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.
FFS – Collaborations Don’t Work
Remember Franz Ferdinand? No, not the archduke of Austria-Este who’s death played a major role in igniting the first World War. I’m talking about the quirky Scottish indie rock outfit that blew up on the charts with Take Me Out (and the nearly as successful follow up Do You Want To). It’s been a minute since the band landed any recognition, but a new supergroup partnership with glam rockers Sparks may just have the juice to propel them back to their spot at the table for indie rock power players.
The bands in their combined form are cleverly called FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks — pretty genius naming convention, right?) and plan to put out a full length album later this year. For now, we have Collaborations Don’t Work, a track on which the groups have their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. The rambling piano and forward-pressing harmonies absolutely work, even as the vocals insist that the endeavor is doomed to failure. We beg to differ.
Dog Party – Peanut Butter Dream
Sacramento sisters Lucy and Gwen Giles are doing everything they can to make the most of their teenage angst. The duo have been making music together since 2007, even though the eldest sister is only 19 right now. With their fourth record out this week — aptly titled Vol. 4 — they’re back with bouncy, feverish favorites like Peanut Butter Dream. With shredding guitars and snarling vocals, the two pack tons of energy into just two minutes of song.
Raekwon – 1,2 1,2
Wu Tang member Raekwon is back on his own with his latest release Fly International Luxurious Art (F.I.L.A.), which dropped earlier this week. The whole album is full of ’90s era boom bap rap throwbacks, but it’s never better than when Raek gets paired up with Snoop Dogg. They’re two of the finest to trade verses, going back and forth on 1, 2, 1, 2. The track sounds like a gem you’d find buried on the B-side of a ’90s rap record, but there’s no dust to blow off to hear these legends turn in some of their finest work.
Blur – Lonesome Street
London rock band Blur are legends across the pond. The leaders of a new wave of British rock, Blur and Oasis battled for pop chart supremacy throughout the ’90s. Though it’s been over a decade since their last album, Blur have not disappeared in a blur. They’re back this week with The Magic Whip, their first record since 2003. Lonesome Street shows the band is still capable of finding its peak, riding its guitar-drive Britpop rhythms and sophisticated harmonies now accompanied by spacey synth sounds.
Olivia Chaney – The King’s Horses
English singer and songwriter Olivia Chaney announced her arrival several years ago, and she’s returned with a new album in the form of The Longest River. On it she is wandering, sometimes lost with just the sparse sounds of her piano and plucking guitar as a guide. On The King’s Horses, she reframes the familiar nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty and turns the moment Humpty Dumpty hits the ground into a chorus that captures the emotion of heartbreak.