March 23, 2011

Streaming/Fondling: The Big Name Drop

The world may be falling apart around us, but that hasn't stopped some beautiful new tunes from arriving at our digital doorsteps. This week's edition of Streaming/Fondling is heavy on big names like the Fleet Foxes, TV On The Radio and blog-sensation turned Columbia Records signees Cults. In the coming weeks and months, I expect we'll also have new tracks from Everybody Taste favorites Vetiver and Bon Iver, who both recently finished up new albums. Here it goes:

White Denim - "Drug" (from D, out May 24)
White Denmin - "Anvil Everything" (from D)
In terms of pure energy and originality, few bands are capable of matching Austin's great White Denim. The fluttering, speedily picked guitar riffs on the first two tracks from D are suprisingly light in comparison to the band's back catalogue. However, the refined and dexterous play works beautifully over the loose and rollicking drums of both "Drug" and "Anvil Everything." Is it just me or does it sound like White Denim listened to a few Grateful Dead box sets while recording? These two tracks are jammy as hell.

TV On The Radio - "Caffeinated Consciousness" (from Nine Types of Light, out April 12)
TV On The Radio - "Repetition" (Live at SXSW)
TV On The Radio - "Will Do" (from Nine Types of Light)
I've been having trouble getting behind the two official tracks released off TV On The Radio's forthcoming 4th LP Nine Types of Light. It's inarguably interesting and professionally executed music, but the songs both seem to be missing that manic and crazed quality that defines any TV On The Radio live show—that punk rock and wild funk edge. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a live SXSW cut of another new track, "Repitition," over at Hot Cakes. Suffice it to say, that track has the right recipe. Everybody Taste's thoughts are also with the band's multi-talented Gerard Smith, who is currently fighting lung cancer.

The Naked and Famous - "Young Blood (Dave Sitek remix)"
I'm not the biggest fan of remixes. In fact, I find the majority of them to be a waste of time. But there's always exceptions, as when talents like The Twelves or RAC take over a song. Here, TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek turns the knobs towards some serious bass and funk for New Zealand dance-pop group The Naked and Famous. "Young Blood" just simply isn't the same song after Sitek is done working it over—the energy here shoots through the roof.

Fleet Foxes - "Battery Kinzie" (from Helplessness Blues, out May 3)
This is only a low quality radio rip, and yet it still manages to be one of the more beautiful songs I've heard in weeks: the soaring harmonies, the incredible presence of the grand piano, and the small army of percussionists. If you dig vinyl, this is sure to be a classic addition to any collection.

Cults - "You Know What I Mean" (from Cults, out May 30)
While the verse here works a slow Motown vibe, the chorus heads straight for the stratosphere, picking up speed and volume while rocketing straight for the stars. My only complaint is that at just 2:32, the song makes its exit much too early—there's more ground to be explored here.

Fleet Foxes

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