It’s Friday, which means that it’s time to look back at the best new music we’ve heard over the last few days. The biggest news this week is definitely the arrival of a new Pixies track, the band’s first in almost a decade, but there’s also plenty of good stuff beyond that — a rocking new Janelle Monáe song, Mark Lanegan covering John Cale, Calexico covering The Replacements, new tracks from David Lynch and Dirty Beaches, and a whole lot more. It’s all streaming for absolutely no money after the jump, so click through and get listening.
Pixies — “Bagboy”
As reported this morning, this is, yes, a new Pixies song — and boy is it ever strange. It sounds like Kim Deal singing backing vocals, but apparently it’s not, and the fact that this was released within days of her departing the band suggests that there’s more to this whole story than we’re being told. Whatever the case, though, it’s great to hear new music from one of the all-time great indie bands.
Janelle Monáe — “Dance Apocalyptic”
Also: yay, new Janelle Monáe! This was released earlier this morning, and it’s been soundtracking what’s otherwise been a fairly subdued morning at Flavorwire central. The song sounds pretty much exactly like its title suggests: it’s a frenetic, dance-floor-centric bomb, and no doubt you’re gonna be hearing a lot more of it very soon.
Mark Lanegan — “I’m Not the Loving Kind”
This fantastic version of John Cale’s “I’m Not the Loving Kind” is from Mark Lanegan’s upcoming covers album, which is called Imitations and is out on September 17. Apparently it also involves a cover of Nick Cave’s beautifully melancholy “Brompton Oratory,” which should definitely be worth hearing, along with some more unlikely sounding choices (Chelsea Wolfe? Hall & Oates? Neil Sedaka?!).
Calexico �� “Unsatisfied”
Also on the covers front, this is a somber, stripped-back reworking of The Replacements’ original. Embedding is disabled for some reason, but you can listen to it here.
Dirty Beaches — “Kowloon Pop”
Alex Zhang Hungtai is on a roll of late — he’s already released two excellent albums this year, and this new song sounds like it should be soundtracking a dramatic police chase through the backblocks of the Walled City. It’s great. More, more!
David Lynch — “Are You Sure?”
The great man’s musical career continues apace, which is terrible news if you’re still holding out hope for another film any time soon. Console yourself with the fact that this isn’t bad, at least — it’s pleasantly melancholy and countrified, and the melody is somewhat reminiscent of “Song to the Siren.”
Ghost Cop — “Ghost Ship”
The debut single for Brooklyn solo artist Ghost Cop, this is a gloriously spacey journey into the great beyond, driven by some epic synth sounds and a pounding electronic beat. If you dig it, you could do worse than heading to Ghost Cop’s Indiegogo page and giving her a few dollars to help make an EP.
Lower Dens — “Non Grata”
This is a charity single for the Ariel Panero Memorial Fund, which according to the Bandcamp page is “a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America’s public schools.” It sounds like a good cause, but frankly, even if it weren’t I’d still be downloading this, because Lower Dens are ace and it’s great to hear a new track from them.
Zola Jesus — “Avalanche (Slow)”
There’s an entire orchestral Zola Jesus record en route, a studio version of the radical reinterpretation of her music that she performed at the Guggenheim last year, with string arrangements by JG Thirwell — and if the whole thing’s as good as this, then it’ll be pretty amazing.
Chambaland — “Personal Yeezus”
And finally, yes, this is a mash-up of Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” with Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.” It’s amazing. You’re more than welcome.