Having shrunk to a duo within the last year, NYC experimentalists Battles have just released “Titanium 2 Step,” the lead single for the forthcoming long-player Juice B Crypts due out in October via Warp. It’s a frenetic space jam of chaotic funk with Liquid Liquid’s Sal Principato lending sporadic vocal yelps. The band is currently on tour in Europe, hitting the US in early December.
Alt-rock singer/songwriter Juliana Hatfield returns with her second record of 2019 with a tribute to the Police, covering a smattering of the trio’s classics and deeper cuts. This stands as Hatfield’s second covers record, having paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John back in 2018, and it’s a tradition she hopes to continue. She released the insular and reflective Weird, her 17th solo album, back in January of this year. Hatfield’s teaser for the upcoming covers record is her version of “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da,” which suits her style amazingly well. I hadn’t previously heard a Police influence in her solo work, but I can’t un-hear it now.
Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police is out in November on American Laundromat Records. You can pre-order it here.
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has released his latest solo album, ANIMA, to streaming services. The physical edition comes out July 19. Yorke continues to explore his nervous dread of modern life over skittering, twitchy beats. It’s cautiously optimistic music that requires an attentive listener, despite being enveloped in existential unease.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson, who worked with Radiohead on the video for “Daydreaming,” has directed a short film to coincide with ANIMA’s release and features Yorke and actress Dajana Roncione. It is streaming now on Netflix.
A definitive version of Silkworm’s 1994 classic In The West is forthcoming from Comedy Minus One records. It has been remixed from the original two-inch tape by Steve Albini, who also served as the engineer on the initial recording sessions. The physical release will be on double vinyl with re-imagined artwork and limited to 1500 copies. A bonus CD completes the package featuring 7″ b-sides and a live version of “Halloween.” This streaming version of album highlight “Dremate” is limited to the download accompaniment to the bundle.
Despite being released in the midst of college radio’s halcyon days, this record has never before been released on vinyl. Mindblowingly, Silkworm also released Libterine later that same year.
Christians have been awaiting the second coming of Jesus Christ for more than two millennia, now. Comparatively, we had to wait just under 15 years for Black Messiah.
Notoriously reclusive R&B superstar D’Angelo quickly and quietly released Black Messiah, the long-awaited follow-up to 2000’s Voodoo, to iTunes and Spotify last night, after teasing the album over the weekend by dropping a 15-second album trailer on Friday and first single “Sugah Daddy” on Saturday.
Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a follow-up, and the track record for albums with such long waits, uh, isn’t good. (See: Chinese Democracy; SMiLE.) But damn if Black Messiah, on first listen, is well worth the delay. Black Messiah is a superlative funk record in the vein of Prince circa Prince, Sly circa There’s a Riot Going On and P-Funk circa “Maggot Brain,” thanks in large part to D’Angelo’s fierce and fluid backing band The Vanguard. “Sugah Daddy,” teased earlier in the weekend, is vintage D’Angelo, sexy and sprightly and playful. And the vicious, quasi-industrial “1000 Deaths” is already making me regret submitting my Village Voice Pazz + Jop ballot early.
As part of the Lorde-curated soundtrack for Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, Charli XCX has teamed up with Duran Duran‘s Simon Le Bon for a dramatic piano ballad called “Kingdom.” She wrote the song with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij after they spent a drunken night at a Miley Cyrus concert. She recently told Pitchfork that Lorde insisted on bringing in someone from a different era and that she was excited “to be working with someone who’s iconic and from a different time than me.” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 soundtrack is out now via Republic.
Even though his de facto method of transmission with Dinosaur Jr. is at ear-splitting volume, J Mascis proves his chops are not merely a byproduct of noise with an acoustic performance for NPR. Mascis runs through a medley of songs off his latest solo record for Sub Pop, the unsurprisingly solid Tied to a Star, as well as the Dinosaur Jr. classic “Little Furry Things.” [via Spin]