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 bouncing around and knocking things over to…
“Bored in the City”
“Bored in the City” is the lead track from Tweens’ self-titled first LP, and it does a great job of introducing you to your new favorite punk band. Tweens calls their sound “trash pop,” and that’s as apt a description as any. This album is the perfect half hour of fuzzy garage rock power, striking a fantastic balance between the noisy distortion that dominates today’s punk with the power pop bounce and hooky songcraft of its finest 70s and 80s influences.
Like the best punk-inspired songs, “Bored in the City” is about restless, dissatisfied youth. Singer Bridget Battle (that name!) hits us with lyrics that could be plucked right out of the thoughts of any of today’s twentysomethings. “I’m too young to be this tired.” “This town is eating me alive.” “Is now the time to go?” Yes, young savior, it is. Take us with you.
David Lebovitz is quietly contemplating life to…
Arlette is a name well known to New Jersey Devils fans – she’s been singing the national anthem before each Devils home game since the 90s (when they could win games in regulation time). This week, she released this single – and an enjoyable one at that.
It’s a simple song – just a piano and her voice. Lyrically, it’s a run-of-the-mill save-me-through-your-love song. The strength of the song comes from the vocals – turns out that Arlette is more than just a belter. She’s got a gentle yet powerful voice, a less bombastic Whitney Houston if you will.
It’s not anything groundbreaking, but it’s pleasant and simple – a nice change of pace from the EDM currently tearing up the charts. It’s nice to hear her sing something behind the Star Spangled Banner, and hopefully we’ll hear more from her soon.
Julian Ames is making moves to…
Damon Albarn has an album coming out at the end of the month. This song isn’t off of it, in fact, this song has nothing to do with the Blur frontman. Your ears might tell you otherwise, “Sometimes” plays perfectly like a 90s britpop song, and if it wasn’t for the singer’s lower voice, this could be mistaken for something off of Parklife. Comparisons to other bands aside, this is just a damn good song. London producer Oscar Schellar, or simply Oscar, has put together an immaculate piece of pop music. Besides the hook which is incredibly catchy, the background vocals, by Florence Von Camerjik, and synth melodies also serve to make the song a little more infectious. If it weren’t for the fuzzy guitars and rough drums, and I guess his voice, this would be bubblegum pop, but it’s still got a little bit of edge to it. If “Sometimes” and his previously released demo, “Open Up,” are any indication, Oscar has a pretty firm grasp on pop music, and will continue to release earworms like this for the foreseeable future.
“Sometimes” is the first single off of Oscar’s upcming EP 146b, out 5/4.
**Because of technical issues we weren’t able to post our Deadshirt Is Listening from last week, so we decided to include one of those entries in this week’s edition**
Dominic Griffin is #starbucksdrakehands’ ing to…
“Draft Day” & “Days In The East”
Moreso than perhaps any rapper not named Curren$y, Drake tends to release some of his more interesting material in that nebulous ether between studio albums. He typically does so in a repeatable pattern, the one-two punch of dropping a low pressure R&B affair followed shortly after by something more lyrical, lulling listeners in with sullenly sweet ear candy to lower their rap expectations, then jabbing them from the side with whatever flow he’s chosen to borrow from the zeitgeist on the straightforward rap track. This past week, he flipped that particular script, dropping the freestyle “Draft Day” over an infectious sample of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop.”
Things Drake raps about on this song: his continued affection for Johnny Manziel, The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence’s relative fuckability, his Sprite endorsement deal and his Somali pirate goon squad. The latter of these is mentioned as a retort to JAY Z’s latest lob in their ongoing effort to engage in the most passive aggressive rap beef of all time. Having just seen Captain Phillips for the first time, Drake responds to Hov’s Basquiat defending, gender policing insults from “We Made It” by claiming he has people who would be willing to kill for “donuts and coffee,” which is an Assassination Groupon if ever there was one. The single finds Drake continuing to assert himself, however adorably, without compromise.
Seemingly to remind us he still has emotions other than spite, he followed “Draft Day” up with “Days In The East,” a hypnotic slow burn allegedly about Rihanna. The haunting use of repetition in the lyrics and a woozy, incense scented atmosphere really set this one a cut above. Who else but Drake could rap about going to Erykah Badu’s house for tea without leaving with crochet knit pants and a Jimi Hendrix fetish?