You may have heard of RAC (short for Remix Artists Collective) from their slew of remixes and re-edits of tracks such as Tokyo Police Club’s ”Nature of the Experiment,” Two Door Cinema Club‘s “Something Good Can Work,” and Empire of The Sun’s “Walking On A Dream,” among others…
But recently, RAC released their first original track via Green Label Sound. The track is titled, “Hollywood” and features vocals from Penguin Prison’s Chris Glover. The track carries the catchy, bouncy, and highly-danceable vibe that many of their previous remixed tracks highlight.
Stream and download below.
For those that don’t know, a blunderbuss is a gun. Specifically, it’s a muzzle-loading shooter that was deemed as a predecessor to the shotgun. The Dutch roots of the word’s origin would literally detail it as the ‘thunder-pipe’. So, in retrospect, it seems quite amusing that Jack White would use this term to title his debut solo album. It also seems easy to imagine fans of his works taking such a heading and running off with some descriptive adjectives to denote their escalating expectations. Joining in on that bandwagon, I’ve listed some of my own below. (As a Jack White fan circa 2000′s, I can’t help myself) More after the jump.
Explosive, volatile, dangerous, uncontrolled, fun, thunderous, loud, booming.
It really wasn’t so hard to come up with those eight. However, the more I reflect on these words, the farther I am brought back to the era of the White Stripes: an time in which Jack himself promised would remain amicably parted for better or for worse. However, I stubbornly listened to Blunderbuss (expecting familiarity), waiting for the sounds of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather to begin trickling into his finger shredding, rip roaring tunes. Thirteen songs later, I was let down by my misguided nostalgia. Yet, I was also hopeful, and recovering from the unforeseen flurry of punches pulled in his debut album.
The first thing that properly sums this album up is the piano. Here, the instrument cries aloud for attention with cascading clarity: all blended in with salon inspired jigs and honky-tonk tunes. From ‘Hypocritical Kiss’ and onward, the piano, and not the electric guitar, most resoundingly channels the new direction of Jack White. In ‘Weep Themselves to Sleep’, ‘Im’ Shakin’ and ‘Trash Tongue Talker,’ the drums, bass and lyrics all take a backseat as the piano cries shotgun. Yet, Jack’s radical departure in this album doesn’t seem to water down its quality. The entire set-list is rock solid (excuse the pun) as a whole, but just so dissimilar from what most fans would be expecting.
I’ll admit that it’s dangerous to think that way. The album has many moments where Jack’s past projects favorably encroach on its sounds. ‘Take Me With You When You Go’, ‘Sixteen Saltines’ and ‘Freedom at 21’ should slake the thirst of those pining for Jack’s ‘good ol’ days’. However, there is a set vision in ‘Blunderbuss’ and Jack does not seem to allow any deviation to show in his playing. So, as a fan, I appreciate and respect the conviction that he shows in this work. In fact, ‘Freedom at 21’ easily ranks alongside some of my favorite past works by him. It plays in a super cool, sleek manner, allowing a bit of a club vibe to echo through the guitar and bass. Might I be going too far to claim that he even, slightly raps? Maybe.
Nevertheless, ‘Blunderbuss’ is a solid effort from a musician with a truly decorated background. Solo albums are a fickle bitch to master, and Jack has done everything in power to tame this animal. Yet, it seems that our nostalgia and expectations are far too eager to ruin the fun by clouding his solo efforts. Word of advice: don’t let it. Eventually, that fog will settle and allow the album to stand as what it is: a piece of work with a hell of a lot to offer to those that actually listen.
Psychedelic rockers, Dandy Warhols, have been around since ’94… almost 20 years ago. Yup the early 90s were 20 years ago, a weird epiphany I had only a few months ago (we’re getting old, yo). Despite their aging status, they’re slated to release their eighth album, titled This Machine, on April 24. This latest track, “Sad Vacation,” is a testament to the band’s older, grittier sounds, and is characterized by a heavy distorted bassline throughout the song.
I do my best not to read too much into the little details. But in the end, its these minute coincidences that persistently pick at me to no avail. In this instance, I find myself fixated on the word ‘Bloody’ from Silversun Pickups new single ‘Bloody Mary’. Off of their just announced album ‘Neck of the Woods’, this Silversun Pickups’ single plays like a ‘what if My Bloody Valentine attempted a summer album for the masses’ type of deal. The sound here is a bit nightmarish but also oddly soothing in its own eery way. The single is strong and confident. Listen closely, and it even tries to clue one in on the potential setup of the album’s tracklist. (My money is on a story-telling structure, like Mylo Xyloto) Yet, after a few listens, I guess its these little things that Silversun Pickups really thrives at patiently etching out.
