There has been lots of good new music recently, getting me ready for my planned summer concerts. Here’s a look at recent releases as I try and catch up a bit.
This first song is actually an old song sporting a new piano arrangement, and features a duet with a dead legend.
I like the UK band Foals, and I love this song of theirs …
But that is not new music. That is a song from their excellent 2015 release called “What Went Down.” Foals happened to be in concert in St. Louis this week when I happened to be visiting for business, or perhaps it was that I planned a business trip to St. Louis when Foals was in concert. You see, if I try to see them in Chicago, this is what happens …
I normally try and find newer or more obscure new music for this recurring feature. This song by Florence and the Machine has been around since late January, and Florence Welch has been making great music with her Machine for well over a decade. I expect good new music out of them. While I have enjoyed this new single titled Moderation, I just noticed something very unusual about this song. Take a listen and see if you can hear it, too.
Good song, but did you hear how unusual it is?
There has been a lot of good new music released recently. I just haven’t been captivated by any of it to write about it. For example, I was excited to hear that the Lumineers dropped a new song called Gloria a couple days ago. Take a listen.
I like it, but … it sounds exactly like I would expect a new Lumineers song should sound. That’s not a bad thing. It makes my toes tap. It just doesn’t excite me. Does that make any sense?
Instead, I went all the way to Sweden to be able to introduce you to Maria Jane Smith and Victor Thell, who coincidentally are in a band called Smith & Thell. What are the odds? Take a listen to their song called Forgive Me Friend that got my musical antennae waving.
The odds were against it happening. I was in my hotel room after dinner, slightly undressed (I know, ew), laying in bed, with Rachel Maddow coming on TV in minutes. There was maybe a 2% chance that I would get dressed and go by myself to see indie rockers Mt. Joy in concert. I know, you will not believe it if I tell you I beat the odds, but I did. I have proof.
Five years. I guess it could have been worse. It took Vampire Weekend six years to release new music. That’s right, this is the first new song from the Black Keys in five years. How did the Beatles crank out so many memorable albums in the span of just a few years? They were releasing albums less than one year apart. Good examples:
- Rubber Soul – December, 1965
- Revolver – August, 1966
- Sgt. Pepper – June, 1967
That’s kind of crazy. They may have been just a bit more talented than Vampire Weekend and Black Keys combined. I know, the Vampires and Keys were busy with other stuff. Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys put out some very nice solo music. I can see that a solo album might take a year. But c’mon folks, make with the new music already. Are they so busy and tired because they have second jobs at night working the drive-thru at McDonald’s to make ends meet?
I guess times have changed and musicians don’t make their money off selling records with new songs like they used to. Now they make their money from touring. There is less incentive to make new music when you can tour and make mega-bucks playing old songs. Welcome to the digital age of music.
Speaking of the digital age of music, the new Black Keys tune Lo/Hi is available on YouTube …
My NMFOR posts have so far focused on newer musical talents. Not in this post. These are established talents that are finally providing us some welcome new music.
First up is Vampire Weekend. Six years since their last record. How does it take so long to make a record album? C’mon, you’re musicians. Make more music.
Father of the Bride is their upcoming release this Spring, and Harmony Hall is a single released from that album. I’m not sure that Harmony Hall is worth a six year wait, but it is a great tune. Take a listen.
Welcome back Vampires. Harmony Hall definitely doesn’t suck.
What does is the new single called Salvation from the Strumbellas.