Still playing life/work catchup after daring to switch my out of office on for more than an afternoon, but quickly wanted to share this absolute gem from Warpaint’s new album Radiate Like This. Sultry AF.
I’m not sure anyone does deep melancholy quite as well as Tomberlin. Released today, her new album i don’t know who needs to hear this… was structured around the need to “examine, hold space, make an altar for the feelings”, and while not exactly a departure from her 2018 album – and one of my all-time favourites – At Weddings, there’s definitely been a progression: a sense of expanding boundaries; of actually being able to see the horizon in comparison to the lo-fi ultra-intimacy of her debut. easy is the album opener, and manages to be haunting, inviting, despondent and peaceful all at once.
There are very few albums that really need to be over an hour long. 30-40 minutes is probably ideal, and usually anything even approaching the 60 minute mark starts to feel like hard work before I’ve even listened to a note. And yet: Kurt Vile’s new LP (watch my moves) – which clocks in at a frankly intimidating 74 minutes – is still very welcome indeed. There’s something about his breezy riffs and wandering melodies that reassures you (or me, at least) that everything’s going to be ok. And that’s exactly what it delivers, never outstaying its welcome. Let’s break the two-hour mark on the next one please, Kurt.
I loved Harkin’s self-titled 2020 album, so it’s fantastic to hear new music from her – especially when it’s this good – alongside the announcement of a new LP Honeymoon Suite, due out in June. Leaning heavily into the synths and self-producing for the first time, Body Clock is full-blooded and evocative, its glacial electronics exploding into life in its final third. Also, the video is ace, with a 90s video-game aesthetic that makes me want to go and play the original version of Flashback all over again.
Read our interview with Harkin here.
I tried pretty hard to like Mitski’s 2018 album Be The Cowboy, returning to it several times especially after Pitchfork lost their shit about it so spectacularly. It always felt like hard work though and ultimately never clicked, but given how everyone else loved it it’s probably my problem, all of which makes me especially pleased to report that I absolutely love her latest Laurel Hell which came out last week. An effortless joy from start to finish, Stay Soft is an early highlight with bright, brisk drums and soaring, sun-drenched chords.
Just listen to those drums! They are truly incredible: so much energy and raw angst, and when paired with the restrained huskiness of Yanya’s vocal and the late addition of distorted guitars – with melodies reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins – it’s hard to tell whether it’s 2022 or 1992, but it really doesn’t matter as this is SO FUCKING GOOD.
Fairly fresh from releasing one of 2021’s best albums Ignorance, The Weather Station have just announced a new album, the enigmatically titled How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars alongside lead single Endless Time. Comprising songs written at the same time as Ignorance, it’s safe to expect more heartfelt, contemplative brilliance, “songs that [are] simple, pure; almost naive… that spoke to many of the same questions and realities as Ignorance, but in a more internal, thoughtful way” according to The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman. Sign me up.
I didn’t really listen to The Cure growing up, and for this I blame my parents. Ask me to sing the back catalogues of Tear for Fears, Gloria Estefan or plenty of other accessible 80s pop ‘icons’ and I’ll give most people a run for their money, but Robert Smith’s happysad crooning was at best something I was only vaguely aware of until they decided to headline Glastonbury (remember Glastonbury?) in 2019 and I listened to Disintegration pretty much on loop for six months beforehand, and even though I ended up having a small mental collapse and leaving the festival before they even took to the stage, I am now fully aware of just how much music sounds has been heavily influenced by The Cure.
Which is a very longwinded way of saying that W. H. Lung sound like The Cure, but in a way that makes you want to carry on listening to them, as opposed to lamenting that there’s no creativity in music anymore and everything is a lukewarm imitation of something greater you missed the first time around.
Little Things is one of two new tracks released by US indie rock darlings Big Thief this week, the first new music since 2019’s Two Hands – one of two albums they put out that year. Driven forward by a propulsive rhythm, it’s a big emotional wallop round the head that it’s impossible not to get caught up in, thanks to shifting drum patterns, meandering, increasingly intense guitars and singer Adrianne Lenker’s urgent, confessional vocal.
I’m a little conflicted about today’s post. On the one had, I love The War On Drugs, have listened to both Lost In The Dream and A Deeper Understanding relentlessly over the last few years, and an incredibly excited about their recently announced new album and European tour. All of that: great. Their new single however, I am not entirely convinced by. I’d even go so far as to say it was (whisper it) a bit boring and forgettable and fairly cliched? Note the question mark: I’m not even sure about my own opinion. What a sorry state of affairs. Anyway, here it is: make your own mind up.