It’s a new year and time for some new tunes. This week features Run the Jewels, The Flaming Lips, Grouper and Nine Inch Nails.
Run the Jewels featuring Danny Brown “Hey Kids (Bumaye)” (From “Run the Jewels 3”)
RTJ gave us quite a Christmas present with their third record. El-P and Killer Mike have reached full synchronicity, channeling their passionate fury into some of the most vital-sounding rap on the planet right now. They might just be the greatest rap duo since OutKast. As the cherry on top, Danny Brown knocks out one of his greatest features to date.
The Flaming Lips “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young)” (From “Oczy Mlody”)
Next week, The Flaming Lips will return with a new record, and considering the trickle of tracks I have heard so far, there is reason to hope that it’s going to be a good one. “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young)” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on “The Soft Bulletin”, a modern masterpiece of delicate psychedelia that soundtracked the uncertainty of those early Dubya years for me. In the same way, we might need The Flaming Lips to help us through the Trump era.
Grouper “Headache” (From “Paradise Valley 7-inch”)
Liz Harris has been enchanting me as Grouper since 2008’s classic “Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill”. Her gauzy, gothic music pokes through the haze like a solitary sunbeam on this new track from a recently released 7-inch single. Her music has always used minimal components to achieve quiet moments of revelation; reverb-soaked vocals and a delicate guitar utilize restraint and immaculate melody on “Headache”. She’s one of our great treasures.
Nine Inch Nails “Burning Bright (Field on Fire)” (From “Not the Actual Events”)
Trent Reznor sounds angrier than he has since “The Fragile” on this, the closing track to the new NIN EP. With additional guitar help from Dave Navarro, Reznor plods through the doom, sounding a bit like Godflesh covering early Black Sabbath. It’s the sound of the world collapsing in on itself, which is what 2017 feels like.
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TIMELY TUNES, VOL. 29
1. Run the Jewels Featuring Danny Brown “Hey Kids (Bumaye)”
2. Big L “Put It On”
3. The Chambers Brothers “Guess Who”
4. Herman’s Hermits “Hold On”
5. Bells Atlas “Spec and Bubble”
6. The Flaming Lips “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young)”
7. Patti Smith “Ask the Angels”
8. PJ Harvey “Is This Desire?”
9. Grouper “Headache”
10. Julia Holter “Feel You”
11. Milt Jackson “Enchanted Lady”
12. Mountain “Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)”
13. Nine Inch Nails “Burning Bright (Field on Fire)”
14. Neil Young “Like a Hurricane (Live)”
What are you listening to these days? Any new favorites?