Hey Earholers, it's Darren. I gave Porter the week off from this article as a St. Paddy's day gift, so you've gotta deal with me and me alone. King Kindrick undoubtedly overshadows the rest of the New Music Tuesday offerings this week, but there are certainly other songs deserving of a good listen.
"The Best Room" - Modest Mouse
Finally, there's a new Modest Mouse album. Strangers to Ourselves as a whole has a couple peaks and a few too many valleys, but "The Best Room" is one of the album's solid offerings. It's got everything we've come to expect from a Modest Mouse song: a driving backbeat, Issac Brock's signature voice, simple but strong guitar riffs. It's straighforwardly Modest Mouse, which is never a bad thing.
"Washed By The Water - Live From The Woods" - NEEDTOBREATHE
I've never really listened to NEEDTOBREATHE for one reason or another. The fact that their name is in ALL CAPS surely doesn't help. But, this is a damn good rock song. It opens slowly to build suspense, with sustained guitar notes giving way to Bear Rinehart's dominant, space-filling voice. Hard driving guitar starts off the real fun, and you're on an enjoyable ride from there.
"Psycho" - Muse
Tell us how you really feel, Matt Bellamy. In the first taste of Muse's upcoming record Drones, Bellamy bluntly details the mindset of a military officer whipping one of his soldiers in to shape. The powerful call-and-response conversation between the officer and soldier throughout the song carries Bellamy's message:
Are you a human drone!?
Are you a killing machine!?
I'm in control, motherfucker, do you understand!?!
In typical Muse fashion, grubmling guitars both provide the foundation and move the song along, while Bellamy's relatively high pitched, slow tempo wail rets on top.
"Baby Britain" - Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield
Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers (shouts to Concord!) and singer/songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield created a strong bond over the music of the late Elliott Smith. The former touring mates fleshed out this bond with of covers aptly titled Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith. Their version of "Baby Britain" closely follows the overall sound of Smith's original, with one noteworthy exeption: the beautiful harmony between Avett and Mayfield.
"Let It Happen" - Tame Impala
This song isn't brand new, per se -- Pitchfork named it Best New Track last week, and Treske included it on Filet Mig -- but it's on the New Music Tuesday list this week, and I'm including it. "Let It Happen" is an excellent song from a band getting in a habit of putting out excellent music. When Kevin Parker sings the lyric "let it happen," he could be talking about Tame Impala's surprising ascendency. The man's an introvert -- his previous albums are called Innerspeaker and Lonerism -- but he makes really good music, which presents a rather troubling situation.
"Let It Happen" features heavy editing with a master's touch; it almost sounds like 2 or 3 song ideas meshed into one eight minute thought. This heavy editing contradicts the idea of "letting things happen," perhaps mirroring Parker's personal contradiction of being an introverted yet supremely talented musician. Whether all this analysis holds water or not, Parker gave us a magnificent song which hopefully signals good things to come from Tame Impala.
"King Kunta" - Kendrick Lamar
This whole article was really an exercise in determining second place for the week. All hail King Kendrick.