Songs of the Week // LONG SONGS!

Here’s a mini-mix of songs that are on heavy rotation this week at WS HQ…

LONG SONGS! Tune in, turn up, zone out.

Museum of Love // Monotronic

Who better to craft krautrock-pop than former LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney? “I was never meant for so much happiness”—getting heavy and philosophical, but with a dance groove.

Brian Reitzell // Last Summer

Brian Reitzell knows a thing or two about soundtracks—he’s responsible for the mood setting in Lost In Translation, The Bling Ring, and The Virgin Suicides. His own solo debut, Auto Music, comes out June 3, and he created a lot of the music as a soundtrack to his commutes around Los Angeles. “Last Summer” features My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields on organ (“keep holding that note, Kev!”), and it’s a slowly-evolving epic, at times recalling early Boards of Canada.

Siinai // Shopping Trance

Finland’s Siinai linked up with Moonface (aka Spencer Krug) a few years ago for the deeply-underrated Heartbreaking Bravery. There’s an organic, lived-in quality to Siinai’s krautrock grooves, and they have a sense of humor. Their first release was an EP called Olympic Games, meant to act as a soundtrack to watching runners at the London Games. And now comes Supermarket on June 17, “a soundtrack for the supermarket nations.” Get out your grocery list and do the shopping cart.

Moonface with Siinai // Heartbreaking Bravery

And to prove its underrated-ness, the title track to Moonface/Siinai’s collaborative album. Pounding, gothic, and awesomely melodramatic. The string bend at 4:08 kills me every time—hitting that climax with a punch.

26 April 2014





Centro-Matic // Salty Disciple

Centro-Matic return June 3 with the awesomely-titled Take Pride In Your Long Odds (frontman Will Johnson is an avowed baseball fan, after all). Pre-order goodies include autographs, handwritten lyric sheets, and, um, homemade salsa from multi-instrumentalist Scott Danbom. Get cooking with "Salty Disciple," something a bit more jagged than usual.

Doodling With Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett’s music is best served under a blazing sun, preferably if you’re suffering from a panic attack, like the hero in the sublime “Avant Gardener.” The young Australian has a way of drawing you in with repetition. On her excellent debut, The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas, the guitars stay loose and jangly, sketching out mini-epics full of listlessness and everyday poetry. The record/EP/thing just got a physical re-release in the States, and it comes with the perfect perk: a book of doodles, sketched by Barnett herself while touring the world. Take a peak at the book online, and grab a (digital) crayon while you listen.

Download:

Courtney Barnett // Avant Gardener

Woods // With Light And With Love

Artists are rarely rewarded for being consistent. It’s human nature: we prefer our suffering shamans to burn out and rebuild in a constant cycle. it helps our pattern-addicted brains, and yes, it’s probably more exciting to think about.

But consistency is a beautiful artistic statement in itself. A band like Woods essentially keeps re-writing the same song over and over. Taking its decade-long discography as a whole, it starts to resemble one of Woods’ trademark freeform jams, dancing with psychedelia and garage rock while tipping its cap to country, folk, and pop. There are subtle fluctuations, to be sure, and within the slowly evolving Woods universe, those ripples rumble into something bigger.

Like 2012’s Bend Beyond, With Light And With Love ups the fidelity and focus considerably. Gone is the one-take, off-the-cuff atmosphere, which admittedly was starting to wear thin. The not-so-hidden secret of Woods’ early material was frontman Jeremy Earl’s writing. Even with layers of tape hiss, it was obvious Earl did his melodic homework. With Light features some of Earl’s tightest songs to date, embellished with perfect touches here and there. “Shepard” lopes out of the gate with a sterling lap steel centerpiece and barroom piano. The band sounds crisper than ever on “Leaves Like Glass” and the jangly “Only The Lonely,” before hitting an undeniable groove on the standout “Moving To The Left”—the kind of far-reaching sway-along Woods have been aiming at for years. Even the token psych-out title track has a snappy purpose to it, building with each squiggly solo before climaxing into phased-out guitars and Earl’s ghostly moan. 

A few missteps—the featherweight closer “Feather Man,” the derivative garage stomper “Shining”—don’t detract from the overall sheen. Woods’ DIY spirit—running their label Woodsist, curating the annual Woodsist Fest in Big Sur, their road-dog mentality—have given the band the kind of creative freedom that most artists only dream about. It’s incredibly nice to hear that the band aren’t taking it for granted. They’re not necessarily “steadily getting better”—they’re steadily evolving, taking the long road.

Brian Eno // Deep Blue Day (1983)

"…[W]hat I find impressive about [country] music is that it’s very concerned with space in a funny way. Its sound is the sound of a mythical space, the mythical American frontier space that doesn’t really exist anymore. That’s why on Apollo I thought it very appropriate, because it’s very much like ‘space music’ — it has all the connotations of pioneering, of the American myth of the brave individual, and that myth has strong resonances throughout American culture.” — Brian Eno, October 1990


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