"All year long, we wait for sun," sings Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino in this Converse-sponsored collaboration with rapper Kid Cudi and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij. Well, here's some: A speedy blast of harmony-drenched guitar pop, "All Summer" exudes an undeniable beach-party vibe. Like a chocolate-dipped cone from Mister Softee, the tune's three-note hook isn't exactly built to last. (And Cudi's Chuck Taylor shout-out will make you cringe.) But for a de... | More »
Kevin Barnes has been slowly morphing Of Montreal into a straight-up white-soul band for a few years now, and with 'Hydra Fancies' — from the psychedelic Georgia band's upcoming False Priest — he's finally realized his vision. This funky, tight-harmony jam could be a lost Dirty Mind-era Prince cut — at least until Barnes tells his beloved, 'Touching you is like standing on a dragon's tongue.' Hot bonus: a vintage-synth freak-out at the end. | More »
"Teqkilla" (Lost my fone out wiv Nicki Minaj Remix)
An M.I.A. song rarely lacks bad-chick attitude and with its piercing storm-siren beat and its stoner-baiting shout-out to that 'sticky-sticky icky-icky,' this remix is no exception. Nicki Minaj drops by to lend 'Teqkilla' a shot of her street-sweet swag: 'I never, ever take 'em to my mattress,' she raps, sounding like she's had a few. 'I tell 'em, ‘Meet me in the sky, yeah, that's my address.'' Watch out for these two. | More »
"Dr. Feel Good"
A sticky-sweet summer confection if ever there was one, this highlight from Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy finds him teaming up with Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo Green and dishing out whipcrack, mile-a-minute raps between Lo's high-gliding, R&B vocal hook. "Dr. Feelgood" is a brisk, funky number, punctuated by tight guitar stabs and bright blasts of organ. Considering McCoy's addiction to painkillers, which he's since kicked, it's a bit odd to hear him rapping,... | More »
"I L U"
The "L" stands for loved and this dollop of dream-pop from New York trio School of Seven Bells perfectly captures all the sadness and heartache that past-tense verb implies. Over a rippling layer of keyboards and a gentle, surging backbeat, singers Alejandra and Claudia Deheza apply their angelic voices to lyrics about lost love and blown opportunities. It's a rich, moody weeper — the ethereality of the Cocteau Twins fused with the steady, electronic pulse of M83. | More »
"King of the Beach"
Wavves frontman Nathan Williams has only been making lo-fi bedroom punk for two years, but he's already generated a career's worth of hype and backlash, especially after his erratic meltdown on stage at the 2009 Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona. Fortunately, the clanging title track proves he's pulled his act together: "King of the Beach" features a big, bratty melody, booming drums and a catchy, lo-fi guitar hook that scrapes like sandpaper. Williams has also retained a t... | More »
The monochromatically dressed Swedes return with this cover of a 1981 tune by the Indianapolis punk band Zero Boys. The Hives' version is more polished than the original, but it's still as blazing as a rant about the world going to hell in a handbasket ought to be. Howlin' Pelle Almqvist lives up to his nickname as he spits lyrics like "Civilization's crying/And I won't try to deny it/We got a problem, son/Something's gotta be done." Sounds like he's as angr... | More »
Some people might have a hard time picking out "Misery" from a police line-up of Maroon 5 songs. Thankfully, Adam Levine helps us out by getting his ass kicked by a beautiful lady in the video. The song itself is classic M5: blindingly bright Jacksonian disco-pop masking brokenhearted lyrics that once again bridges the dance floor and the light rock station to turn your next elevator ride into a toe-tapping good time. | More »
Finally, the marketing strategy behind Vampire Weekend's name becomes clear: A remarkably anthemic song for the soundtrack to Eclipse, this week's edition of the teen-baiting Twilight vampire saga. With 12-string acoustic guitar, swelling strings, and lyrics that seem to have something to do with "blood," indie rock's poppiest preppies sound startlingly like a junior varsity U2 — which is pretty damn impressive, actually. | More »
Coinciding with a fierce set at this year's Bonnaroo, Jamey Johnson offers another peek into his sprawling, two-CD The Guitar Song, due in September. "Macon" gives voice to a wired, pedal-to-the-metal trucker achin' for his woman, joining a venerable country tradition (see "Six Days on the Road," "Willin'," etc.) over roadhouse piano, gospel backing singers and some hot-shit soloing. It feels like a Southern-rock classic straight out of the gate. | More »
star ratingRandom Access Memories
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