TRANSVERSO

- A culture magazine reaching terminal verbosity -

Music News

Fleet Foxes Announce New Album 'Crack-Up' After Six Year Hiatus, Share Nine Minute Single

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

After six long years of teasing hints, their frontman going back to school, and their former drummer reaching peak prominence on his own, Fleet Foxes have finally put a date on their long-awaited return. Crack-Up is due out June 16 via new label Nonesuch, with a first taste being provided through the nine minute epic, "Third of May / Ōdaigahara."

Combining Fleet Foxes' signature soaring vocals with an extended harp outro, "Third of May / Ōdaigahara" finds Robin Pecknold confidently indulging in a sprawling exploration of both his most aggressive folk and minimalist tendencies.

Pecknold wrote all 11 tracks, sharing production duties with bandmate Skyler Skjelset. Skjelset and the band's previous record, 2011's Helplessness Blues, were both born on May 3, lending inspiration to the title of the single, while the album title draws from F. Scott Fitzgerald's essay of the same name. The accompanying visual, which features water color paintings being blown across the page, was created by Pecknold's brother Sean and Adi Goodrich.

In an interview with Pitchfork Pecknold explains, "I feel like Crack-Up begins in pure conflicted solitude and ends in a bright clearing, one of closeness, like the top right hand corner of the photograph on the album cover." Though arriving at the release of their third record has been anything but, well, fleet, it seems the result will be well worth the wait.

Listen, and find album art, tracklisting, and tour dates below.

Crack-Up

  1. I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar
  2. Cassius, -
  3. – Naiads, Cassadies
  4. Kept Woman
  5. Third of May / Ōdaigahara
  6. If You Need To, Keep Time on Me
  7. Mearcstapa
  8. On Another Ocean (January / June)
  9. Fool’s Errand
  10. I Should See Memphis
  11. Crack-Up

alt-J Announces New Album 'RELAXER,' Drops "3WW" Single and Music Video, Tour Dates

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Three years after releasing their sophomore record This Is All Yoursalt-J have returned, with a forthcoming release titled RELAXER due out June 9 via Canvasback. The announcement is accompanied by lead single "3WW" as well as cover art, tracklisting, and international tour dates, all of which you can find below.

"3WW"'s soft acoustic tones and long intro result in what is a relatively gentle and straightforward single by alt-J standards, and whereas last cycle saw the band joined by an off-the-wall Miley Cyrus sample on "Hunger of the Pine," the Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice) feature here makes more sense, seamlessly adding subtle dynamism and harmony to the understated track. The accompanying visual depicts a glitchy medley of scenes from the bizarre Playstation game LSD: Dream Emulator, from which the LP's art direction appears to also be derived.

In addition to drummer Thom Green's 2016 solo release High Anxiety, a statement from the band notes during their break "Gus [Unger-Hamilton] opened a restaurant; Joe [Newman] has been watching a lot of films."

Listen below.

RELAXER:

  1. 3WW 
  2. In Cold Blood 
  3. House of the Rising Sun 
  4. Hit Me Like That Snare 
  5. Deadcrush 
  6. Adeline 
  7. Last Year 
  8. Pleader

Cold War Kids Announce 'L.A. Divine' LP, Drop New Single "Love Is Mystical"

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Los Angeles-based rockers Cold War Kids have never been shy about their affinity for their city, and now they'll have a whole album to prove it. The band's 6th record L.A. Divine is due out April 7 (an already crowded date that also includes Father John Misty and Future Islands releases), their first on Capitol Records.

The announcement comes with soulful lead single "Love Is Mystical," a floral love anthem complete with a Phillip Lopez-directed visual shot in, where else, downtown LA. Featuring kissing couples of all kinds set to a strong piano drive, the track is well-timed for a Valentine's Day in relatively dark times.

See the single artwork, tour dates, and listen below.

Future Islands Return to the Present, Announce New LP 'The Far Field,' Drop First Single "Ran," Tour

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Future Islands just got a little closer to the present. The Baltimore-based band has announced The Far Field, their fifth full length, which is due out April 7 via 4AD.

