God bless the internet. It used to be the only way you could hear a record before investing in it was listening for the singles on the radio and/or convincing the surly dude at the record shop to let you give the album a spin on the turntable before handing over your hard-earned cash. These days, more and more bands are embracing the pre-release stream concept, and here at Flavorpill, we’re making it even easier – every Monday, we’ll round up the best and most noteworthy album previews floating round the internet. This week: Fleet Foxes, The Antlers, Beastie Boys (sort of), and more. Listen after the jump.
First up is the new Fleet Foxes album Helplessness Blues , which is streaming in full at NPR. Our first impressions? It sounds fairly similar to the band’s beautiful and rightfully acclaimed debut -– Robin Pecknold’s gorgeous voice is still front and center, augmented by the same five-part harmonies that characterized the first record. But equally, there’s enough variation to keep it from being more of the same –- from the relatively upbeat sounds of tracks like “Bedouin Dress” and “Battery Kinzie” to the most uncharacteristic freeform sax meltdown at the end of the distinctly Mediterranean-sounding “The Shrine/An Argument.” Listen here.
Also over at NPR, there’s a stream of the new Antlers album, Burst Apart , which also sounds most excellent. Happily, it’s not a conceptual lament for a dying friend like the band’s wonderful but harrowing debut Hospice –- it’s an epic-sounding rock record that calls to mind the huge stadium production of the ‘80s, only with significantly less bombast and more genuine feeling. (That’s a compliment, by the way.) Listen here.
In a slightly less useful but rather amusing vein, the Beastie Boys provided a live stream of their new album Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 –- by way of a stereo speaker that they whacked right in the middle of Madison Square Garden (and, given how the Knicks played, it was the loudest thing heard there all weekend). If you’re interested, have a listen here -– the quality isn’t great, but you can still hear that the album promise much goodness.
UPDATE: After learning that a clean version of the album had leaked, The Beastie Boys have now posted a full-length stream of the explicit version of Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2. Check it out here.
We mentioned a couple of weeks back how much we loved the new Cold Cave album. As such, we were excited to see that the latest 7” from Dominic Furnow’s solo project Prurient is streaming over at Stereogum, especially as the vinyl release has long since sold out and we weren’t cool enough to get hold of a copy. Listen here.
And finally, if you haven’t heard the new Tune-Yards (or, as she’d have it, tUnE-yArDs) album yet, it’s still streaming over at the Guardian website. Get involved.