Sufjan Stevens, Blush, & Cults Share Generously In Top Songs Of The Week - December 8
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:09:49
We are now one full week through December and everyone is gearing up for the holidays, which means presents are in store for those of us who have managed to be good. It seems like music fans on the whole have managed to stay in the light, which is evidenced by the new tracks that were delivered this week, some of them after such a very, very long wait.
Sufjan Stevens recently revealed that he has been trying to write a song about Tonya Harding for quite some time now and unveiled both the music and his struggles. Blush, the Brooklyn-based shoegaze trio made up of members of Darlings, Pill and Pop, delivered their third single (and also their dreamy debut album). In the spirit of the season, Cults sent out a thank you to fans via a new track, covering a song from the opening act of their recent tour.
Tim Showalter delivered a new, unheard Strand of Oaks song, which will be included on an album of unreleased material in 2018. Eau Claire's Idle Empress unveiled two great new songs that we are so very hoping make their upcoming debut full length. And that was only the beginning for a week filled with attractive new material and holiday cheer, so without further ado, here are ARTISTdirect's top songs of the week:
Sufjan Stevens — "Tonya Harding"
Speaking about his new song, Sufjan said, "I admit, early drafts of this song contained more than a few puns, punch lines and light-hearted jabs — sex tapes and celebrity boxing make for an entertaining narrative arc. But the more I edited, and the more I meditated, and the more I considered the wholeness of the person of Tonya Harding, I began to feel a conviction to write something with dignity and grace, to pull back the ridiculous tabloid fodder and take stock of the real story of this strange and magnificent America hero. At the end of the day, Tonya Harding was just an ordinary woman with extraordinary talent and a tireless work ethic who set out to do her very best. She did that and more. I hope the same can be said of us all."
Blush — "Baby Don't Blush"
Maura Lynch fronts the Brooklyn-based band Blush, which is made up of members of Darlings, Pill, and Pop. The band's debut album dropped today, but earlier this week we were treated to their dreamy third single, "Baby Don't Blush". Mixing shoegaze with retro pop, the song is able to successfully deliver the kind of hazy beauty that one would want from a cloud-covered day spent on the streets of New York. The nunanced Television-style riffs and sweet vocals leave a mark of cherry lipstick on the door of your idealized Brooklyn brownstone.
Cults — "I Got Your Message" [ft. Christopher Owens] (Hideout Cover)
Cults accompanied this new track with a message: "Hello everybody! We just wanted reach out and thank you guys for coming out to what was honestly our favorite tour yet. We spent a good bit of time working on this music and we had no idea how this tour was going to go down but you guys blew away our expectations night after night.
"As a gift we wanted to send you guys a link to a song we recorded a few months ago. It's kind of a full circle thing as it's a cover of a song of the band that opened the majority of the tour (Hideout) featuring Christopher Owens from Curls who also did support for the California dates. We think it's a fun little ditty and we hope you guys enjoy it.
"Y'all are the best for showing up and making this tour as awesome as it was. We'll see you out in Europe in January and hopefully everywhere else throughout the rest of the year. ❤️ "
Strand of Oaks — "Passing Out"
Tim Showalter is known for living somewhat of a hedonistic, rock star lifestyle, so titling his newest song "Passing Out" seems to make a certain kind of sense. For those of you expecting a hard rocking track, you may be disappointed, but we certainly aren't. Instead, the song is more akin to late '80s and early '90s indie, with a bit of Springsteen thrown in for good measure. It can be found on the Strand of Oaks forthcoming album, Harder Love, which is made up of tracks that didn't make the final cut of the his outstanding similarly-titled album from earlier in the year.
Idle Empress — "Habits"
Minneapolis folk trio Idle Empress still is yet to release a full-length album, but when they do, we hope both of the new singles "Habits" and "Envy" make the cut. On "Habits", singer Lauren Anderson is resigned to her fate of falling back in with someone that she knows is no good. It's a feeling we can all relate to, and Idle Empress expresses it with a rare combination of beauty and elemental honesty.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff