Every week, there are hundreds of thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves. It’s too much for just your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks worthy of the thumbs down button. Don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you what ones are worth using your bandwidth on.
Ava Luna – Coat of Shellac
There’s a little bit of everything in Ava Luna. The Brooklyn quintet treats its work like a pot of gumbo, tossing in anything it can find and anything that it’s been enjoying lately, then stirring it all up to see what comes of it. Elements from all over the map appear: a hint of southern rock, a dash of 70’s UK punk, a sprinkle of soul and funk. Against all odds, the mixing of all these elements regularly results in tantalizing music.
There’s a strange dichotomy to Coat of Shellac, a track that seems like it has two separate masters that it’s trying to serve. The song is at once a smooth R&B tune — with Felicia Douglass crooning like she’s on a 70’s soul jam — and at the same time, a grungy, post-punk track with harsh guitar riffs that seem to fall out of line with the track. And yet, Ava Luna has no issues producing a song that works on every level. The two-track mind is on full display on several tracks of the group’s new album Infinite House, but never does it work better than on Coat of Shellac.
Mick Jenkins – Alchemy
The latest rapper to rise up as a product of Chicago, Mick Jenkins caught a lot of attention with his 2014 mixtape The Water[s]. Now he’s back with a new project in mind for 2015, and he’s given the first taste of what’s to come with new single Alchemy. Produced by Lee Bannon, who has worked with the likes of Joey Bada$$ and the Alchemist, the track features Jenkins detailing the trials and tribulations of his life. If he can get past what’s been in his way so far, reaching his peak will be a breeze from here on out.
Crystal Castles – Frail
It was thought that Crystal Castles was no more after lead singer Alice Glass decided to leave the duo behind, effectively making it a solo act. Instead of hanging it up, Ethan Kath is sticking around. The first bit of Glass-less music is Frail, a single that features an unnamed vocalist in place of the former lead. There still appears to be some animosity between Kath and Glass, and that will surely play out at some point in the future of Crystal Castles, but for now fans will just be happy to have new music to listen to.
Wolf Alice – Bros
Wolf Alice released the song Bros into the wild back in 2013. Since then, it’s undergone quite the bit of musical evolution. Being played regularly during live shows and getting reworked in the studio over and over again, Wolf Alice finally has the track in a place where they want it. The newly tweaked version of the ode to childhood friendship will make its official appearance on the band’s upcoming album My Love is Cool, but it’s available as a single on its own now.
Garbage – The Chemicals
Garbage isn’t quite as active as it once was — it’s been three years since the group’s last proper record release and two years since it was last on tour — but they still pop in and out for the occasional appearance and have become a staple of Record Store Day. For this year’s event (on Saturday April 18, 2015), the group showed up with Silversun Pickups frontman Brian Aubert to create the collaborative The Chemicals. It’s a good way to remind fans you’re around without wearing out your welcome.