New Music Mondays | 1.14.19

New year, new tunes. #NMM!


‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it’ – Lana Del Rey

“Lana Del Rey is back with a new song from Norman Fucking Rockwell, her upcoming album that is rumored to be dropping in March. This is the third song to come out of Lana’s recent collaboration with producer and songwriter Jack Antonoff (Melodrama, Masseduction, Reputation). Four months after the stacked acoustic guitars of ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ and the luxuriously meandering synth of ‘Venice Bitch,’ Lana is accompanied by only a soft piano and the echoes of her own voice as she pleads: ‘Don’t ask if I’m happy/ you know that I’m not/ But at best I can say I’m not sad.’ Despite its Fall Out Boy-esque title, ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it’ is a beautiful and somber reflection on Lana’s inner demons and her attempts to excise them, bathed in the references to classic Americana and the poetic phrasing that we have come to expect from Lana Del Rey over the course of her career.”

– Laura South

 ‘Plains’ – Deerhunter

“Deerhunter has just released ‘Plains,’ the third and most likely final single leading up to the release of their seventh record Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?, the follow up to their 2015 record Fading Frontier. Following ‘Element’ and ‘Death in Midsummer,’ this song finds the band tributing iconic actor James Dean’s role in the film Giant on the quickest single of the three, barely topping two minutes. The song alternates between energetic, bouncy verses and a dreamy chorus, eventually building towards a crescendoed ending. The new record is set to be released on January 18, and Deerhunter will be performing in Boston at the Royale on February 24.”

– Ryan Busse

‘What Chaos is Imaginary’ – Girlpool

‘What Chaos is Imaginary’ is the fourth single and title track of Girlpool’s third album set to release on February 1st. Coming off their criminally underrated sophomore album, Powerplant, the duo sounds more refined than ever, leaving the rough, lo-fi production of their earlier material behind in favor of silky violins and vocals. The song’s atmosphere is simultaneously haunting and calming, an unsettling lullaby of sorts. In this way, it’s reminiscent of the group’s most popular song, ‘Cut Your Bangs,’ a B-Side from 2015’s Before The World Was Big. The lyrics are also just as poetic as ever, building intriguing, but not yet cryptic, metaphors and such poignant descriptions as ‘I watched you like the daily news.’ Girlpool has shown a ton of growth in their sound through the singles so far, and ‘What Chaos is Imaginary’ leaves me even more excited for the album’s fast-approaching release.”

– Grant Foskett

‘Hello Happiness’ – Chaka Khan

You probably know her best for her hits like ‘I’m Every Woman’ and ‘Ain’t Nobody,’ but Chaka Khan (often referred to as ‘The Queen of Funk’) is back with the title track off of her upcoming album, Hello Happiness. With a career spanning over five decades and ten Grammy awards in her back pocket, Ms. Khan is still bringing the R&B, funk vibes in 2019.

The track opens with an almost dream-like intro that quickly transitions into a bass line with so much swagger you’d almost have to actively try to not groove to. Chaka Khan has teamed up with Major Lazer’s Switch to bring us an album that will contain ‘contemporary’ elements while incorporating ‘strong echoes of the past, such as the late 70s NY disco scene.’ When asked about the lyrical meaning of the song, Chaka told the Washington Post, ‘I think we need a shot of just not taking the little things so seriously. Little things are important. It’s about the little things, but just flow.’ ‘Hello Happiness’ will be Chaka Khan’s first album since her 2007 release, Funk This, and is due February 15th on Diary Records via Island Records.”

– Tyler Beresford

‘placeholder’ – Hand Habits

Hand Habits, the solo-project of Meg Duffy, has released the title track, ‘placeholder’ off their forthcoming second album, out on March 1st. This track begins with a simple drum beat, and is then layered with guitar melodies, bass riffs, and echoed vocals. All are thoughtfully intertwined to bring Duffy’s forlorn lyrics to the forefront. They reflect on a past relationship in which Duffy felt like a placeholder, and in each repetition of the chorus they analyze what that even means. The feeling of being secondary is first described as ‘a lesson to be learned’ and ‘a place you will return,’ and later, as merely ‘a place and nothing more.’ The song is later stripped back down to that simple drum beat, a bass riff, and Meg Duffy’s vocals, as the story evolves. The other person spoken of has taken on the opposite role in their next relationship and becomes a placeholder ‘blinded by desire,’ as Duffy was. The guitars gradually come back, and build into a wistful outro, with more atmospheric vocalizations overlayed. The listener is left both calm and pensive: relaxed by the serene vocals, and reflecting on times when they’ve felt the same way.”

– Kailey Williams

‘Cemetery’ – COIN

After a successful run of their first headlining tour and the release of their second album, How Will You Know If You Never Try, Coin is back with new music. Their single ‘Cemetery’ features the same upbeat groove and cheerful beats as their previous albums, but with a slightly darker twist. There is a faint wailing embedded into the background after the chorus. The lyrics are depressing: ‘He was lonely, but it all looked great. Never made time for the family, But he is the richest man in the cemetery.’ The song was inspired by the ‘life-size tombstone (a set prop from [the] album cover),’ and the heart-wrenching emotions that overtook Lawrence after tour ended. He felt that he was so caught up in the rise to stardom, that he forgot and lost the things that were most important to him. This song was a reminder to fans, and Lawrence himself to ‘Make time for what/who matters most.’ Coin’s next album will be more personal than ever, and I can’t wait for them to share it with their fans.”

– Victoria Tan

 

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