Image by Eric Sundermann
Look! Yonder! What could it be, coming 'round the corner with such merry abandon? Ah, yes, the Changing of the Seasons. Memorial Day Weekend is here, and we all know what that means: The High Faeries of Summer have decreed that the Folke of the Country shall prosper and make their way to the Barbecue because seriously who wants another burger we might have made too many burgers come on seriously does anyone want to split one or something? Anyway, along with all that summer comes the most hallowed of summer tradition: Blasting music loudly in celebration of the fact that nobody has to wear socks for the next three months. Here's what that meant for the Gentry of Noisey this week. As is decreed: 'Twill be lit!
Future – "Fuck Up Some Commas"
There are three types of Future we've currently seen: there's the "Tony Montana" rapper from the streets of Atlanta, the well-coiffed celebrity we saw during the Honest promo run, and then there's this current era of Future that I like to call "scary movie squeal Future." Every album Future has released since his commercial debut has been full of music that makes you want to do the dance where you pretend you have crumbs on your shirt, and the best songs are punctuated by this paranoid squeal. Just a reminder that nobody reads all of these all the way through and one day my best friend admitted to me that he liked to kiss boys' butts.
Courtney Love – "Miss Narcissist"
Seriously though, where was Wavves to save Courtney Love from America's Sweetheart? He could've turned that disaster into a hit because this collaboration is a match made in scuzz-rock heaven. Courtney's voice has most definitely taken a beating over the years, but instead of trying to replicate the scratchy howl of 1994, Wavves' modernized wall-of-noise fills in the gaps where her vocals let out. Sure, it's a little mainstream radio rock in the verses, but the chorus is as bold and obdurate as I'd hoped it would be. Please, Courtney, don't be so typically you and sabotage your partnership with Ghost Ramp, because your transformation from Miss World into the eponymous Miss Narcissist is exactly what I've been waiting for. Get it, girl.
Drose – "My Face"
Do you ever wonder what Curt Kowbin (RIP) might have sounded like if he got really death rocky and way weirder? I imagine it would sound a lot like Drose. This song "My Face" has been sitting in my iTunes for the last few years, and I got really into the EP again recently. Each chord is so grimy and fucked up, it just feels like being in a dark room for a long period of time and getting more and more anxious as time goes on. The singer's voice drones and hangs on like every other component of the song, just making the whole deal feel really heavy and spooky. The perfect song to start your summer!
Oddisee – "First Choice"
I've been (extremely Ozzy voice) going through changes this week with the new album Oddisee album The Good Fight on repeat. Oddisee's the leader of the DMV indie rap collective Diamond District, but he recently moved to New York City and has a lot of thoughts about the life of the listless creative. The album's all about the struggles he's encountered trying to float as a rapper not particularly interested in making party music or playing ball with the majors. "First Choice" sticks out to me in particular; it's about shooting from the hip and succeeding, though your moves might seem crazy to the people around you. Listening to your heart and such. I've been doing a lot of that lately, and this song not only shouts my life back to me but the groove is liiiiquid.
Empress Of – "Hat Trick"
I will admit that up until a few days ago I had never listened to Empress Of (or at least purposefully). They were definitely a band that I shuffled into my group of "Bands That Exist That I Probably Don't Give A Shit About." Turns out my arrogance was extremely uncalled for. As I was shopping for a new pair of pants (yes it's still kind of chilly in New York because global warming is the best!) and heard this jam come on, and I had to attempt to capture it on Shazam five times. This song is probably the only reason why I bought anything that day: I was literally dancing to it in the dressing room. It also sounds like the type of song that should be in a Twin Peaks remake set in the year 2015 with Audrey Horne dancing in a cloud of smoke.