The album drops May 8th.
SoundCloud saw plenty of great activity this week, with tracks ranging from The Shins to Lazy Rich throwing up tracks all over the board.
The new Shins track “Fall of 82″ is an extremely catchy gentle indie pop-rock track. Fans of AC Newman and New Pornographers will especially love the track, which is very reminiscent of their power-pop tracks.
T.E.E.D‘s “Tapes and Money (Eats Everything Remix)” shows the awesome experimental side to the electronic dance track.
Of course there’s also Madeon’s remix of Martin Solveig‘s track, “The Night Out.” As always the French teenager doesn’t dissapoint, creating a highly energetic, catchy, and bouncy version of Martin Solveig‘s already club-friendly track.
Bart B More remixed Miike Snow‘s latest single, titled “Paddling Out.” The remix puts a little balearic dance-club twist to Miike Snow‘s catchy tune.
With the 2010 Broken Bells album, it seemed as though James Mercer vocally closed the door on any notion of a new Shins album. It truly appeared as if Mercer was embarking on a new, independent era of musical discovery. Furthermore, it was his collaboration with Danger Mouse in the Broken Bells album that hopelessly dashed my wishes for another Shins release.
However, a lot happened in that span of five years.
And so, here we find ourselves anticipating The Shins fourth album release in a span of eleven years. It hasn’t been easy, as Mercer cleaned house with a radically new group of musicians comprising his band. The doubts on the preservation of their sound, material and symbolic quirkiness have remained palpable for these few months. In addition, Mercer’s meandering attitude with the album didn’t instill a great amount of confidence within his listeners.
But it was all a ruse. Port of Morrow is a celebratory return to form for the Shins. A single session through the entire track listing is all it takes. It is undeniable that Mercer has regained his control, direction and playfulness with the procession of sound in this setlist. However, the album is more than a return, it also becomes a foreshadowing. The orchestral layering of sounds in Port of Morrow triumphantly indicates a new age for The Shins: and it’s seems like an era that’s been well worth the wait.
Each song on Port of Morrow could act a standalone single reaching out towards the hereditary sounds of its past. Mercer doesn’t seem to give two shits about where the indie sounds are trending towards. Instead, he’s made it firm and clear that The Shins quirk would be vocalized, harmonized to an even higher level on this album. Right off the bat, “The Rifle’s Spiral” turns itself into a catchy, California rock melody with its balanced mix of cresting reverbs and quipped one-liners. There’s also the Wilco-esque “40 Mark Strasse” with its lyrically collected demeanor and carefully measured beats. “It’s Only Life” flashes its Elliot Smith-like influences with a steadied tempo, self-reflective tone and soulful crooning. Then we have the electronica infused, Danger Mouse influenced “Bait and Switch” with its clicks and pops sprinkled alongside the ambient vocals.
Five years is what it took for James Mercer to properly channel the experiences of his domestic life and musical independence into this album. Thankfully, what Port of Morrow has to say with those messages is truly worth a listen. The act of switching out one Shin member for another also shows that Mercer is the one in control. And I believe that we, as the listeners and fans, should receptively respond to that. In all honestly, it was by Mercer’s timings and efforts that Port of Morrow docked itself from the high tides of searching and turbulence. And it’s not like Mercer had anything to prove to his listeners, but Port of Morrow shows that level of allegiance and effort through each of its songs. For Mercer, redemption was never to be had. All that he’s done in these past few years has made sense career wise. But in reality, all it took was some time. And I’ll be the first one to say, “Welcome back”.
Notable Tracks: ‘September’ ‘The Rifle’s Spiral’ ‘No Way Down’ ‘Simple Song’
Thurz is a rapper who hails from Inglewood, CA. He recently collabed with folk-rock band Uncle Daddy to a produce a track unlike any other. Thurz’ laid back and gritty vocals mixes unexpectedly well on top of the porchfront banjo picking and booming drums.
Though the LA hip-hop scene is diverse, I never expected to see anything like this marriage of sounds come out of it. For our followers who are hitting up SXSW, you can catch both of these great acts live for the first time together this Saturday.
Thrashing any doubts concerning his post-White Stripes career, Jack White has just released a roaring second single off of his debut solo album, Blunderbuss (out on April 24).
‘Sixteen Candles’ is a twinge of nostalgia for White Stripes fans. Its familiar guitar shreds, rips and licks slides one back towards the good ol’ days of the power couple. Even a combination of the single’s high octane drumming makes one almost forget about Meg..