I’m a bit late to this track, but I love it. This Charlotte Cardin song, “Big Boy”, feels like where Esthero was coming from with her 1988 luxury “Breath from Another”. Cardin’s recent release is all about a used love and is sexy as hell with its lyrics about kissed necks and R&B-infused indie slinking. The singer-songwriter teases with the opening line of possibility: “Maybe if I spell it, big boy, you’ll take me out proper.” The rest of the EP (of the samed name) is just as good, with “Talk Talk” being the highlight of the album. She’s got a strong but deep-throated rasp not unlike the great Angela McCluskey. Follow Cardin on twitter and facebook. Note: Photo: John Londono. — David D. Robbins Jr.
How great is this new Wilco track? This song has been on heavy rotation in my apartment. Wilco busted out a kind of late-60s Beatles sound (think Revolver) with their first new single, “Locator”, since last year’s release Star Wars. The song features heavy, scuzzy guitar with feedback and lyrics about a big brother culture told through lines about an inescapable omnipresent eye like a GPS for all humanity. “Locator” is available for free through the band’s website (in exchange for an email address). Follow Wilco at twitter and facebook. — David D. Robbins Jr.
We should just declare San Francisco artist Sean Hayes a national treasure — an underappreciated one, that’s for sure. The guy’s been making fantastic music for awhile now, tweaking his sound here and there, blending his folky-soul with everything he’s picked up around the Bay Area, and singing his heart out amid a West Coast circuit. There are only so many artists who are as pure a songwriters as Hayes — who can easily place himself into the canon with musicians like AA Bondy, Joe Henry, Joey Kneiser and even Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. He’s that good. But don’t look for him on sites like Pitchfork and Spin or hitting the next lat-mnight show — at least not yet anyway. But if there’s any justice in this world, perhaps his audience will expand beyond the dedicated group who know what they’ve been lucky enough to hear for the past decade and a half. The syrupy-paced “Love That Woman” is the first real single his fans have heard since his 2012 LP release, Before We Turn To Dust. The new song will be featured on his upcoming recording Low Light, out August 19th. Without hearing the record, it’s easy to understand why the record is called Low Light — because Hayes has been singing in it throughout his career. He sings songs for the lovelorn, the contemplative, the romantic and the soulful that best love the dawn. Note: Follow Sean Hayes on facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Boston’s Cousin Stizz is following up his stellar 2015 mixtape Suffolk County with a new single, “500 Horses”, from off his upcoming July release MONDA. Their Bated Breath put Suffolk County on the 2015 TBB’s Best Albums of the Year list. His new track keeps the pace, firing out a catchy hook: “My life is moving like 500 horses / Think I’m addicted to riding in Porches.” Follow Cousin Stizz at facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Angel Olsen just posted a new song (with video), her first since her 2014 LP Burn Your Fire For No Witness, that looks like a teaser to a new record. The new song (listed as “Intern” on Shazam from the album My Woman) sounds both contemporary and oddly vintage, tracing back to those slow-burn synth ballad’s from 1980s pop. It’s dreamy and minimal, Olsen’s voice up front, languid and easy, spectral backing vocals cooing away in the background, sensually, before the singer-songwriter begins singing in a higher register: “Something in the world will make a fool of you … / Falling in love and I swear it’s the last ….” It’s a gorgeous self-reflective love song that seems to be about risk, authenticity, identity, dreaming (a prominent Olsen topic) and running headfirst into love. The video appears to play on the notion of stardom, moving from a faux-interview outside a trailer home, behind the scenes in a TV-show dressing room and onstage. Burn Your Fire For No Witness was one of Their Bated Breath’s Best 14 LPs of 2014 and “Unfucktheworld” the best song of 2014 via the TBB list. Video written and directed by Olsen (with collaborative input from Ashley Connor and Jethro Waters). Notes: Images are screen captures from the video. Lyrics are unofficial. Follow Jagjaguwar artist Angel Olsen on twitter and facebook. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Cymbals Eat Guitars seem to be looking backward in their move forward. There’s something very David Bowie’s Thin White Duke or Rolling Stones Some Girls and Lou Reed about this new streaming track from Cymbals Eat Guitars “Wish”. Whether it’s the spastic digitized saxophone experimentation or the gorgeous 80s synth melodies mixed with heavy thumping percussion and athemic chorus. Frankly, the typography on the cover of the upcoming LP release (Pretty Years) hearkens back to the late 60s or early 70s, not unlike the font used by Interview magazine. This is a far cry from the sullen style Cymbals Eat Guitars began with on their 2009 debut Why There Are Mountains, back when I first saw the band play live. It’s good to see the band expanding with each release, growing even more confident Highly dynamic singer Joseph D’Agostino seems to be channeling Bruce Springsteen in his vocal delivery. The lyrics are wonderful too: “Eleven months and not a word from you / But then out of the long dark blue.” There’s a very cool exchange (you don’t hear many indie bands do) when D’Agostino sings a verse which sound like “I watch the waving, distance trees” and it’s followed by a light backing vocal rhyme: “Can we shut the lights please?” “Wish” is a great track. Pre order Pretty Years out September 16 via Sinderlyn. — David D. Robbins Jr.