Songs of the Week: Beck, Black Lips and More
Here's everything you need to hear from the week of 10/14
It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through October. Halloween will be here before we know it, but there are still plenty of new highly anticipated albums to be released before the end of the year. This week we got a taste of several of them in form of new tracks from Beck, Gang Starr, Michael Kiwanuka and more. As always, we’ve compiled the best and most noteworthy into a handy playlist for your listening pleasure. Check it all out below.
Beck, “Uneventful Days”
Yesterday, Beck released the first taste of Hyperspace, his upcoming 14th studio album due out Nov. 22 via Capitol Records. The synth-heavy “Uneventful Days” is co-written and co-produced by Pharrell, and in a recent interview with NME, the singer revealed that he wasn’t sure what to expect from the collaboration. “I was not expecting the songs to come out how they did,” he said. “I was going in thinking of songs like ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, y’know? He felt very strongly that spending a little time with me, that ‘You need to be doing singer-songwriter type of songs’. So that was more of the direction we went in.”
Black Lips, “Odelia”
These Atlanta garage-rock favorites make their return with the country-tinged “Odelia,” the first single from their follow-up to 2017’s Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? We’ll have to wait till next year for the new, as-yet-untitled record (due out via Vice and Fire Records), but for now we’ve got the driving track — recorded direct to 2″ tape at Laurel Canyon’s Valentine Recording Studios — to tide us over.
Gang Starr, “Bad Name”
Last month, Gang Starr gave us their first new single in 16 years, and this week, they’re back again with another new track, “Bad Name,” and the happy news that a full-length album is on the way. One of the Best Yet will be out Nov. 1, almost a decade after Guru’s 2010 death. “I never lost faith, or wavered. I still felt it inside of me, it just happened to be nine years later (after Guru’s passing),” DJ Premier said in a press release. “We all want the things we want right now, but I am a patient guy. I hung in there and I just kept believing.”
Perfume Genius, “Pop Song”
The lush “Pop Song” is the second glimpse of the music Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas wrote for The Sun Still Burns Here, a dance and live performance collaboration with choreographer Kate Wallich. The show will premiere at New York’s Joyce Theater on Nov. 13.
Animal Collective, “Autumn Rites”
After releasing “Summer Blaze” back in August, Animal Collective are back again just in time for the changing leaves with the sprawling, 21-minute “Autumn Rites.” The ambient song is the B-side to their New Psycho Actives, Vol. 2, and it features background audio of children playing in what sounds like a park or a haunted house. (“Be careful near the witch,” an adult can be heard warning them.)
IDLES, “MOTHER (Live at le Bataclan)”
You haven’t truly experienced the music of U.K. punks IDLES until you’ve been to one of their cathartic live shows, so it’s fitting that the band announced a live album this week. To tease the December release of A Beautiful Thing: IDLES Live at Le Bataclan (recorded in Paris in 2018), they shared the live version of Brutalism favorite “MOTHER.”
Matt Berninger ft. Phoebe Bridgers, “Walking on a String”
We have Zach Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns: The Movie to thank for this lovely collaboration between The National frontman Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers. “[Director] Scott Aukerman called and told me he and Zach had an important scene in a honky-tonk bar in middle America,” Berninger said. “They needed a band and a song and said I could do whatever I wanted. My wife Carin and I wrote the lyrics really quickly and I called Tony Berg to produce. I didn’t realize he was in the studio with Phoebe at the time but she graciously let me crash her sessions and that’s when we had the idea to turn it into a duet.”
Michael Kiwanuka, “Hero”
The latest single from Michael Kiwanuka’s forthcoming KIWANUKA (out Nov. 1) is an ode to Civil Rights heroes like Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and Martin Luther King. “‘Hero’ is a song about how the gems of this world always seem to die young, and how those who are oppressed often seem to have the most to offer us,” Kiwanuka said in a statement.
White Reaper, “Saturday”
White Reaper’s excellent You Deserve Love is out today, and “Saturday” is the perfect track to carry us into the weekend. “I brought too many drinks with me and a ten-ton bucket of gasoline,” frontman Tony Esposito sings. “But I’m dressed for the occasion, so I’m staying till it’s done or till I’m thrown.”
Porches’ latest also features vocals from Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, and it comes with a statement from Aaron Maine about the state of his project: “Like any other type of diary, when you open up an old one you can feel all sorts of things: proud, ashamed, excited, mortified, humbled, out of your mind, smart, idiotic. I feel all of these things about Porches,” he said. “For as many turns the music has made, I’ve decided to stick to the Porches moniker, to come to terms with and confront my evolution as an artist as well as a person. As clunky as that may be, it comes back to wanting to accept and explore who I am, what I feel, and how I communicate that. I want to swim to the bottom of myself and find the weirdest most special and pure shit that I can offer.”
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