Welcome to October, friends, the month when our taste for pop gently turns to thoughts of the lush, orchestral sounds that get us through the colder months. (This often means listening to Pet Sounds endlessly.) This week brings a stunningly diverse array of tracks from consummate weirdo Gary Young, the inestimable Neil Young, and an upstart rapper who rhymes “spatula” with “Dracula.” Right click and “Save As” to download the tracks, or jump to the bottom of the page to listen to the whole mix.
1. Avey Tare – “Lucky 1”
A sneak peek of the Animal Collective member’s upcoming solo album Down There, “Lucky 1” comes in strong with the synth and wispy on the vocals. He’s said that the inspiration for the record is swamps, which doesn’t quite translate here — it may be echo-laden, but it’s certainly more clean-sounding than the misty depths of a gator-infested bog.
2. The So So Glos – “Lindy Hop”
These Brooklynites are releasing a new EP, Low Back Chain Shift, on October 12th, as well as kicking off a NYC borough tour. “Lindy Hop” comes roaring out of the gate, shuffling and careening in the best house party anthem style. The sound is a little bit of The Thermals and a little bit of The Black Lips, but slightly less reliant on dissonance.
3. La Sera – “Never Come Around”
Vivian Girl Katy Goodman’s solo project, La Sera, has all the dreamy, layered goodness of the Girls’ best. “Never Come Around” is the title track of a 7-inch of the same name, coming out November 16.
4. Phoenix – “Love Like a Sunset, Part III”
The third part of the “Love Like a Sunset” set — collect them all! — “Love Like a Sunset III” basically adds a more frantic beat to the original mix, shifting the tempo into overdrive and delaying the vocals until about a minute into the song. Phoenix released it as part of a promotional push for their show at Madison Square Garden October 20th.
5. Bonjay – “Jamelia” (Caribou Cover)
This up-and-coming indie dancehall group just released their debut album, Broughtupsy. Their cover of “Jamelia” ups the dance quotient and tunes down the vocals — it’s almost more of a remix than a straight cover.
6. Gigi – “Shemum Mune”
Superstar Ethiopian singer Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibawbaw might be familiar-sounding, even if you’re not a fan of African pop: her songs often appear in movie soundtracks, and she’s collaborated with the likes of Herbie Hancock. Her dulcet singing voice mixes with sweet soul-style trumpet and African drumming, making a sort of jazz fusion with a hard edge. Her latest album, Mesgana Ethiopia, is being released October 19th.
7. Gary Wilson – “In the Night”
Experimental multi-instrumentalist and legendary oddball Gary Wilson, who at 14 years old sought out and was granted music lessons from John Cage, is best known for his outlandish performance art and classic 1970s experimental album You Think You Really Know Me. After its release, Wilson essentially disappeared for over 20 years, only resurfacing in the music world in 2008. His long-awaited new album, Electric Endicott, is coming out November 9th. “In the Night” is a sneak peek at the chaos (or surprisingly mellifluous rock) he has in store.
8. Chiddy Bang ft. Q-Tip – “Here We Go”
Philly-based hip-hop crew Chiddy Bang’s debut mini-album, The Preview, is coming out on October 12, and if “Here We Go” is any indication, it’s cause for hip-hop and mash-up fans to celebrate. The bouncy video game beats mix with some clever rhymes (yup, this is the Dracula/spatula song) plus an intensely catchy bridge from Q-Tip.
9. Big Boi – “Shutterbugg (Sub Swara Remix)”
Sub Swara, the Brooklyn-based mash-up duo, is set to release their new album Triggers on November 9th. As a little preview, they dropped this excellent Big Boi remix, which adds a robotic tinge to Big Boi’s warm lyrical prowess.
10. Neil Young – “Peaceful Valley Boulevard”
Young’s terrific new album Le Noise — a pun on producer Daniel Lanois’ last name — is more experimental than the old rocker has gotten in a while, and the results are pretty great: Lanois’s tangled clouds of noise intersect with Young’s honed guitar playing and rich, nasal voice.
Image: Childhood Memories. Buy it on Etsy.