The good news comes along with a taste of what's to come, with lead single "Ran" offering every bit of kinetic energy the name implies. Rolling bass, starry synths, and Samuel Herring's gorgeous growling croons combine in that perfect formula the three-piece has rightfully propelled to indie myth status in recent years.

The record features live drums from touring percussionist Michael Lowry for the first time, production from John Congleton (David Byrne, St. Vincent, Wild Beasts), and the surprise addition of vocals from Blondie's Debbie Harry on "Shadows." It's also revealed that Future Islands play-tested the album at a series of secret shows under fake names over the last year, which is sure to make you regret every time you turned down a night out in 2016 because you didn't know enough of the lineup (and also goes to show that even during the rare moments Future Islands aren't on tour they are, in fact, still on tour).

Curiously, in addition to the normal formats, the record is also available as a "mini-LP," which is apparently a "replica of an actual LP [that] does not actually play" (but does come with a download code). Listen to "Ran" and see the cover art, tracklist, and tour dates below.

The Far Field

1. Aladdin
2. Time On Her Side
3. Ran
4. Beauty Of The Road
5. Cave
6. Through The Roses
7. North Star
8. Ancient Water
9. Candles
10. Day Glow Fire
11. Shadows
12. Black Rose

Mac DeMarco Announces New Album 'This Old Dog,' Tour, and Releases First Two Singles

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Mac is back! Adding to the staggering list of beloved artists returning in 2017, DeMarco and his band will be releasing a new LP titled This Old Dog, due out May 5 via Captured Tracks, and embarking on an international tour lasting at least from March through November.

The gap-tooth goon has always been a gracious giver, and DeMarco has blessed us with not one but TWO singles from his forthcoming record including the title track and "My Old Man." They may be short and sweet, but it seems ol' Mac is already feeling the weight of time; The lovely and lazy tunes delve into staying true to a lover forever and the coming-of-age realization that one has begun to increasingly resemble their own father, respectively.

So click play, revel in the digital ripples on the curious videos below, and check out the This Old Dog's cover art and tour dates underneath that.

Father John Misty Announces 'Pure Comedy' LP, Releases Music Video and Short Film

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

What do Donald Trump, Pepe the Frog, and the cruel, cruel miracle of birth all have in common? A six-plus minute music video from Father John Misty, of course.

Waxing philosophical on the existential absurdity of the human condition as only Joshua Tillman can, "Pure Comedy" combines idiosyncratic observationalism with soulful detachment in a way that is simultaneously earnest and composed.

Tillman takes the obligatory stabs at politics (Where did they find these goons they elected to rule them? / What makes these clowns they idolize so remarkable?) and religion (They worship themselves yet they're totally obsessed / With risen zombies, celestial virgins, magic tricks, these unbelievable outfits), but isn't afraid to start at the very beginning (The comedy of man starts like this / Our brains are way too big for our mothers' hips).

So appropriately his forthcoming record begins with this meandering title track. Pure Comedy is due out April 7 via Sub Pop, and so far it sounds every bit of the quasi-preachy-satirical masterpiece you would expect. Tillman explains,

Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, finding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like ‘love,’ ‘culture,’ ‘family,’ etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence.

Something like that.

The music video with its aforementioned eclectic cast features cartoons from Matthew Daniel Siskin and is accompanied by a 25 minute companion film directed by Tillman and Grant James. See both, along with the album art (also by Siskin) and tracklist, below.

father john misty pure comedy.gif

Pure Comedy

  1. Pure Comedy
  2. Total Entertainment Forever
  3. Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution
  4. Ballad of the Dying Man
  5. Birdie
  6. Leaving LA
  7. A Bigger Paper Bag
  8. When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay
  9. Smoochie
  10. Two Wildly Different Perspectives
  11. The Memo
  12. So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain
  13. In Twenty Years of So

See more by Father John Misty here.

Spoon Announces New Album 'Hot Thoughts,' Drops Title Track

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

The idea of a new Spoon record is a hot thought indeed, and following their top quality 2014 release They Want My Soul, Spoon has returned to "old friends" Matador Records to give us just that.

