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. This week we’ve written a lot about James Brooks’ new project Dead Girlfriends, but while “On Fraternity” was perhaps the most notable song of the week, it wasn’t the only good thing we heard — there’s also Angel Haze’s reinterpretation of Kanye West’s “New Slaves,” new stuff from TV on the Radio and Lana Del Rey, a taste of Factory Floor’s much-awaited debut album, Erlend Øye singing in Italian, and more. Click through to get listening!
Angel Haze — “New Slaves”
In which Angel Haze gets “bored” and records a coruscating freestyle over a homemade version of Kanye’s “New Slaves.” Wow.
Dead Girlfriends — “On Fraternity”
TV on the Radio — “Mercy”
Hmmm. This is a slick, tightly produced motorik jam that’s a world away from the sprawling freeform weirdness of TVOTR’s early work. It’s the sound of a band that is really good at what it does these days — competent, polished but perhaps lacking the excitement that characterized TVOTR’s initial rush of creativity. Which is a polite way of say it’s, y’know, OK.
Braids — “Hossak”
I wrote earlier this week about how much I was looking forward to Braids’ new album, so it’s a pleasant surprise to get another new track from that album so quickly — especially when the track in question is so good. It starts with a minute of ambient Fripp-‘n’-Eno-esque noise, and then resolves into a quiet, delicately psychedelic ballad: “Our boy is knocking at my window/ With a slice of pizza/ And acid in his tongue.” Shit’s gonna get weird pretty soon.
Factory Floor — “Turn It Up”
It seems like Quietus-approved British noise/dance trio Factory Floor have been promising an album forever, but the album in question is finally on the way — it’s due out in September via DFA, and this is its lead single. “Turn It Up” sounds like a sort of weird meandering hybrid of Throbbing Gristle’s most eardrum-friendly moments and something like you might hear on 100% Silk. It’s a lot less nasty than the band’s live performances, and it seems to lack those performances’ general air of dynamism — but still, it’s got me intrigued to hear the rest of the record.
Lana Del Rey — “Maha Maha”
Uh oh, prepare the thinkpieces — she’s back. Unlike the Gaga diss track that leaked last month, this seems to be a genuinely new track, and y’know what? It’s not bad. Lizzy Grant has always had a decent voice, and while her lyrics, as ever, leave a great deal to be desired, this has a pleasant Bond theme-ish feel to it (until the chorus, anyway, which gets kinda messy).
Arp — “High Heeled Clouds”
A pleasantly theatrical piano ballad from Alexis Georgopoulos, who goes by the moniker Arp and has an album due out in September. This is an airy, beautiful production that’s a world away from Georgopoulos’s previous work, which was synth-heavy and experimental. The change suits him well.
Lightning Bolt — “Barbarian Boy”
Lightning Bolt have never been as much fun on record as they are live, for the simple reason that their albums can’t approximate the experience of seeing a masked lunatic pound the shit out of a drumkit as a sweaty crowd goes berserk around him. Still, this is good fun — it’s the latest in Adult Swim’s ongoing singles series.
Erlend Øye — “La Prima Estate”
Did you know Erlend Øye spoke Italian? Hey, neither did we! It turns out that the man behind Kings of Convenience/The Whitest Boy Alive has been living in Sicily, and his language skills are put to good use on this summery new single. Molto bene, and all that.
Born Gold — “Hunger”
Idiosyncratic Canadian performer Cecil Frena has been chiefly notable until now for his crazy stage show, but this suggests that there’s more to him than just weird homemade instruments cobbled together from garden spades. This is a darkly catchy ’80s-influenced jam that deals with the end of a relationship, and is the most coherent song I’ve ever heard from him. It bodes well for his second album I Am an Exit, which is out in October.