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.
Julian Ames is living, laughing, and loving to…
“Eyes of the Muse”
Black Moon Spell
This week we received word of the return of the king: garage rocker King Tuff, aka Kyle Thomas, announced a new record and dropped the first single “Eyes of the Muse.” The record, titled Black Moon Spell, is the follow-up to his stellar self-titled album from 2012. In the time between then and now, King Tuff has kept fans sated with a 2013 reissue of his debut album Was Dead, and a healthy touring schedule that only slowed down long enough to make this new record. And if “Eyes of the Muse” is any indication of the album’s quality, then Black Moon Spell should be another superb effort by King Tuff.
In relation to his past work, “Eyes of the Muse” sounds more like a track from Was Dead. His self-titled album had heavy glam rock influences and songs that were filled with bravado–including a song where King Tuff boasts he’s a “bad thing,” and talks about his policy of “hit and run” when it comes to his lovers. With Was Dead, on the other hand, the songs were a little poppier with a bit of a psych edge to them, while the tone of songs was much sweeter. “Eyes of the Muse” falls in the latter camp as Thomas sings about his muse in the weirdo, stoner way that only he could. Musically the song rocks but is also pretty psychedelic, especially considering the double-tracked vocal harmonies of the chorus. “Eyes of the Muse” is a great sounding song and it’s got me excited for how Black Moon Spell is going to sound when it comes out in September.
“Wild Motion (Set it Free)”
Every year around this time, our culture awards a particular song the somewhat trivial title of “Song of the Summer.” It usually comes down to two songs that kind of share the title depending on who you ask. This year, though, I probably couldn’t for the life of me tell you what other song besides Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” is even in the running. Personally, if I had a vote for this theoretical award, I would write in “Wild Motion (Set it Free).” Realistically, the Australian band Miami Horror (that’s right they’re NOT from Miami) is too small-time to make “Song of the Summer” material; their only album was released in 2010 and is extremely hard to find here in the US.
Still, regardless of whether or not the song would qualify for some fake honor, the fact remains that “Wild Motion” is a quintessentially summer song. It’s an airy, bouncy, catchy pop anthem perfect for just about any summer activity, from a pool party to a cross country road trip. The song is more on the pop side of Miami Horror’s musical spectrum, which ranges from something like this to tunes that are more dance and electro inspired. Hopefully the rumors that the band will have an album out this year are true so we can get more songs from all parts of the Miami Horror sound, but until then, we have “Wild Motion (Set it Free)” to be the soundtrack to the remainder of our summer.
David Lebovitz is becoming a knot of mixed emotions to…
Cool Joe Ferguson
I’ve written about the Music Maker Relief Foundation in a past edition of DiL. They were “founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time.” Cool Joe Ferguson is one of the musicians they back, and last week they released a video of him doing a guitar solo over “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix.
This is an old fashioned guitar virtuoso here. He uses a variety of techniques and sounds, including playing the guitar one handed, scratching out percussive noises on the fretboard, and just straight up shredding the guitar, and he switches between them with ease. It’s more fun to watch than it is to hear, and it’s fun to hear.
The Roots feat. DJ Jazzy Jeff
The Roots were one of the headliners at the Philly 4th of July Jam, and okayplayer was wonderful enough to release this cut from their set. For this performance The Roots decided to go Full Philadelphia and bring in another famous Philly DJ, Will Smith’s friend and Uncle Phil’s enemy DJ Jazzy Jeff, on the turntables.
The studio version of “Web” is one of The Roots’ more minimalistic tracks, showing off Black Thought’s rapping virtuosity over little more than a bassline and a backbeat. This live version is a little more colorful, driven by Jazzy Jeff’s masterful sampling of “Gonna Fly Now,” also known as the Rocky theme.
This is one of those live tracks that’s so fun it makes you wish you were there.
“Who You Are” (American Music Club cover)
The Mountain Goats
It’s the 25th anniversary of the founding of Merge Records, and they’re celebrating by offering twenty-five free Merge tracks, including five new ones, on Google Play. One of those free tracks is the Mountain Goats’ cover of American Music Club’s “Who You Are.” The Mountain Goats rarely release covers, so John Darnielle deciding to honor someone’s work is worthy of attention.
The Mountain Goats nail this cover. Like a good cover should, it honors the original but stands on its own. The song is recorded in The Mountain Goats’ typical minimalistic style, with piano, guitar, drums, and maybe one or two other stray instruments. It’s also one of the best vocal performances I’ve heard from Darnielle. His voice is gentle and smooth without sacrificing emotion. He sounds almost on the verge of tears at times, but what emotion is attached to those tears varies depending on how you interpret the song.
If you need a song to cry to this week, I recommend this.
Sam Paxton is voguing to…
“There’s A Revolution”
Got A Girl
I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
Got A Girl, the new collaborative project between actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, is a you-got-your-peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate kind of situation: a match that works way better than it probably should. The duo, who met while working on 2010’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, discovered a mutual love of girl groups and French pop of the 1960s, and if you’re familiar with either of those genres you probably know what to expect.
The two have a forthcoming album due on 7/22 and “There’s A Revolution” is the second single they’ve released. The track is breezy and easily digestible, with a simple chord progression and lush instrumentation; it’s probably one of the only songs I’ve ever heard that uses the “orchestra hit” synth sound in a tolerable way. Winstead’s smooth, unaffected vocals float pleasantly over the bouncy beat and fuzzy bass line, and if the rest of the album can keep up this kind of precious, dancy energy, Got A Girl might be in line for a bonafide hit.