New Music Round-Up 11/1/19: Gang Starr, Tame Impala, Pinegrove, Vince Staples, Cold War Kids and more

Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we’re writing this week’s Round-Up in a Batman mask because we’re determined to get our money’s worth with this damn thing. For more follow me on Twitter:  @ryanoconnell79

This Week’s Playlist

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With only two months left in 2019, it felt like a good time to revisit the Best of 2019 (so far) Playlist.

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This Week’s Releases

Pinegrove “Phase”

I’m going to start right here and say that I really like this new song from Pinegrove. It’s got a quality of life to it and pep in its step that other songs of theirs have never really had. That’s certainly not to say that past tunes of theirs are dull. No way. It’s just that this song cooks in a way that their music hasn’t in the past.

“Phase” is the second song that the New Jersey-based band has released this year off of their upcoming album, Marigold. It’s their first new album since 2018’s Skylight and their first release since signing to Rough Trade.

In a statement, singer Evan Stephens Hall said that the song “is more or less about insomnia—trying to sleep but things racing in your mind, looking around your room, looking at things from the perspective of your bed, seeing all the things you could do or should be doing, enumerating tasks, making lists in your head, moving through anxieties & eventually, hopefully, into sleep.”

I would add that a cure for insomnia is getting out of bed, sir, not just lying there. You know you get up, maybe read a book or write those lists you’re making in your head down on paper. I’m speaking from experience here, buddy. Don’t just lie in bed.

Although if that’s what needed to happen to get “Phase,” I guess it’s okay.

Marigold comes out in January.

Vince Staples “Sheet Music”

It might just be me (and very well could be,) but I feel like Vince Staples has been on the come up for a couple years now, kicking it at the door step of truly breaking through. Can we all just agree that Staples is the real deal and start treating him like the legit talent that he is?

Again, this could just be me. I never once claimed to be totally on the ball when it comes to trends and the like.

Back when summer was winding down, Staples debuted the first episode of a new web series he was working on. The debut episode was accompanied by the track “So What” and now that he’s ready to drop the second episode of the series, he’s dropping another new song, “Sheet Music.”

Clocking in at six minutes, the tune is poppier than most of Staples’ work, but it’s still Vince Staples, so I’m good.

Tame Impala “It Might Be Time”

Last week, Tame Impala announced that they’d be releasing a new album early next year. And then this week, they gave us the album title (The Slow Rush,) a release date (February 14) and a new song, “It Might Be Time.”

Man, I didn’t get them anything. I feel like an asshole.

This is the third new tune that Kevin Parker and company have released this year. Earlier, they dropped two stellar tunes, “Borderline” and “Patience.”

It’s not as if Tame Impala makes slightly hard to digest music, but “Borderline” and “Patience” were definitely two of the more accessible songs they had ever released; very inline with their last release, 2015’s Currents. “It Might Be Time” is a little more left of center.

In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Parker talked about the tune and the inspiration behind it, saying “I love those kind of like, Supertramp melodies, kind of seventies prog, emotional things. But I also love extremely distorted, bombastic blown out drums, you know? And I feel like I haven’t done a song in a long time where the drums are just like, the main feature, you know, where it just like does explosions in drum form.”

Either way, when you line up the three songs they’ve released so far, it seems like a given that The Slow Rush is going to be wild ride.

Tame Impala also announced some North American tour dates on Friday with four shows taking place on the west coast in March.

Gang Starr One of the Best Yet

It’s true I guess. What’s dead may never truly die.

Guru, one half of the iconic hip hop duo Gang Starr, died in 2010, but thanks to the other half of the crew, DJ Premier, we have a new Gang Starr album. Premier was able to work with unreleased verses from his late partner and create new songs out of them.

Premier paired up Guru verses with guest spots from Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, J. Cole and Talib Kweli among others. The tune with J. Cole, “Family and Loyalty,” was released this summer.

In a statement, Premier spoke about how he had never given up hope when it came to dropping a new Gang Starr album.

“I never lost faith, or wavered. I still felt it inside of me, it just happened to be nine years later (after Guru’s passing). We all want the things we want right now, but I am a patient guy. I hung in there and I just kept believing.”

Premier reportedly kept an urn with Guru’s ashes beside him in the studio while he was working on the album.

