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 drinking malbec to…
“How About Now?”
Winning The Break-Up Music
You can always tell when a new Drake song is “official” or not by when it drops. Are you drinking wine at 3 am because you can’t fall asleep and all of a sudden your Twitter timeline can’t stop quoting semi pass-agg musings on life and love? Drake probably just released a new song on the OVO blogspot. He’s self aware enough to know that the proper setting for his music is the waning hours between drunken insomnia and sober eye-crust wiping. This new track, allegedly off of his upcoming 4th LP, Views From The 6, is clearly not official, and possibly even unfinished, but new Drake is new Drake.
Much like the last leak from these new sessions, Aubrey seems to be moving past the victory lap bravado of Nothing Was The Same and into prime “Facebook stalking exes and leaving snarky Kermit memes as comments” territory. On the last leak, he was clearly side-eying Rihanna for not returning his Snapchats, but here, over a Jodeci sample and some suitably noir synths, Drake wants to remind one of his many past loves how much they’re currently missing out on. I don’t know if anything is more hilariously bittersweet than Drake recounting burning an old flame a CD of his music, only for her to ask to listen to Ludacris instead. It’s reassuring that even Drake’s unreleased castoffs feel ready for the radio, but I’m hoping we get another “care package” soon. It’s fall. time to revisit the past, Aubrey.
Julian Ames is soul cleansing to…
Aliens In The Outfield EP
With the vile name Diarrhea Planet, you’d expect the sound of the band to be some sort of grotesque metal or other off-putting musical style. Surprisingly though, this Nashville six-piece’s music is always surprisingly bright and upbeat. On “Bamboo Curtain,” the first song released from their upcoming EP Aliens In The Outfield, Diarrhea Planet takes a page from early Weezer with crunchy guitar riffs and “woo-ooh’s” giving the song a fun power pop vibe. Not since the days of Bobby Darin has there been such a fun song about bathing. Yes, that’s right, this song is about taking a shower and how it’s a great time to relax and reflect: “all the crazy shit that I can’t deal with, wash it down the drain,” and do other stuff: “starring in the mirror, playing with myself, turning on the water.” Not quite what you’d expect from a band called Diarrhea Planet, or maybe it’s exactly what you’d expect, either way it’s certainly worth a listen.
In 2011 a curious four-piece band called WU LYF (pronounced “whoo, life” but standing for World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation) sprung from the UK with much hype, put out a well-received album and then less than a year later they were gone. They were curious to me because while their music was very well crafted, anthemic, and catchy, their album was recorded in a church with the reverb cranked up to a million. That, coupled with singer Ellery James Roberts’ muffled and guttural manner of singing, gave me very mixed emotions about the band.
Now Roberts is back with a new project called LUH. or Lost Under Heaven. “Unites” is the first song released from this new project, and it retains the epicness of WU LYF but cleans it up a little. The song starts with minimal guitar and bass, then introduces big stadium drums and eventually a piano. Roberts’ howling vocals aren’t much different from the WU LYF days, but without the excess reverb they are actually intelligible and sort of fit when all the instruments are introduced and the song is firing on all cylinders.
Roberts describes the song in his own words in a long, thoughtful explanation that you can read on the song’s YouTube page. But long story short, it’s a love song, and a damn good one at that.
David Lebovitz is reflecting on life to…
“Tears in Heaven” (Eric Clapton cover)
If you’ve ever searched for cover songs on YouTube, you know Boyce Avenue. While they’re excellent songwriters in their own right, they’ve become best known for their covers, most of which reach millions of views on YouTube. This week, they’ve taken a shot at Eric Clapton’s ode to his late son, Conor.
Any guitarist will tell you that, from a technical perspective, “Tears in Heaven” is an easy song to play–anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of fingerpicking can play it. The hard part is getting the emotion right. This has never been a problem for Boyce Avenue lead Alejandero Manzano, who can make “Don’t Stop Believin’” sound like a personal journey. Tackling this song solo, Manzano makes it seem like the song was written about someone he knows personally. Even his eyes in the video betray a kind of sadness, and I’m normally not one to speculate but it suggests to me that he either had someone in mind singing this, or is at least a damn good actor.
This cover is sad, beautiful, and feels personal–everything it should be.