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 kicking it old school to…
“I’ll Be There”
CHIC feat. Nile Rodgers
It’s About Time
Legendary guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers’ recent output with his band CHIC, the hitmakers behind disco smashes like “Le Freak” and “Good Times” (as well as Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family,” Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out,” and loads more), is difficult to reconcile. After all, Rodgers is the sole surviving member of the band. And while Rodgers’ revival has been full tilt since his contribution to Daft Punk’s 2013 summer jam “Get Lucky,” one wishes the full CHIC Organization—from bassist/producer Bernard Edwards and drummer Tony Thompson to keyboardist Raymond Jones and a pre-fame Luther Vandross—were with him in the spotlight.
Turns out Nile had an ace up his sleeve: while researching a box set in 2010, he found crates of tapes featuring the classic CHIC line-up laying down unheard grooves. With minimal extra work (new vocals from several of the singers who powered the original records, a production flourish here and there), he’s created It’s About Time, the ultimate summer jam time capsule. Lead single “I’ll Be There” is as about as propulsive as anything the group put out in the disco era, a fitting tribute to the architects of yesterday’s (and today’s) sound.
Texas’ Kacey Musgraves is like Taylor Swift run through a chaos theory experiment, where one wrong wing flap convinced her to stick with the South instead of writing 1989. Musgraves is far from a traditional country starlet, however; her 2012 debut, Same Trailer Different Park, was packed with smart lyrics about suburban horseshit (“Merry Go Round”) and sexual tolerance (“Follow Your Arrow”) and earned her a spot on Katy Perry’s last tour.
Her new single “Biscuits” is a catchy little jam about avoiding small town gossip (the titular biscuits being that which we should all mind, y’hear?) that has more than enough panache for traditional country audiences with a dash of style that could put a dent in pop radio, too. It’s a promising opener for what will surely be a smart sophomore release, hot and fresh as a plate of…well, you know.
David Lebovitz is humming along to…
Runaway Dancer [Live]
Brian Wilson ft. Sebu Simonian
No Pier Pressure
Musical GOD Brian Wilson’s got a new album coming soon. To promote it, he put on a live performance, which he’s been releasing pieces of leading up to the album’s release. Here we have one such performance of new song “Runaway Dancer,” a Very Brian Wilson song about a girl “looking for an answer.” It’s smooth, relaxing, and beachy. I appreciate this song both as a piece of pop music and as something that I’ll most certainly hear as background music at a chain surf-and-turf restaurant.
Brian Wilson’s dirty little secret: he can’t hit the high notes anymore. Age and years of cigarettes and drug abuse will do that to anyone, but it’s a big shame for him of all people. He compensates for this by surrounding himself with talented singers who complement his sound. In this case, Wilson recruited Capital Cities singer and sentient beard Sebu Simonian, and their voices harmonize beautifully. Even if Wilson’s voice has deteriorated, many people would kill to have his voice from ANY era, and his ear for production hasn’t changed a bit.
It’s everything you’d want and expect from a Brian Wilson song. I don’t know what else I need to say.