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.
Dylan Roth is hurting his voice singing along to:
Anyone else think it’s kind of crazy how many punk rockers start writing Springsteen songs when they grow up? From Brian Fallon to Frank Turner to Dave Hause, it seems like becoming a roots-inspired singer-songwriter is a standard career track for punk rock frontmen who outgrow the traditional fast-loud-and-angry trappings of the genre. Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan, who hangs out with all three of those guys, belongs at the head of that list, as he reaches past folk-punk and hits full Americana, complete with fiddle, slide guitar, and big raspy gang vocal harmonies.
“Non-Typical,” off Ragan’s new album Till Midnight, which came out this past Tuesday, is an excellent example of the album’s roots-rock flavor, but strip away the Hammond B3 and shredded wheat vocals and what you’ve got here is a solid, simple pop song, and whether you prefer your pop music performed by a tight punk quartet or a pretty and plastic production, you can appreciate the skeleton of a good four chord song. Or, y’know, just enjoy this folky track for what it is. It’s pretty good that way, too.
The whole album’s up on label Side One Dummy’s SoundCloud for now, if you wanna check out the rest.
Dominic Griffin is Eddy Gordo kicking to…
“Home Studio (Back Up In This Bitch)”
Chance The Rapper
Hot rookie Chance The Rapper had a banner 2013 with his universally acclaimed project Acid Rap 2014 looks to be no different. After whetting appetites for new music with Childish Gambino and James Blake collaborations, Chance dropped this unfinished snack of a track, a song solely released to celebrate, what else, his new home studio. There’s not a whole lot here, to be honest. Just two minutes and fourteen seconds of one of the most consistently exciting new emcees out there goofing off with his in house production crew. His unorthodox flows and elastic, cartoonish cadences always please, but here he sounds like a man dared to rap an entire song on one breath of air and a lot of braggadocio.
“Young tactician, just got my taxes finished
Beat the tortoise by a hair
In an ’04 Ford Taurus
On a spare with a wax finish
Theres a lot of metaphors, you just lack vision”
If this is how motivated he’s sounding on freebie social media giveaway pieces, imagine how his next full-length is going to play out.
Julian Ames is montaging to…
Johnny and Mary [Robert Palmer cover]
Todd Terje (feat. Bryan Ferry)
It’s Album Time
Todd Terje is quickly winning me over with each new production of his that I hear. First there was his uptempo nu disco track “Delorean Dynamite” that I covered in a Deadshirt is Reading last month, and this week he released another track from his upcoming album It’s Album Time, a cover of Robert Palmer’s “Johnny and Mary.” Now, when I first heard that this DJ covered a Robert Palmer song, I wondered how he would make “Addicted To Love” his own. But it turns out that Robert Palmer does in fact have other songs, including “Johnny and Mary.” Palmer’s version is a pretty good example of uptempo, poppy new wave complete with flange guitars and a bit of synthesizers. Terje’s version, on the other hand, is more cinematic; everything is slowed down to almost half the time of the original, the music swells in and out, and the synths are used to provide atmosphere as well as melody. Terje recruits former Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry to provide airy and dramatic vocals that fit perfectly with the song’s vibe. The song feels like it was taken right out of the emotional montage part of an 80s romantic movie. Todd Terje loves playing with sounds for the 80s (which is fine because I love listening to those sounds) – so it makes sense that he would be able to take a song that represented that era pretty well, completely change the feel of the song, but still keep it in the same era sonically. The more I hear from this guy, the more excited I am to check out his upcoming album It’s Album Time which comes out April 8.