Category Archives: Track Reviews

David Bowie – “Where Are We Now?”

David Bowie - The Next DayIt’s been a long time since David Bowie‘s last album, so the news of a new release is a big deal.

“Where Are We Now?,” the first single from his upcoming album The Next Day, is the first we’ve heard from Bowie since 2003. In those 10 years, I’ve been spending more and more time with his classics like The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, “Heroes,” and Hunky Doryand judging by the cover art for The Next Day, Bowie might have spent some time looking back as well.

One thing I’ve come to love about him is that the Bowie on “Heroes” is way different than the Bowie on Ziggy, and neither of those are the man we hear on “Where Are We Now?.” In the video, he looks and sounds even older than his 66 years. It’s beautiful, though, and I can’t wait to hear more of this Bowie.

Check out the video for “Where Are We Now?” below. The Next Day is out March 11 via Columbia.

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The Men – “Electric”

The Men - New MoonKeeping up with their unstoppable pace, The Men are putting out a new album this year. The band traveled to Big Indian, N.Y. to record New Moon — which will be released March 5 on Sacred Bones.

The album’s first single, “Electric,” is garage-punk perfection. Though they’ve toned down the distortion of their earliest releases, the new song still packs a blown-out Stooges punch.

Last year’s Open Your Heart was one of our top records, and it’d be no surprise to find New Moon on our 2013 list.

Stream “Electric” below.

Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”

Ra Ra Riot - Beta LoveRa Ra Riot‘s third album, Beta Love, sounds like it’s going to be a big departure from their earlier records The Orchard and The Rhumb Line. The album’s first two singles, “Beta Love” and “When I Dream,” kept their signature strings but piled on drum machines and synths.

“Dance With Me” totally ditches the chamber pop for a snaking bassline, thick synths and dance music. It could be the catchiest song they’ve ever written, and I can’t be the only one anxiously waiting to find out what other surprises Beta Love has.

Beta Love is out January 22 on Barsuk.

Ty Segall’s Fuzz – “This Time I Got a Reason” & “Fuzz’s Fourth Dream”

Fuzz - This Time I Got a ReasonAs if putting out three great albums in one year wasn’t enough, Ty Segall has formed another new band. The ambitious performer is joined by Ty Segall Band guitarist Charlie Moothart in the appropriately titled Fuzz.

The group’s debut 7″, “This Time I Got a Reason” b/w “Fuzz’s Fourth Dream” on Trouble in Mind Records, is already sold out, but you can stream both cuts below.

Ra Ra Riot – “When I Dream” and “Beta Love”

Ra Ra Riot - Beta LoveRa Ra Riot is releasing a new album next month. Beta Love is the group’s third album and first as a four piece (cellist Alexandra Lawn recently left, and the group is still without a permanent drummer). While it doesn’t have the cool backstory of The Orchard — all we’ve really heard is that the new LP was recorded in Mississippi — Beta Love‘s first two tracks sound every bit as interesting.

The album’s first single, the title track, has a Passion Pit bounce in its step and a New Wave synth that they’ve been subtly incorporating for years.

The second, the just-released “When I Dream,” has a soft, nocturnal drum machine tapping in the background. Singer Wes Miles lays down a bit more R&B than usual, accompanied by their signature strings.

Both songs are a huge step out of Ra Ra Riot’s indie chamber-pop comfort zone. Beta Love was already on our list of albums to watch next year, but it might have just soared to the top.

Stream both tracks below. Beta Love is out January 22 via Barsuk.

Marnie Stern – “Year of the Glad”

Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of MarniaMarnie Stern is an unlikely guitar god. She can shred with the best of ’em — tapping solos and all, but Stern says her newest album — The Chronicles of Marnia — is less “nutso,” peeling back “a lot of unnecessary interweaving guitar parts.”

In addition to the musical changes, The Chronicles of Marnia is also Stern’s first album without drummer Zach Hill (Death Grips, ex Hella) and her first with a producer.

Stream the album’s first single, “Year of the Glad,” below. The Chronicles of Marnia is out March 19 on Kill Rock Stars.

Snoop Lion – “Here Comes the King”

Snoop Lion - Here Comes the KingOK, so Snoop Dogg‘s transformation to Snoop Lion wasn’t quite as dramatic (or permanent) as he made it seem. He’s still been performing regularly with his original name, but his reggae project is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

After releasing “La La La” this summer, Snoop is back with another Major Lazer-produced track, “Here Comes the King.” The new song, which features Angela Hunte on vocals, has the tempo and chords of reggae, but at its heart it’s hip-hop.

Snoop does what he does best: rapping, but “Here Comes the King” (and Snoop Lion in general) is still something new.