Gang Starr’s last album (The Ownerz) came out in 2003, but it’s been just over twenty years since they dropped a true classic with Moment Of Truth. Guru’s flow was both legendary and instantly recognizable. Having it back for one last spin is a gift.

Cold War Kids New Age Norms 1

Cold War Kids have said that the inspiration for their new trilogy of albums, the first of which, New Age Norms 1 was released on Friday, was Kanye West.

While on tour last summer, they really enjoyed all of those eight-song albums West released from the wilds of Wyoming. In case you’ve erased West from your memory (and you could be forgiven for doing so,) those were the albums did with Nas, Pusha T and Kid Cudi.

“They were eight songs each. It was so fun waking up to these brand new records and taking them in as a whole while hanging out, working out, talking shit, pushing each other. I knew then I wanted our next release to be three volumes – eight songs each. Without the baggage and hoopla of a full record/tour/concept – more spread out – loose and inspired. Make it feel like you are listening to music that was made the night before.”

Let’s just hope that the band hasn’t been influenced by West lately.

Elsewhere in Music…

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This Week in Kanye

Last Friday, Kanye West dropped his new album, Jesus Is King. I didn’t think he was going to release it and my suspicions seemed to be confirmed when Friday morning came and Jesus Is King was nowhere to be found.

But then by lunchtime, there it was.

And soon after, there it went.

Jesus Is King is not a very good album. It’s short, which might be the best part about it.

Now we’re moving on though and this week West appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden to do Airpool Karaoke, which makes sense because if you’ve been following West lately, then you know that that dude has been everywhere.

During the appearance, West talked about how he received a $68 million tax refund last year, a refund he attributed not to recent policies put in place by our current President, but to God of course.

“God is using me to show off. Last year I made $115 million and still ended up $35 million in debt. This year I looked up and I just got $68 million returned to me on my tax returns. People need to hear [from] someone that has been put into debt by the system, talk about these type of numbers now that they’re in service to Christ.”

I mean, totally not how things work but, whatever.

For more Kanye and his new path, I’d recommend this piece from Micah Peters at The Ringer.

Then I’d recommend we all just take a little break from Kanye. I just feel like it’s for the best.

Well, One Last Kanye-Related Item

We Might As Well Start Talking About Christmas Music Now

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It’s November now, so I’d say it’s fine if we start talking about Christmas music and the deluge of new Christmas albums that will upon us soon.

We’ll start with John Legend, who is releasing A Legendary Christmas on November 8.

Legend’s album features a predictable mix of traditional tunes and new songs, as well as guest spots by Stevie Wonder and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding. However, when it comes to one of the traditional Christmas songs Legend tackled for the album, he elected to update it some.

Yup, we’re talking about “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

Legend’s version, which is a duet with Kelly Clarkson, has been reworked to better represent modern-day life and you know, be less creepy. With new lyrics written by comedian Natasha Rothwell, the new version seeks to make the 1940 song less problematic. The song was removed from the holiday music rotation by several radio stations last year.

Here’s a glimpse at what the new lyrics look like:

I really can’t stay (BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE)
I’ve gotta go away (I CAN CALL YOU A RIDE.)
This evening has been (SO GLAD THAT YOU DROPPED IN)
So very nice (TIME SPENT WITH YOU IS PARADISE)
My mother will start to worry (I’LL CALL A CAR AND TELL ‘EM TO HURRY)

Makes sense to me!

Can we tackle Rudolph next?

Sorry, One More Kanye Thing

 

This Week in Hey, Thanks YouTube

Finally, Prince and I Have Something in Common

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It has been three years since Prince passed away, meaning it’s definitely time for a fresh-pressed book about the late music icon. I’m not sure of the timeline, but I think that puts us about two years out from a biopic, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Released earlier this month, The Beautiful Ones was written by Dan Piepenbring, who was hand-picked by Prince to write his story. Piepenbring went through stacks of letters and notes to write the book and seeing as how in life, Prince was never one to hold back, the same holds true for what he’s like in death.

Prince had made it clear that he wasn’t the biggest fan of the current state of music (besides Janelle Monae,) but in the book, Prince gets specific.

“We need to tell them that they keep trying to ram Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran down our throats and we don’t like it no matter how many times they play it,” Prince wrote.

Now personally, I’m fine with Katy Perry. But I could not agree more about Sheeran.

And now I have to wonder, what else Prince and I might have agreed on.

And We’ll End Here

 

See you next week!