Listen Up!: The Singles Roundup - June 22, 2007
Fri, 22 Jun 2007 16:21:10
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Photos
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Videos
The first day of summer has hit, and we've got the perfect songs to match any of your sun-soaked activities. We've got goth-tinged, chill out grooves for sitting in front of the A/C and dayglo dance-off jams for beachside BBQin'. Let's dive in...
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – "Down Boy" [video]
From the vault of their 2004 songwriting burst in the midst of newfound fame, non-stop touring and more than a fair share of stress comes a YYYs tune that blends a dirge-like keyboard melody with Karen's earnest, pleading warble that explodes into her signature wail matched by Nick Zinner's searing axe work. Boys, you best be listening to Miss O.
St. Vincent – "Now, Now"
Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, can play guitar better than you. Though the song showcases her vocals skills showing her adopt two distinct personalities—one childlike and high-pitched, the other smooth, slow, mature and maternal—the awe comes in the form of her guitar playing. It seems her fingers never stop moving, making it sound more like a harp set to turbo-speed than a 6 string Fender. Keep your ears on this one.
UNKLE feat. The Duke Spirit – "Mayday"
Electro-hop impresario UNKLE takes to the engineering board on this track, letting the sparse garage rock of The Duke Spirit do the dirty work. UNKLE steers the track; supporting the spooky rasp of Liela Moss with a grinding synth that seems like it jumped out of a Depeche Mode hit, and layering the band's slow-mo brand of bluesy post-punk to seal the deal.
Project Jenny - 320
This song has the potential to be the "Informer" (come on, you remember Snow, right?) of the early ‘00s. The song opens to an indecipherable flow of mumbling, accented by Pacman-style chimes. After the first 10 seconds Jeremy Haines, vocalist of the blippy electro-pop duo, starts enunciating and we get to hear his garbled staccato-rap story of paranoia set to catchy-as-hell dub meets videogame beats.
M.I.A. – "Boyz" [video]
Maya Auralpagasm returns with her politically charged international, flourescent rap-dance party. This video is a splash of her signature (and incessant) "na na nas", chipmunk-speed back-up vocals, canned brass horns at the touch of a keyboard stroke and a Microsoft Paint-style graffiti finish. "How many boys are crazy? / How many start a war?" Whether she's talking Bush or lame boyfriends, we're feelin' it.
Menomena – "Rotten Hell"[video]
If there was ever to be a song to soundtrack the analogy of a children's cafeteria food fight turned to a bloody massacre on a war field, it was this one. Ever-so-slightly buzzing guitars and cheerful piano clinks that move as fast as a turtle are the framework for the scene, but just as soon as all hell breaks loose, the song charges into a heated, lo-fi anthem for peace.
Jason Holstrom – "Thieves of Kailua"
Hawaiian music has never been a genre one with discerning musical taste usually regards as "hip", but Seattle-ite Jason Holstrom was inspired by the aloha spirit on his honeymoon and has given the genre a revamped, inspired sound. This track combines indie-pop jauntiness with an orchestra of warm ukuleles, while depicting a vacation robbery. But, don't worry the thieves get caught. Hawaiian music only has happy endings.
El-P - "Smithereens"
Wait a second! El-P's a rapper, right? The song erroneously starts as a '60s maltshop pop number, but then the "dramatic intro machine" shows up and in comes the aggressive crashes and surging beats. El-P's acerbic rhymes run the gamut from "super-duper whores" to war. Sirens and a jazz flute(?!) fill in the background, only adding to the song's chaotic appeal.
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