Let’s Eat Grandma start out the year with a celebration of friendship, play tennis in “Happy New Year” video
One heartwarming (and even tearjerking) masterpiece that we’ve missed: British experimental pop Let’s Eat Grandma started out 2022 in great style, delivering a stunning electronic anthem that plays out like an M83 and Ladyhawke collaboration. Heavy synth-work, unique phrasing and iconic lyrics depicting the mending of a broken friendship make this one an instant classic: “Sparks in the sky till we meet the sunrise/ And the see the year come into bloom/ (Happy New Year)/ And nothing that was broken/ Can touch how much I care about you/ Because you know you’ll always be my best friend/ And look at what you made me do“. For more glorious music from this group, listen to the recent Hall Of Mirrors and Two Ribbons, and be on the lookout for their newest album, to be released on the 8th of April this year.
CLBRKS and KIINA prove that the UK alternative hip-hop scene is still unmatched with “Talk To Me Nice”
Off of ‘Habits 2’ and fresh off their recent collaboration Where I Am Is Not Important, CLBRKS and KIINA deliver lo-fi hip-hop brilliance, with a jazz-piano loop complementing their perfect flow and making this the stuff of legends. And it doesn’t end here: ‘Habits 2’ is actually an entire album made out great tracks just like this, with ‘Goonies’ is our absolute favorite. And if you still want to listen to more lo-fi beats after that, this website has you covered with the discovery aspect of it.
Sabrina Carpenter recalls the days of noir cinema and spy movies with another massive bop, “Fast Times”
Musician and actor Sabrina Carpenter is one of the best (and underrated) modern pop performers, with her music owing a lot to jazz and with Carpenter injecting infectious energy into every track. “Fast Times” is probably our favorite track of hers since “Thumbs” and “Paris”, featuring jazz piano, a fast tempo and delightful hooks all resulting in a track that is about living firmly in the present, ‘no rewrites’ (be on the lookout for that massive guitar!) And because by now the “slowed + reverb” edit of a song is almost a genre of its own, the edited version of the song is just that film-noir soundtrack that you craved, with the melody gaining an extra layer of melancholy:
Zella Day and Weyes Blood collaborate, make time stand still on “Holocene”
Zella Day and Weyes Blood make a perfect union on “Holocene”, a psychedelic track about our current times which ends up sounding like the best of both their worlds. The two have collaborated before, on Lana Del Rey’s “For Free“, a Joni Mitchell cover. The black and white video for “Holocene” is like a short film, featuring an almost-Gothic storyline, sees both artists suspended in a moment and finds the light in a stunning depiction of friendship.
“Over the last year I have found myself living in two conflicted mental states: days where I’m impassioned, so many words and thoughts surrounding our current climate extending throughout my being. The other reality is emptiness, a complete loss for words. Exhaustion. Loneliness. Sometimes loneliness becomes a giant casting a long shadow that I can’t outrun. I learned not to be too hard on myself in these moments, ultimately trusting that the motivation to create would eventually come back to me. “Holocene” was the rain that fell. It’s a collection of thoughts, a song for the interpersonal relationship between the world inside and outside of ourselves.” – Zella Day
Hurray for The Riff Raff drops heartbreaking tale of immigrant detention in the US with “Precious Cargo”
Less is definitely more, and on her album Life on Earth’s best tracks, Alynda Segarra still delivers stories about defiant people, “the weirdos and the poets”, accompanied by minimal instrumentation and relying on the power of her words and delivery, but she also focuses on the plight and fears of normal people in not-so-normal scenarios. Precious Cargo is the most hard-hitting track, with its trip-hop beat and incisive lyrics that recall harrowing series such as “Stateless” or the short documentary “The Facility”. Separated from their families, the immigrants detained in the ICE facilities comment on the hatred and inhumane treatment, and the song simply leaves one speechless. “Wolves” is another highlight off the album, a cinematic track with a massive beat.
Caroline Polachek creates a Dionysian world in “Billions” video
Every Caroline Polachek new release is a cause for celebration, and “Billions” is definitely her best track since “Ocean of Tears”, with unpredictable passages and her characteristic vocal manipulation, even featuring a stunning outro that, to our delight, seems to go on and on. It’s easy to mistake the video as being about Christianity in the beginning, but the quick mentions of sexting and sensations bring this closer to a Hellenistic depiction of the preparations for a Bacchanalia, and the ancient mystery rituals of Egypt. The mysteries in honor of the Cabeiri were thought to guard against misfortune and help seafarers, which might be all the missing glue one needs to link “Billions” to “Ocean of Tears”. For some reason, Polachek also re-uploaded her stunning Oneohtrix Point Never collaboration from last year, “Long Way Home“, to accompany “Billions”.
Alison Wonderland says goodbye to “Awake” era with “F**k you, love you”
Near the end of 2021, Alexandra Sholler (Alison Wonderland) dropped two new tracks – “Fear of Dying“, seeimingly recalling her “U Don’t Know” video and saying goodbye to her “Awake” persona, and “F**k You Love You”. We’ve chosen to highlight the latter, because it features everything that makes a great Wonderland track – reverbed vocals, a crescendo leading to a massive drop, and ritualistic motifs. We suspect that both tracks will kill in Wonderland live shows – in fact, as we recall, “F**k You” has already done so, and seems especially crafted for huge, crowd-pleasing moments. We’re just hoping it will involve violins.
Pom Pom Squad and Nada Surf record live version of “Popular” reconstruction
Nada Surf’s “Popular” is a seminal alternative-rock ’90s anthem, delivering shallow, sarcastic advice to teenagers (like “being attractive is the most important thing there is”) and reflecting outdated views on the high-school experience. Last year, Mia Berrin of Pom Pom Squad recreated the original video for “Popular” frame by frame, leaving in enough easter-eggs to please fans of the original and making the subversive gender politics of the song stand out even more. A couple of days ago, the live version of the new “Popular” came out, reuniting Nada Surf with Mira Berrin and bringing the song full-circle.
Featured image is “Example of Grunge Vector Art” from pinterest.com
Reading material: https://blogofart.com/art/grunge-art/