Deadshirt Is Listening… Bringing you a rundown of our staff and guest contributors’ favorite new tracks released in the past week after they’ve had the weekend to blast them in their cars, in a club, alone in their rooms, etc.
Dominic Griffin is head nodding to…
“Benz Friendz (Whatchutola?) (Featuring Andre 3000)”
Future’s sophomore album Honest is a fascinating, emotionally resonant album that experiments with the genre in satisfying ways, but my favorite track right now has to be “Benz Friends,” a fun romp with two collaborators who love Jimi Hendrix. Future sounds uniquely energized here, as though just being around Andre is an immeasurable contact high. The two go back and forth, ecstatically spewing in the face of traditionally accepted hip hop materialism. Lots of rappers have songs where they eschew the trappings of “money, cars, and hoes” but when Future forcefully repeats “These cars don’t mean shit” you can just picture him bludgeoning a Maybach with a spiked bat. Future’s strength has long been conviction and earnestness, but it’s a blast to hear him focus that perspective into something that’s raucous but not one of his mindless bangers, a la “Sh!t.”
Andre dropping in for a guest verse is always a special holiday and this is no different. His carefree, wise old head perspective suits the track’s breezy production. Throwaway wordplay that lesser emcees might agonize to achieve seems effortless in his capable hands. There’s something infectious about the image of Andre riding a bike to extricate himself from the luxury car game to tell a woman how serious he is about being above it all.
Dylan Roth is… well, guess, to…
“Let’s Get Drunk and Get It On”
Most Messed Up
Spring is here! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and young, reckless couples are answering their lizard brains’ call to mate. The Old 97’s understand and they’re here to help, with a goofy-ass track from their new album Most Messed Up, promoting good old-fashioned consensual, caramel-colored copulation. Is hooking up with some near-stranger at a cheap hotel or on a picnic blanket while getting stupid drunk a great idea? Probably not…? Anyway, it’s a good countryfied rock song.
Old 97’s are defined as “Americana” or “alternative country,” which to me has always been hard to describe without just referring to a particular artist. With this track, anyway, I think it means that it blends a classic country vibe (effortless, swaggerless charm, cheap fun, booze) with rock instrumentation and mashes them successfully for something both you and your parents can enjoy singing along to. (But good God, not at the same time.)
Julian Ames is lovin’ in the summer (time) to…
“Archie, Marry Me”
Old 97’s want to enjoy the nice weather with a drunken hookup, but what if you’re looking for a more serious commitment? Perhaps this shimmering pop song by Canadian band Alvvays might be up your alley. “Archie, Marry Me” is poppy marriage plea from singer Molly Rankin to the titular Archie who is against the idea because he apparently has “student loans to pay and will not risk the alimony.” The subject matter and Rankin’s wails add a little weight and seriousness to the song, but the reverb-heavy beach rock guitars and bouncing beat slaps a sunny Instagram filter over the whole thing. Ultimately I think the song is supposed to be taken more lightheartedly, like a sitcom gag rather than a desperate appeal. At the end of the day this is a catchy, fun (fun-sounding anyway) song released just in time to be on everybody’s summer playlists, as it should be.
“Your Love” (Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles cover)
Last month, the DJ and producer known as Frankie Knuckles passed away. Knuckles has been credited as one of the early innovators of house music, helping to develop and popularize it. His passing was a big loss, felt hardest by the electronic and dance music communities, but also shared by the music community at large. This past week one part of this community, English shoegaze band The Horrors, decided to pay tribute to the late Frankie Knuckles by covering the Knuckles-produced house music classic “Your Love.”
Now, house music and shoegaze bands don’t typically go together, but surprisingly “Your Love” fits pretty well with the sound The Horrors have been establishing for themselves. Since the closing track off their sophomore album, Primary Colours, “Sea Within A Sea,” the band has been relying heavily on arpeggios and synths, so the arpeggio-heavy nature of “Your Love” is almost a natural fit. The cover stays pretty faithful to the original–save for some of Knuckles’ synth melodies being covered by The Horrors’ reverby guitars. Lead singer Faris Badwan’s gothic moaning isn’t really right for this sexy dance number, but that’s okay because the band enlisted the help of two soulful singers, Tasita D’Mour and Sharlene Hector, who take over around the 2:50 mark. All in all it’s a very worthwhile cover and anyone who is a fan of Knuckles or The Horrors should give it a listen.