It was Jenny Lewis and Jeff Tweedy last week, now it’s the New Pornographers, Spoon, and Interpol. Did ’00s indie favorites have a summit and collectively decide to own the summer? I mean, that’s cool if they did, just wondering.
The New Pornographers — “Brill Bruisers”
I’ve kept this song open in a Firefox tab since its release Tuesday morning — not because I didn’t make time to listen to it, but because I have been listening to it every morning as soon as I wake up, in order to muster the strength to face the day. Damn, that sounds grim. What I’m trying to say is that the New Pornographers are back with a power-pop song that will blow you away with how hard it rocks. Also, holy vocal harmonies. The Canadian supergroup’s Brill Bruisers is out August 26 on Matador.
Spoon — “Rent I Pay”
Spoon went away for four years and came back guns swinging on “Rent I Pay,” the first single from their forthcoming They Want My Soul (August 5, Loma Vista). The slightly warped strumming is a nice touch on an otherwise classic and catchy Spoon song: dueling guitars, building tension, and effortless cool like a pair of Ray-Bans.
Sinkane — “Hold Tight”
Ahmed Gallab, the Sudanese musician who’s released three psych-funk albums as Sinkane, played in Yeasayer, and served as the touring drummer for of Montreal and Caribou, returns this September with Mean Love. But the album’s first single is truly anything but. Funk, falsetto, and a sexy game of cat and mouse. This feels like lust, but I’m in love.
GEMS — “Scars”
The DC dream-pop duo’s debut, Medusa, became a slow-burning favorite of mine last year, so I’m happy to see them back beyond a Seal cover (albeit a great one). A chant of “baby, I can’t bear it alone,” Beach House-esque riffs, and a throbbing bass groundwork adds up to a song so musically buoyant, it’ll make you forget all the times love made you fall apart.
Kimbra — “Nobody But You”
Remember Kimbra, who sang on Gotye’s inescapable “Someone Like You”? She’s been slowly gearing up for her sophomore album, The Golden Echo, which includes an absolutely insane roster of collaborators (Van Dyke Parks, Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Foster The People’s Mark Foster, John Legend, Muse’s Matt Bellamy, more more more) and will be out August 19 (Warner Bros). The album’s first single, “90s Music,” is absolutely insane in a way I can’t decide if I think is good or bad, but now we’ve got two more conventional pop tracks, “Love in High Places” and “Nobody But You.” The latter is a real gem, like if Solange were consulted on “Love On Top.”
Bonus: Here’s Sylvan Esso, the Brooklyn electro-pop duo sharply on the rise, covering Porches.’ underrated 2013 song, “The Cosmos.” This will haunt your dreams… in a good way. No, totally in a good way.