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 reminiscing to…
“Dedicated (Featuring Nas)”
Me I Am Mariah (The Elusive Chanteuse)
Fourteen albums in, the Mulatto Matron of Melisma returns with a satisfying new release that entertains and occupies the ears without necessarily breaking new ground. Working with Jermaine Dupri on many of these tracks, looking to rekindle some of that Emancipation of Mimi magic, she mines wells we’ve all been drinking from for decades without coming off like a retread. Outside of the spacey, nu-disco of tracks like “Meteorite” and the unfortunately Wale-featuring “You Don’t Know What To Do,” much of the LP’s energy comes from collaborations with Hit-Boy, who utilizes his usual video game-y synths and drum patterns to infuse some much needed bounce to the proceedings.
“Dedicated,” with its breezy rhythm and off-kilter Wu-Tang sample, plays on nostalgia, both of the late 80s hip hop scene and the mid-90s world where Mariah collaborated with the likes of Ol’ Dirty Bastard. A harder edge always contrasts well with her angelic vocal presence, but here it’s Mariah who bends, metamorphosing into a fluttery cloud of bubbles while Nas guests with a reliable verse about the good old days. It’s great summer music and definitely worth a spot on a BBQ playlist.
Julian Ames is starting his own side project to….
When the lead singer/head songwriter of a successful group takes time to do a side project or solo work, there’s always the risk that it will sound too much like the old band’s stuff. Owl John is the side project of Scott Hutchinson, frontman and principal songwriter of Frightened Rabbit, along with Andy Monaghan, also of Frightened Rabbit, and Simon Liddell. “Hate Music” is the group’s first released song, and while there are definitely some unavoidable similarities to be made to the Rabbits’ music, there is still a noticeable uniqueness.
Of course, with Hutchinson singing and writing, “Hate Music” still has his characteristic heavy Scottish brogue and bleak lyrics, but that’s about where the similarities end. Frightened Rabbit’s music typically has two flavors, anthemic or acoustic, sometimes a mix of the two. “Hate Music,” on the other hand is kind of a badass bluesy-stomp with some interesting guitar sonics to keep it interesting. This is definitely an interesting introduction to the new project which will put out a self-titled album sometime this year.
Wrongchilde is the side project of glam rock/emo band Kill Hannah’s frontman, Mat Devine. “Gold Blooded,” his newest song, is a saccharin new wave anthem that checks all the 80’s revival boxes, from muted guitars during the verse to soaring synths and flange during the chorus. It almost comes across as a shameless ploy to capitalize on the neo-80’s music craze that we’ve been in for at least a decade (The Killers’ Hot Fuss turns 10 next weekend) but even still, it’s just too much fun to hate! Plus the Pledgemusic campaign around the upcoming album, also titled Gold Blooded, suggests that it’s all being engineered by him and not a group of cynical suits.
Anyway, in all honesty, half of the reason this song is on here is because of its awesome lyric video which makes clever use of classic 80’s movie posters. Seriously, check it out!