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 getting lost to…
If The Slim Shady LP is responsible for much of Tyler, The Creator’s on-wax persona, his erstwhile compatriot Earl Sweatshirt is an existentialist child of Madvillainy. His mixture of hyper-literate wordplay and off-kilter flows has served him well, particularly on his latest release, the short but mighty I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. As some sort of bittersweet epilogue to that LP, Earl’s released “Solace,” a ten-minute medley of emotional vignettes.
Rappers like to boast about the beats they choose to rap over and the varying degrees of luxury implied by their opulence, but the spare, warbly instrumentation that scores Earl’s naked musings on “Solace” sound like depression. Not the droning caricature of sadness people tend to perceive depression to be, but an honest approximation of hitting rock bottom and not being able to find so much as a rope to tether to. When Earl says “try to make some sense out of all the shit in my brain, one foot stuck in a tar pit of my ways,” it doesn’t matter what specific issues he’s wrestling with. If you’ve been there, you feel every ounce of it, the weight, the exhaustion. He paints a picture of the unintentional emaciation from forgetting to eat, the heavy overdraft fees charged from running out of fucks to give, the all too easy escape of drug and drink. The delicate, barely-there score beneath his words makes the whole affair sound the way a Steve McQueen film looks, like an S.O.S. coming through cracked speakers, a broken dial half-tuned to a dimension Earl’s been stuck in for far too long. He’s not asking anyone to come and save him, though. He’s getting it all out so he can save himself. After a few spins, maybe you’ll be able to do the same.
Julian Ames is blowing out speakers with…
The Most Lamentable Tragedy
Three albums into their career and Titus Andronicus have shown they’re not afraid of ambitious projects. They’re most famous for their second album, The Monitor, which was a nine-track, hour-long epic concept album based on the Civil War and the ironclad warship The Monitor. Now, it seems the band is going even more ambitious: a 30-track, five-act rock opera based off of themes from Nietzsche and others. Back in 2013, frontman Patrick Stickles told Consequence of Sound about the project and it seems they are going through with it; the album’s description on the Merge record store (which offers pre-orders of the album in 2-CD and 3-LP versions) reads:
The central narrative of TMLT (“a work of fiction,” claims singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelgänger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him.
While TA fans are already champing at the bit for The Most Lamentable Tragedy, casual listeners and the uninitiated might be worried that this concept could be too grandiose to make enjoyable music from; but so far, the band has shown a knack for writing catchy, immediate, and anthemic music over an elaborate concept—and those people need look no further than the album’s first single, “Dimed Out.” Clocking in at just over three minutes, the song is straight-forward, punk-influenced rock with an easy, catchy refrain: “I only like it when it’s dimed out.” Halfway through the song we get a key change and it really kicks into high gear, complete with a soaring guitar solo and backing strings. Obviously, it’s part of the album’s larger narrative, but as a stand-alone song it makes for a great self-empowerment anthem; the singer goes from being meek and scared to not taking any shit. Be on the lookout for more from The Most Lamentable Tragedy, out on Merge Records July 28th. +@ forever.
In 2013, the world got a proper introduction to Disclosure, the house music production duo of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence. Their album Settle, released that summer, gained popularity throughout that year and into 2014, becoming a crossover hit in the electronic music and pop worlds; the lead single “Latch” even launched the career of one Sam Smith. Since then they’ve spent time touring, DJing, remixing songs, and even writing and producing for Mary J. Blige’s 2014 album The London Sessions. This past week, Disclosure finally gave us a little taste of things to come in the form of a new song called “Bang That.” The song is a pretty hard-hitting house track that the group says is to give the fans something for the summer. In the short blurb Disclosure posted alongside the track, they say they’ve been playing it in their DJ sets for a while, so it’s not 100% clear if this is going to appear on a new album or not (it’s a good bet that it will), but either way, it’s still a good morsel to hold eager fans over while still whetting our appetites for when they do officially get a new album out.
Mike Duquette has a taste for…
Miguel feat. Wale
Miguel Pimentel builds R&B slow-jams that feel like the best summer moments of your life, when sweat starts to bead up on your skin and you can feel your face flush as the sun dips down in the late afternoon. After his sophomore album, 2012’s Kaleidoscope Dream, and the hit “Adorn,” Miguel racked up an impressive resume of writing and production credits for Mariah Carey, Usher, and Beyoncé. The quick-fire release of a three-song EP before Christmas hinted toward more music, and last night saw the official release of the EP’s best track, the woozy, romantic “Coffee.”
“Coffee (F***ing),” as it’s now called, has been given a street-friendly tune-up, with the chorus referencing not a morning-after loving cup but the NSFW activity that precedes the brew. Add a dirty verse by Wale (“she say my stroke is a scone / I let that soak in her bean”), and you’ve got a full single that might not necessarily improve on the three-minute EP version, but certainly reminds you of Miguel’s mastery of bedroom jams ready to light beds ablaze this summer.