Conan - "Hawk As Weapon"
It's day two of Maryland Deathfest, and my ears are still ringing from last night. I skipped the death metal orgy over at the Soundstage in favor of sweet, sweet doom, ambling up in time to catch the latter half of Conan's set. The British trio sounded HUGE as they bulldozed through knuckle-dragging riffs torn from the psych-stained songbooks of Electric Wizard and YOB. The audience swayed in time, then apparently swooped down upon Conan's merch table like a pack of cotton-hungry wolves because the band is now sold the fuck out of every scrap of merchandise they brought with them. If you're lucky enough to be seeing them at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn with Samothrace tonight, make sure to buy 'em a pint or two—and for the love of all things unholy, bring earplugs.
Ash - "A Life Less Ordinary"
In honor of Ash's new record coming out next week we got Tim Wheeler to rank Ash's discography, which led me to watch the video for "A Life Less Ordinary" 12 times in a row. Noisey editor Kyle Kramer was like, "What the fuck is Ash?" because he likes hip-hop and is younger than me, and Ash were really important to a certain generation of kids who grew up in the UK and Europe and they never really "broke" in the States. Anyway they're excellent. They had a number one album in the UK when they were 19 years old! "A Life Less Ordinary" was the lead song for the film of the same name starring Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz. I don't really remember what it was about—some sort of surreal-heist-rom-com in which Diaz had a questionable haircut. I *think* I remember it being quite cute. But this song is absolutely one of the finest in Ash's arsenal. Those fuzzy guitars! The clatter of the sticks on the snare rim! The yearning in the melody! The way the chorus comes back in after the solo! The opening line: "I smoked myself into a haze in the afternoon..."
While watching this video for the 13th time I reflected on how much I used to fancy them and how parkas appear to be a trend that will never die. I wondered why Charlotte Hatherley appears to be wearing Skechers. I remembered how much I looked up to her when I was a teenager because she was a girl playing guitar so fucking effortlessly, and how, when I'd sing along, I'd always try and emulate her harmonies in the chorus. In short this song rules. Normally I really hate it when bands are playing their electric instruments unplugged in a desert or whatever, but these guys play ON TOP OF SPEEDING CARS. Basically, yes!
Jack Ü feat. Justin Bieber – "Where Are Ü Now"
This week I interviewed Skrillex. He is an insanely nice and rad guy. We had a great talk about space. In the course of thinking about Skrillex really intensely for 48 hours or so, I probably listened to this song by Skrillex, Diplo, and Justin Bieber about a hundred times. Not only is this one of the best showcases of Bieber's voice, the way that the beat collapses into those squealing synth sounds—vaguely annoying the first time you hear it—is one of the most emotive pieces of production I've ever heard. It's so plaintive! So empty! It perfectly captures the way you tend to feel a dull, unplaceable ache when you really miss someone who is gone from your life. It's incredible. And better yet, it's from three of the most consistently derided people in music. Take that, world. Here's a great song! Enjoy it!
Killing Joke – "Eighties"
All this talk of Mad Max reminds me of The Road Warrior, which also brings me back to a scene in one of my favorite movies of all time, Weird Science. Vernon Wells, who was also in the similarly ill Commando, played basically the same character as he did in Mad Max while Killing Joke’s “Eighties” blasted at Wyatt and Gary’s raging party. That was the first time I heard what would eventually become one of my favorite bands. All of those John Hughes movies… banger soundtracks.
Jamie xx - "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" feat. Young Thug and Popcaan
Oh man, this song. OK, so, first, let me get the flexing out of the way: I’ve been listening to this track for like two months because I’m an elite member of the press, casually tossing out tweets about “good times” and “having them” with all of you plebes not knowing what I was talking about. Anyway, enough of that, because if there’s one thing “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” is about, it’s about acceptance and enjoying life with your friends—not elitism. This is the type of song that makes you remember why we listen to music. Pretty much every line of Young Thug’s is legendary—“Imma ride in the pussy like a stroller,” “Where is my phone, that pussy callin’,” “Every time I have a good time you do too”—proving that, without a doubt, he’s the greatest romantic of our generation. I’ve listened to this song probably around 400 to 500 times, and it sounds better every time. Get out your white sneakers because summer is here, baby!
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