Five Songs For The Week, January 25th 2019
Plague Vendor – ‘Locomotive’: Right away, its infectious bassline launches the song into an unstoppable rhythm with a Tom Petty-esque vibe, but Brandon Blaine’s visceral shriek bends the song into Refused territory and punk fury. There are so much swag and charisma in these 3 minutes that you may start skating, jumping and moshing right in the middle of your living room while listening to it. The song was produced last October by Epitaph founder and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, and it may or may not be featured on Plague Vendor’s upcoming album. During their last show at the Echo, Blaine said they will release a new album this summer, the follow up to their 2016 release, ‘BLOODSWEAT’.
Vampire Weekend – ‘Harmony Hall’: if you are a fan, you certainly know there were back this past week with 2 new tracks, a sort of preview of their highly anticipated forthcoming album, ‘Father of the Bride’, which will be released later this year. Six years later — yes, it has been this long since ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ — they still write songs with their spring-like signature sound intact and a production by Rostam Batmanglij, despite his separation from the band to pursue a solo career. The song has a very catchy chorus and buoyant instrumentation going crescendo with an eruption of joy after Ezra Koenig sings ‘I don’t want to live like this, but I don’t want to die’. Mid-song, the music suddenly breaks down into a very Vampire Weekend baroque piano interlude, before going back to a full bloom jam dance that will bring a few smiles on faces.
Brazilian Girls – ‘Balla Balla’: This very sensual and infectious dance track is featured on their latest album ‘Let’s Make Love’, which was released last year. It’s all rhythms, drums, and Brazilian carnival percussion, with a samba tempo and Sabina Sciubba’s sexy vocals. The tropical song has this black-and-white-movie retro vibe of a South America sweaty ballroom, with a complete shift in the middle, slowing the song for a few seconds of lazy sunshine, before the torrid jungle drumming starts again.
FIDLAR – ‘Get Off My Rock’: It’s the first track of FIDLAR’s new album, ‘Almost Free’. just released a few days ago. This one finds the FIDLAR gang in full Beasty Boys mode, sampling dogs, roosters, steel guitar and drums while rapping in your face, well… to get off their rock! It’s a fun head-banging song mixing tons of stuff and it is directly addressing the out-of-control gentrification in Hawaii (and probably everywhere else) where singer Zac Carper is from.
Jenny Lewis – ‘Red Bull & Hennessy’: The first single of Jenny Lewis’ upcoming album, titled ‘On The Line’, which should be released in March this year on Warner Bros with a A-list backing band including Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr, and Ryan Adams. It first gave me a copious Fleetwood Mac vibe with full orchestration and Jenny’s sweet and bright vocals, but the fact that the 5-minute song stretches into a retro guitar jam is not going to make me forget my Stevie Nicks comparison soon.