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.
Mike Duquette is really really really liking…
“I Really Like You”
Carly Rae Jepsen
Pop, in its purest form
As I write this, the temperature in New York City is a comfortable 46 degrees. The ghastly piles of slush bombarding our fair streets have finally started to melt into tiny rivers along the sidewalks. March 20th is the vernal equinox, our annual reminder that winter cannot grasp us in its terrible talons and summer will take hold of our hearts in due time. We’ve earned it—it’s time for new love, free feelings, and some motherfuckin’ summer jams. And, just as she did three summers ago, it might be Canadian popsmith Carly Rae Jepsen letting the aural sunshine in across the globe.
Jepsen’s new single “I Really Like You,” like the effervescent “Call Me Maybe” before it, is a self-made, instantly addictive, hands-to-the-heavens chronicle of nascent romance that pop heads don’t realize they want until it’s in our eardrums, refusing to let go. Jepsen, working with Cardigans guitarist/songwriter Peter Svensson, perfectly captures that tipping point where you’ve got to tell your bae of choice just how you’re feeling (“everything you say is a sweet revelation / all I wanna do is get into your head”). If it doesn’t speed up the wait for warmer weather, at the very least it’s going to give America’s incumbent No. 1 song, Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” a fight atop the Billboard Hot 100. (Bonus: the video, featuring America’s Sweetheart Tom Hanks, is as cute as the song itself.)
Dominic Griffin is getting low to…
“All Day (Featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney)”
So Help Me God
If you go to buy Kanye’s latest single on iTunes, the first user review has five stars and just says “Bruh.” As Deadshirt’s resident Yeezus Obsessionist, I’m kinda designated to agree with said user, to tell you how “fuego” this long awaited track is, and use a lot of ironic emojis and maybe a .gif of Booker T doing the spinaroonie, but it pains me to admit “All Day” left me a little cold.
Here’s the thing: we’ve been hearing unfinished iterations of this song since this past summer, from the original leak on through multiple fan remakes that many blogs and news outlets mistook for the real thing. I was never crazy about what little we had heard to begin with. I expected it to either go away entirely and be another vault piece for KTT users to pine over, or for it to be so summarily reshaped as to make me completely 180 my opinion. Well, it came out on iTunes and I still feel pretty much the same. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad to have a new Kanye track that 1) doesn’t make me want to cry and 2) doesn’t sound like Kanye openly trolling the planet Earth. There’s just something off about “All Day.”
We all knew the studio version wasn’t going to be as hype as the BRIT Awards performance, with it’s flamethrowers and T. Swift dancing, but after waiting like eight months for this, it still feels unfinished, even with twenty fucking people credited as writers or producers. The absurd flourishes, like the synthed-up outro and The Paul McCartney Whistle Section, make it feel ornate, but not complete. Ye already cultivated the abrasively braggy club jam atmosphere he’s going for here on “Mercy,” and this feels more like a step backwards than the forward momentum of Yeezus. “Only One” and ‘Wolves” both show he’s still down to experiment, but “All Day” fails to stack up to his long tradition of great singles. Usually by the time a Kanye album drops, you’re over whatever that first, real salvo was, as many were with “Power” by the time MBDTF dropped in full, but with this, I’m already ready for the next thing. It’s worth it for ridiculous quotables and that second verse is insane (“People saying Ye, Ye, take it easy / 20 Gs for the Yeezy’s off of Ebay”) but there’s just no good reason to casually diss Sade and President David Palmer like that. Based off the fancam footage of Steve McQueen’s “All Day” video (and the sneak peek at another new track!!!), Kanye has more up his sleeve than making white people uncomfortable and flaunting one of The Beatles around like he caught him with a Pokéball. For now, you can play “All Day” all day, or burn a hole in that YouTube rip of the SNL version of ‘Wolves.”
Julian Ames is getting cinematic to…
“Holes in the Sky”
M83 feat. HAIM
Insurgent Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Ever since the Twilight movies, soundtracks for the teen novel series-turned blockbuster genre have had some very impressive gets—tons of established and up-and-coming acts in both the pop and indie world show up on these soundtracks. M83 jumped in the bandwagon in 2014, appearing on the first Divergent soundtrack; now, returning for the soundtrack for the second film in the franchise, Insurgent, it appears that M83 is going to be the series’ Muse (no pun intended, the band was prominently featured in the soundtracks of the first three Twilight movies). M83 are no strangers to film soundtracks. Even before Divergent, the band provided the entire score to the sci-fi movie Oblivion; the band’s grandiose, sometimes over-the-top style is perfect to underscore huge events and emotions. Musically, “Holes In The Sky” is very similar to the song “Outro” from M83’s last studio album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming—string arrangements swell, drums explode, and underneath it all there’s a hint of the synthesizer music on which M83 originally rose to popularity.
The sisters of HAIM, who have been popping up everywhere from Calvin Harris tracks to Scarlett Johansson supergroups, provide the vocals. The girls’ singing and harmonies are a striking yet welcome change from Anthony Gonzales’ weird wailing. Lyrically the song is nothing special, mostly rote inspirational stuff about being free. Not to pass judgement on a movie that isn’t even out yet, but this is the kind of song that a movie series that sprang up to capitalize on a fad deserves. Regardless, if you need pretty and inspirational-sounding music and don’t wanna think too hard, “Holes In The Sky” is what you want.
“I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around”
Speaking of bands from movie soundtracks, Chromatics, whose “Tick Of The Clock” appeared in the movie Drive (and Taken 2, weirdly enough) and whose lead singer is scoring the Ryan Gosling-directed Lost River, have a new single out called “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around.” The track is from the upcoming Dear Tommy, whose release date has yet to be announced even though it was initially supposed to be out “by Valentine’s Day.” Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Chromatics’ style, it’s dark and atmospheric with elements of post-punk, new wave, and Italo disco. “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around” is on the more upbeat side of their music, with a driving dance rhythm, but it still retains its gloomy-yet-airy quality. Megan Louise from the band Desire (another Drive soundtrack alum) provides background vocals to this song about love not living up to expectations.