In VH New Music Fridays, the Life staff covers this week’s new music releases, from pop to country to alternative.
Alternative & Indie –Jake Gordon
“I Want None of This,” Radiohead
While not entirely a new song, Radiohead has released several songs from their back catalogue for streaming. “I Want None of This” was originally recorded in 2005, making it a nostalgic throwback and similar sonically to the band’s 2004 outing, “Hail to the Thief.” The lyrics, while minimalistic in nature, help contribute to an overall eerie sound that meshes well with the piano’s instrumentation.
“Thin Mind,” Wolf Parade
Released just today, “Thin Mind” is Wolf Parade’s most recent album. Its sound harkens back to that of the post-punk revival genre of the early 2000s. This album brings the band back to its roots, as it returns to its original lineup without bassist Dante DeCaro, opting for keyboard bass instead. The result is an album that sounds very much like Wolf Parade’s typical vibe, but, at the same time, it is a refreshing listen due to the depth in lyricism. The best songs to check out are definitely “Julia Take Your Man Home” and “As Kind As You Can.”
Electronic –Jake Gordon
“R.Y.C,” Mura Masa
Mura Masa dropped a new album fresh off the release of “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again” ft. Clairo, “Deal Wiv It” ft. slowthai and “No Hope Generation.” All of these songs were incredibly catchy with stellar artist features and illustrated promising soundbites of what was to come. The aforementioned singles are very much worth checking out –they are complemented well by “In My Mind,” which has an almost cerebral tonal quality, and “Teenage Headache Dreams” ft. Ellie Roswell and Wolf Alice.
Rock –Jake Gordon
“Dance Of The Clairvoyants,” Pearl Jam
This song is Pearl Jam’s first single off “Gigaton,” their upcoming album which drops almost 7 years after their last release, “Lightning Bolt.” While I’m not the biggest fan of this song, it’s definitely clickbait and worth checking out solely due to the fact that Pearl Jam has been absent for so long. It’s clear to me that they are really trying to adapt their sound better to the modern era, giving it a funkier feel. Overall, the band is definitely showing some promise for the future, so keep an eye out for when the full “Gigaton” album drops.
Country & Americana –Alexa Bussmann
“LA,” Kelsea Ballerini
You can’t listen to Kelsea Ballerini’s latest single “LA” without thinking of Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.” The songs share the same concept –an anxious young singer who feels more comfortable in Nashville than in Los Angeles. Perhaps the only difference is that “LA” is a ballad and “Party in the USA” is infinitely more catchy. Something about the line “I’ve got a love and hate relationship with LA” just doesn’t roll off the tongue. I’ve enjoyed Ballerini’s other ballads, like “homecoming queen?” or “Better Luck Next Time,” much more than “LA.”
“Can’t Go to Church,” Mitchell Tenpenny
Known for the hit single “Alcohol You Later,” Mitchell Tenpenny is largely a symptom of the larger problem of “bro” country. His latest single “Can’t Go to Church” is painfully cliche –Tenpenny’s character doesn’t go to church anymore because he doesn’t want to see his ex. It’s a story that’s been told a dozen other times by objectively more talented singers. The vocals in “Can’t Go to Church” are uninspiring and dry, and the song is largely indistinguishable from Tenpenny’s other releases.