Sometimes you have days where all the songs you listen to sound as flat as a cherry cola left out in the sun all afternoon. Then, you get hit with a retro blues, foot-tapping track like “Let the Good Times Roll” by JD McPherson. About the title, McPherson said, “It’s like a Pavlovian reaction to hear that phrase and feel like you’re supposed to have a good time.” His new album comes out February 10th.
Laura Marling sheds her acoustic guitar to shred an electric in her new song “False Hope.” She starts off hesitant and ends up rocking out. Take a close listen to the natural, aggressive rise of her narrative. She reaches a sharp-tongued climax as she yells, rather than sings, “Neither of us is gonna sleep tonight!” It’s a jarring, mischievous line that fits perfectly within the sung chorus. And for icing on cake, her apartment is on the Upper West Side…
In light of “Throwback Thursday” or “#tbt” which involves posting something that has nostalgic value, we at RunTheMill wanted to turn this popular convention on its head. This weekly posting will share a song that is either ahead of its time or attempts to push us out of our comfort sound zone.
Public Service Broadcasting – “Gagarin”
The new album by Public Service Broadcasting, “Race For Space” fits succinctly within our “Futuristic Friday” theme. 1) It’s otherworldly. “Gagarin” features radio or TV clips describing the first man to journey into outer space and orbit the earth, Russian astronaut Yuri Alkseyevich Gagarin. 2) It’s infectiously funky. That horn section. 3) See video. I definitely see a resemblance to the Capital Cities’ jam “Farrah Fawcett Hair,” below. Happy weekend.
“I am on my hands and knees
Bending at the heart of me
Hiding in the midnight of my soul
Please don’t break the shell that I call home”
In “Ophelia,” Marika’s loneliness takes form in many different ways: the guitar strums on the 2nd and 4th beats, the distance of her voice from the microphone, the eerie vibrato, the lack of a full drum set, just to name a few. All of these sounds together create a deep, dark, beautiful misery.
Gaz Coombes’ second solo album is now streaming on The Guardian.
He has a booming voice as showcased in the song “Buffalo” below:
Cold? Feeling lethargic? Let the carefree musical rays of Keith Meade’s single “Polite Refusal” seep in. The song’s bounciness and playful chord progressions cut right through to that memory of childhood innocence. The upcoming album “Sunday Dinner” comes out on February 23rd.
Endless velvety rock that seems to float in and out of different dream-like states. “Picture You” is the new single from the Swedish band’s third album. A favorite song from the original self-titled “The Amazing” album (2009) is also linked below.
Venue: Terminal 5
If you want to sing like a madman and dance like one too, I recommend you see Future Islands at their next tour stop. Front man Samuel T. Herring doesn’t hold back, flying across the stage in wild sometimes violent, sometimes carnal, and often poetic movements. And while his performance was melodramatic to say the least, I believe he never stopped being genuine. He had complete control of the audience, almost conducting us to the musical roller-coaster that is Future Islands. It’s a quite a feat to combine the highs of positivity and celebration with the depths of nostalgia and sadness, but he pulls it off by switching from deep growls to whispering coos to soaring choruses. In “A Song For Our Grandfathers,” he sings about the importance of our lineage and the mistakes of our past:
“Save for the smoke, that danced when I took a drag
It made me think about the way it all came to be…”
My main critique was that the other band members took too much of a backseat, their faces expressionless and their body language, languid. Maybe, that’s a product of playing the same songs every night, but I would have liked a little more collaboration. Overall, four stars for a show that couldn’t keep me still. As Future Islands describes on its twitter account, “too loud for new wave, too pussy for punk.”
Here is a performance On Letterman:
Ollie McKendrick-Ness (OMN) begins “In Quiet Rooms” with what sounds like someone sitting, strapping on an acoustic guitar, taking a breath, and then singing. He then layers warm and colorful electronic sounds, which encase his guitar and voice in this still quiet space. What I enjoy is that the song is never overwhelmed by an excessive layering of synths. OMN stays in this one comforting place, rather than traveling in a different direction.
New initiative from Dan Boeckner (member of Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs/Divine Fits) is called Operators and they have a refreshing and an irresistible earworm of an EP out now. My favorite track is “True.” It’s got the riff that makes you want to dance like you are at a LCD Soundsystem concert. Looking forward to seeing them open for Future Islands January 8th at Terminal 5 in NYC. A review to follow.
And one more: