Starting any article off with “It’s been a tumultuous week” is a bit redundant these days.
Every day is tumultuous in 2017. North Korea’s shooting missiles, Donny T’s wishing Texan flood victims “Good Luck”, and white Australian politicians are still explaining what January 26 means to them. Thank Yahweh for music, though. ‘Cause no matter how tough these times get, you can always count on a pretty little melody to get you through, y’know? It’s just like Kid Rock says—”If people had good albums, they’d be buying albums. But people are buying singles because they only have good songs.” Here’s the best of them.
The National – ‘Day I Die’
There aren’t many bands you can count on in terms of consistency anymore. I used to store my hope in Interpol, but then they released El Pinto. Same goes for The Strokes, before that whole Comedown Machine thing happened. The National seem to be the last bastian of hope—a band you can bank on to keep kicking out the jams. Here’s another fine example, ‘Day I Die’, another single from their upcoming album, Sleep Well Beast. The accompanying clip features 5,000 images compressed into a video using special software created by director Casey Reas himself.
Frank Ocean – ‘Provider’
Frank Ocean is full of surprises. Remember last year when you were just sitting around toasting crumpets and he casually dropped his second album, Blond, out of nowhere? And then it went on to sell 276,000 copies in its first week and knocked Drake off the top spot, all as an independent release? Well, he’s gone and done it again with this track, ‘Provider’, which he debuted on Monday on his Beats 1 radio show. Maybe he’s teasing something bigger? Hold the crumpets.
King Krule – ‘Czech One’
‘Czech One’ is the first new music released under the moniker King Krule since 2013’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. Though in 2015, he released music under his really fantastic birth name, Archy Marshall. Archy Marshall is the quintessential childhood friend’s name you recite when waxing nostalgic about the time you guys made a sling shot out of Jacinta Wright’s stockings and took Max Brigg’s eye out. Those were the days. Anyway, fingers crossed this means a follow up album is on the way.
Jonathan Bree – ‘You’re So Cool’
So true, Jono. You are so cool. But also like, a total enigma. I’m embarrassed to admit until I heard this song, I’d never heard you. Which makes me tres uncool. But since the discovery, I’ve done my homework and found a bounty of goods from the New Zealand producer, and you should too.
Liars – ‘No Tree No Branch’
Whoa, whoa. The Liars are back! Well, at least one member of the OG lineup is. Angus Andrew is going it alone on this one after the departure of Aaron Hemphill, who recently left the band after 17 years. The diversity of Liars’ sound never ceases to amaze me. It’s not just each album that sounds markedly different from the last; it’s each song, too. Somehow, though, they still manage to sound exactly like themselves. Freaks. Their new album, TFCF, just dropped this week.