You Down.”
“The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” – Mountain Goats
With the announcement of their newest record Beat the Champ, which was inspired by and about professional wrestling, Mountain Goats would seem to be leaning towards becoming the indie-folk version of Ween and They Might Be Giants. Although, head Mountain Goat John Darnielle would probably disagree with that comparison. He recently had this to say about why he wrote Beat the Champ. “I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown.” As far as the first single is concerned, “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” it sounds exactly like a Mountain Goats song.