Songs of the Week: Green Day, The Who and More
This week was a big one for music news, from the announcement of Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy’s joint “Hella Mega” Tour to the sad revelation that lo-fi legend Daniel Johnston passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack. With all that going on, you’d be forgiven for letting a few new tracks slip under your radar. But we’ve got your back: from a killer Springsteen cover to a new Charlie’s Angels theme to a new protest song by some classic rock icons, there’s plenty to digest this week. Check it all out in our handy playlist below.
Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey, “Don’t Call Me Angel”
This highly anticipated collaboration between three of the biggest names in pop — Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey — was released late Thursday night. “Don’t Call Me Angel” is, as you might have guessed, on the soundtrack for the forthcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot written and directed by Elizabeth Banks. Grande takes the lead on the hook, but Cyrus delivers one of track’s best lines while in a boxing ring: “I make my own money, and I write my own checks/So say my name with a little respect.” The Charlie’s Angels soundtrack drops Nov. 1, and the movie hits theaters Nov. 15.
Angel Olsen, “Lark”
“Lark” is the second single from Angel Olsen’s upcoming All Mirrors (out Oct. 4th via Jagjaguwar), and it’s an absolute stunner. “‘Lark’ is a song that took many years to finish,” Olsen said in a press release. “The disjointed feelings and verses of this song began to make sense as a way for me to exercise a kind of journey through grieving, a kind of personal struggle. The message of the song developed at first from an argument I once had with someone about trust and support. Later, I pulled from recurring themes in my life as a musician and as a human that dreams for a living. It’s easy to promise the world to those we love, but what about when our dreams change and values split?”
Green Day, “Father of All…”
With all the other Green Day news this week (a tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy, a new album announcement, their weird Twitter presence), “Father Of All…” might have been slightly overshadowed. Our first taste of their new record of the same name (due out Feb. 7, 2020) features Billie Joe Armstrong showing off his falsetto, declaring “there’s a riot living inside of us.”
Lucy Dacus, “Dancing in the Dark”
Lucy Dacus’s holiday-themed single series has already featured tracks to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the Fourth of July this year, and her latest — an excellent cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” — is pegged to the Boss’s 70th birthday on Sept. 23. (And you know what? Springsteen’s birthday should be considered a holiday.)
R.E.M.’s “Fascinating” isn’t exactly new.”Various versions of the track, which was originally recorded during the sessions for 2001’s Reveal, have found their way online over the years, but this week the band finally officially released it in support of victims of Hurricane Dorian. All proceeds from the track will go to benefit Mercy Corps in their work helping those in the Bahamas impacted by Dorian. Buy it at Bandcamp.
Kim Gordon, “Air BnB”
The video for Kim Gordon’s new single (from her forthcoming No Home Record album, out Oct. 11th via Matador) offers a pretty clever solution to her lack of budget. “This video was supposed to be shot in an Air Bnb,” white text reads while the track plays. “There wasn’t any money though to make it.” As the song goes on, descriptions of what we would have seen (“think faux mid-century modern on top of the Hollywood Hills,” “I would be rubbing the guitar on everything”) appear onscreen. It’s funny, but next time, can we give Kim Gordon as much money as she needs?
FKA twigs ft. Future, “holy terrain”
“Do you still think I’m beautiful when my tears fall like rain?” FKA twigs asks on the moody “holy terrain.” The song, on which twigs declares that her love is “so bountiful for a man who can follow his heart,” features a strong assist from Future, who raps, “We die, we die together, the prophecy complete/… If you pray for me I know you play for keeps.”
Vivian Girls, “Sludge”
The video for Vivian Girls’ “Sludge,” from their comeback album Memory (out Sept. 20th via Polyvinyl), was directed by Alex Ross Perry. As the Her Smell director notes, the collaboration was a natural fit. “I just counted: there are four different photos of Vivian Girls in the look book I made for Her Smell,” he says in a statement. “So if you had told me when I was first seeing them at Death by Audio (or was it Union Pool?) in 2008 (or was it late 2007?) that over a decade later, we’d be collaborating on a music video, I would have been alarmed at the specificity of this prophecy.”
Twin Peaks, “Oh Mama”
Twin Peaks’ fourth studio album, Lookout Low, is out today (Sept. 13th), and earlier this week the Chicago five-piece dropped the music video for the catchy “Oh Mama.” “‘Oh Mama’ is a song about the moon and lunacy,” Clay Frankel said in a press release. “We did three takes and used the first. I had a loose plan for the lyrics. Some of them I made up as I went along. For the video we made a swamp bar. We hit a few costume shops in Chicago and got some stuff. We made things blue and sometimes gold and we hope you enjoy it.”
The Who, “Ball and Chain”
In a couple months, The Who will release their first album in 13 years, and late last night we got our first taste of it with the political “Ball and Chain.” WHO will be out Nov. 22 via Polydor, and it sounds like it’ll be a doozy. “I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973,” Roger Daltrey said in a statement. “Pete hasn’t lost it. He’s still a fabulous songwriter, and he’s still got that cutting edge.”
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