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.
Max Robinson is feeling very spoopy to…
John Carpenter (with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies)
John Carpenter’s Lost Themes
As Deadshirt’s John Carpenter nerd-in-residence, it’s needless to say I was excited when Sacred Bones Records announced he’d be teaming up with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies for an entire album of “lost” film scores. This seems to be Carpenter just screwing around and making themes for movies that don’t exist, which sounds like a blast. Sacred Bones has released the first track off the album, entitled “Vortex”, and it’s got me salivating for that February 3rd release date.
As a musician, Carpenter’s tastes have always run towards dramatic piano notes, guitar riffs, and spooky synth. “Vortex,” which you can even watch paired with footage from earlier Carpenter works, utilizes all of these and feels like an action-adventure theme with some nice underlying creepiness and dread. Admittedly, you can hear a lot of Big Trouble In Little China and They Live in the mix here, but all in all it stands on its own pretty well. “Vortex” feels like the opening credits to a movie about twin brother Ghost Cops. Maybe one cop is alive and the other’s a ghost? And they have to stop Satanists from bringing about the apocalypse? Look, it doesn’t matter, that point is it’s clear that Carpenter hasn’t lost a step as composer and, if you dig him, you’ll dig this.
Sam Paxton is reliving his sophomore year of college to…
“Make You Better”
What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
After breaking from the norm to delve into the concept album (2009’s The Hazards of Love) and straightforward alt-rock (2011’s The King Is Dead), Colin Meloy and his merry band of troubadours are returning for their first album in four years, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. A few weeks ago, Meloy took to the streets of Brooklyn unnanounced to busk and preview a few tracks from the LP, and this week, the Decemberists released the first proper single. Entitled “Make You Better,” the song is a return to the folkier sound of earlier Decemberists records.
As someone who wasn’t a huge fan of the REM-tinged rock of the band’s more recent work, it’s nice to hear a meaty track that could slot perfectly into The Crane Wife or Picaresque. Per usual, Meloy demonstrates a particularly keen ear for hook-y melodies and intricate vocal harmonies, though the discordant, treble guitar and pop drums reminded me to no end of Death Cab for Cutie. “Make You Better” is catchy and moving, and bodes well for the upcoming album.
Julian Ames is joining the rebellion to …
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – Official Motion Picture Soundtrack
If you are an avid reader of Deadshirt.net’s music section, you’ll notice that I just can’t stop gushing about CHVRCHES. They’re a hip band with a knack for writing catchy tunes with cool synths. What’s not to love? Recently they’ve been on a bit of a roll doing songs for soundtracks; first they covered Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” for the Vampire Academy soundtrack, more recently they provided a track for the re-scoring of Drive, and now they’re appearing on the Lorde-curated Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack with the song ”Dead Air.”
It’s CHVRCHES doing what they do best: synthpop anthems. Originally debuted in the band’s live show with the working titles of “Eddie Murphy,” “Gene Wilder,” or “Richard Pryor,” the official studio version, now known as “Dead Air,” was released this past week for the Mockingjay soundtrack. At this point in the Hunger Games series, the seeds of rebellion have been sowed and the protagonist, Katniss, unwittingly finds herself the symbol of revolution. “We hold on to an idea, and we’re fighting what we can’t see, we just hold on to an idea, we’ll keep going ‘till we cant hear,” Lauren Mayberry cries at the song’s chorus. With “Dead Air,” CHVRCHES managed to put together a good rallying cry that goes great with the themes of the movie.
Mike Duquette is breakin’ a sweat to…
“Young Turks” (Rod Stewart Cover)
Rock and roll, as a concept, has been in play for a good sixty years or so, which means it’s hard to try and reinvent the wheel when you’re the one making the music. Sometimes it’s better to just have fun, which is exactly what Seattle trio My Goodness does on their new cover of Rod Stewart’s 1981 hit. The band’s debut Shiver + Shake was catchy, straight-ahead rock with trace elements of the classic grunge scene, thanks in part to the late Rick Parashar, who produced Shiver + Shake as well as Pearl Jam’s Ten and Alice in Chains’ Sap. That spirit carries through to this awesome rendition of “Young Turks,” which swaps out the original’s synths for bright guitars and the same relentless beat that made Rod’s version so much fun. This no-frills approach to a pop classic is exactly the kind of thing to get you hooked on My Goodness; it’s little coincidence, then, that it’s part of a free EP on Noisetrade.