Friday, 23 November 2018

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 23/11/2018: Earl Sweatshirt, Captain of the Lost Waves, Ariel Pink and more...



Earl Sweatshirt gets weirder and Ariel Pink gets too weird.

THE BEST:

‘Turin Girl’ – Stephen James Band



Today I learned the term ‘sophisti-pop’ – I don’t know if I like the word, but I’m going to add it to my glossary of pretentious music journo terms anyway. ‘Turin Girl’ certainly sounds like sophisticated pop. Rather than following a traditional pop structure, it plays out like a Broadway number in which the groovy guitars and drums speed up and slow down to match the pace of the lovelorn lyrics. It’s excitingly unpredictable and I’ve found myself continuously going back to it. The Stephen James Band is made up of two members, Stephen James (it would be weird if he wasn’t a member) and Zach Meyer, both hailing from Chicago. They have an EP out soon titled Dead Phones And Dogs.

‘You Will Fill My Head’ – wwoman


The longing in these lyrics borders on being creepily obsessive, as the chorus ‘you will fill my head’ later transforms into ‘even when I’m dead’. It’s another superb song from wwoman (who I’ve featured on this blog before) featuring some similarly groovy bass and shiny synth swells. The minimal quality meanwhile helps to add to the eerie atmosphere in the lyrics.

 ‘Uniforms’ – Captain of The Lost Waves


If you’re wondering who this wacky vaudeville character is - he’s The Captain and according to this lengthy interview he’s stepped out of the 1800s and now resides in a timeless vortex (no way, some of my favourite bands come from the timeless vortex!). His wild persona definitely had me intrigued and thankfully the music’s pretty exciting too. This new single ‘Uniforms’ is a critique on how we’re all dictated by fashion – even those that claim to be against the curve - delivered to the accompaniment of theatrical instrumentation. The music video is one big party in which a mix of soldiers and bikers discard their uniforms. I thought everyone was going to get naked at the end, but sadly they didn’t.  

‘The Mint’ – Earl Sweatshirt ft. Navy Blue


Earl Sweatshirt is sounding rawer and weirder than ever before. Whilst the dusty beat may not be quite as avant-garde as that found in ‘Nowhere2Go’, the way in which the bars follow a different rhythm to the beat makes this equally jarring to listen to. At the same time, the whole track has a hypnotic quality. Will I able to handle a whole album of songs this rough and ready? We’ll see…

THE WORST:

 ‘Mopehead’ – Ariel Pink


The video kept me engaged simply for the fact that it’s downright creepy. As for the ‘music’ – it took me about two minutes to realise that this was just going to be an entire track of static noise. Ariel Pink is clearly having his Metal Machine Music moment. I like experimental stuff, but I draw the line at this.

‘Zombie Bastards’ – Weezer


Were Weezer ever any good? Weren’t they once a rock band? Given the zombie theme, shouldn’t this have been released around Halloween? Whatever the case, this is trash.

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