Due out March 17, the watercolor covered LP Hot Thoughts has a tracklist and title track available now, and, while there are no full tour details yet, they have announced a residency at their hometown SXSW festival in the days leading up to the release as well.

"Hot Thoughts" sees Spoon continue co-production with Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Tame Impala) for a jangly yet tight single unafraid to embrace danceability at no expense to rock sensibility. Listen below.

Hot Thoughts:

  1. Hot Thoughts
  2. WhisperI’lllistentohearit
  3. Do I Have to Talk You Into It
  4. First Caress
  5. Pink Up
  6. Can I Sit Next to You
  7. I Ain’t the One
  8. Tear It Down
  9. Shotgun
  10. Us

The Shins Announce New Album 'Heartworms,' Release Tour Dates and Second Single "Name For You"

New Music, Music NewsWeston PaganoComment

Sometimes it's amazing to reflect on how abstract and seemingly random band names become unquestionably normal to us over the years. We give no second thought to Spoon being a music group first and a utensil second, and the oddly conflagrant face value of Arcade Fire is but a distant memory.

So too with The Shins, about as veteran an act as the indie circuit gets with any remaining relevance, can we take a moment to smile at their curious name with fresh eyes. "What's in a name?" is also the repeated question James Mercer asks in "Name For You," the second single from their finally announced fifth LP Heartworms.

Following "Dead Alive," "Name For You" is a sunny track dealing with labels and societal pressures on women today that does what Mercer does best; combining depth in meaning with a flawless pop exterior. There's still no release date, but the forthcoming record due out this year via Columbia now has cover art and some supporting tour dates, both of which you can find below after pressing play.

WHY? Announces New Album, 'Moh Lhean,' Drops Lead Single, "This Ole King"

Music News, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Yoni Wolf and co. are back - WHY? will officially follow up 2012's Mumps, Etc. with forthcoming full-length, Moh Lhean, via Joyful Noise on March 3, 2017.

The first album recorded in Wolf's home studio since his 2003 debut, Oaklandazulasylum, and his first release since Testarossa, his side-project collaboration with Serengeti earlier this year, Moh Lhean looks set to be a forward-facing return to some familiarity.

The new record, co-produced by Wolf's brother Josiah, is introduced by lead single and opening track, "This Ole King." Filled with warm acoustic and xylophone melodies and vocal echoes, it's a lush track on the more organic side of WHY?'s instrumentation and delivery. "This ole king will be rising," Wolf sings with a somewhat uncharacteristically simple optimism. Thankfully the sentiment seems autobiographical.

Check out the the track and tour dates below. You can preorder Moh Lhean here.

Sylvan Esso Drop New Single, "Radio," Have Second Album on the Way

New Music, Music NewsAndrew MeriwetherComment

Grab your dancing shoes and thinking caps, folks, the Durham Duo is at it again. After successful splash onto to scene with their self-titled debut in 2014, Sylvan Esso is back with a new single. “Radio” which will leave their fans tingling with excitement for the sophomore album, which is set to release sometime in 2017.

The track certainly feels like a continuation rather than a departure (the bouncy bass lines and high hat sounds will be all to familiar), but producer Nick Sanborn (Megafaun, Made of Oak) has also added new textures, synths, and patches creating a fresh sonic landscape. Singer Amelia Meath (Mountain Man) is also in excellent form lyrically, maintaining catchy hooks alongside incisive commentary. “Radio” cuts, rather ironically given its own presumably hit single intentions, the pop-music-machine at the knees:

"Now don't you look good sucking american dick
You're so surprised they like you
You're so cute and so quick
Singin' I've got the moves of a TV queen
Faux girl hero in a magazine
Faking the truth in a new pop song
Don't you wanna sing along"

The single will be released on a 12” along with “Kick Jump Twist,” a song that has cropped up occasionally in their live sets, on 11/18.  In the mean time, the band has announced a Fall US tour, likely featuring new music along the way. So keep your ears open, there are sure to be some more groovy tracks coming your way soon enough.

Read our interview with Nick Sanborn here.