here they are:
"Control" by Broken Bells: Broken Bells' latest album is called "After the Disco". So what IS after the disco? New wave?! From the sound of their latest song, "Control", I would certainly think so! Opening with fuzzy guitars and a flange soaked bass (and a soulful sax solo to boot), "Control" is the best song David Bowie never wrote. As usual, though, James Mercer adds a Shins-y touch of light pop-rock bounce and lovely, sweet harmony to the song. Perhaps this could be said to be a "sequel song" to their previous hit from "After the Disco", "Holding On For Life". In that song, they were talking about clinging to things, but in this one, they talk about losing control. Will their next song have a theme of trying to get things back to normal?! We'll see. Only time will tell.
"Don't Just Sit There" by Lucius: With the relentless, danceable energy of Lucius' previous song, "Turn It Around", I was expecting "Don't Just Sit There" to be just as catchy if not more so. It's not. However, it is the perfect song to listen to after a bad day with its more melancholy folk-rock-y flavor. "Don't Just Sit There" is a rather somber, brokenhearted song about the aftermath of a breakup. The song has a bit of an R.E.M.-ish jangle-pop sound, as well as gently strummed acoustic guitars in the background. Lucius - do they want to make us tap our feet or cry our eyes out?! I guess we'll never know for sure until we hear other songs of theirs!
"I Don't Know You Anymore" by Bob Mould: As an ex-punk rocker, Bob Mould doesn't always make an immediate connection with the more mellowed out adult alt crowd. One of the few times he did was with the beautiful, R.E.M.-ish "See A Little Light" back in 1988. "I Don't Know You Anymore" isn't exactly Bob's mellowest, but I guess with the rise of bands who have a brand of "Springsteen-ian punk" (Hold Steady, Gaslight Anthem) who have become popular with the adult alt audiences, a song like "I Don't Know You Anymore" is probably more palatable to those whose taste in music is more soft and melodic than it would have been 10 or 20 years ago. "I Don't Know You Anymore" does indeed boast a sound similar to groups like The Hold Steady and The Gaslight Anthem. The song rocks relentlessly, but it also has a sense of pathos underneath it all that not every rock song does.
"Saturday Night" by G. Love and Special Sauce: G. Love's "Nothing Quite Like Home" came out in winter of this year, and that song brought back the signature blend of rock, blues, jazz, and hip-hop that G. Love had originally become known for. His second single of the year, "Saturday Night", doesn't rock out quite as hard as "Nothing Quite Like Home", but it is still worth listening to. G. Love might be a Pennsylvania native, but the spicy gumbo he cooks up with the drums and harmonica of "Saturday Night" make it seem like it comes from down south in Louisiana instead! "Saturday Night" is a bit more folk-rock-y than his previous hit of 2014, but it still has just the right sort of flavor for the typical G. Love fan to indulge him/herself in. The song is basically the auditory equivalent of eating a jar of salsa marked "mild".
"Weight of Love" by The Black Keys: Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney seem to enjoy the comparisons to classic rock musicians they have gotten with their last two albums. As any fan of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, or The Rolling Stones knows, "rock" doesn't always have to be hard, and some of the best known rock songs are quite ambitious in terms of their length and/or structure. The Black Keys' "Weight of Love" is BOTH!! It is a softer song (at least it starts as one), that clocks in at almost seven minutes!! It seems to take the form of a Floyd-esque "stoner jam" during its first two minutes, which are entirely instrumental. Turn on, tune in, and drop out with The Black Keys. Wow, I never thought I'd say THOSE words together in one sentence!!
"West Coast" by Lana Del Rey: For a pop star, Lana Del Rey is quite bittersweet in pretty much all of her songs! I can't really think of a happy Lana Del Rey song, actually. This is a good thing for me, though, since it proves that you don't have to sound happy or energetic to be popular. "West Coast" continues to go in the poignant direction of Lana's other material. There are some things that are noticeably different about "West Coast", though. For one, the song seems to be almost like a Moody Blues song for the indie-pop generation, alternating between faster verses and a slower chorus. It is also one of the few songs of hers in which the electric guitar plays a central part. The guitar also stays throughout the song, rather than wandering off into the background like it did in "Blue Jeans". The guitar we get on "West Coast" is drenched in reverb, but a rather sad sort of reverb, serving more as an echo of painful emotions than merely as a "psychedelic" sound effect used in the song.
"Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" by Arctic Monkeys: And now we have yet another song that uses a reverb guitar sound. This one is a more bouncy, energetic kind of reverb, though (is there such a thing as a sad Arctic Monkeys song?!) Much as the title of this song would indicate, "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" has a rather mischievous sound, as though someone is creeping up and down a stairway in the middle of the night. Midnight (or rather, after midnight) is when the song takes place, actually, so they probably used this sound on the song on purpose. The lyrics basically give out the message of "don't bother me, I'm trying to sleep, and you're on drugs", but the song itself tells an entirely different story!