New Music Round-Up 2/28/20: Vampire Weekend, Chicano Batman, SZA & JT, Gorillaz, Car Seat Headrest, Dirty Projectors & more
Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up where I’m convinced BTS has anywhere from nine to nineteen members and there’s little you can do to change my mind. For more follow me on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79
How’s that Best of 2020 Playlist looking?
I’m so happy you asked.
This Week’s Releases
Chicano Batman “Color My Life”
There are some band names that just straight-up grab your attention. Whether it’s seeing them on a festival line-up or amidst a Spotify playlist, you see a band name, in this case, a name like Chicano Batman, and it doesn’t necessarily matter if you’ve ever heard them or not, you are at least somewhat interested.
The fun thing about Chicano Batman is that they merit the attention you hopefully gave them. The L.A.-based Latin band has routinely incorporated elements of funk, soul and protest anthems into their music and earlier this week, they released “Color My Life,” the first song off of their upcoming album, Invisible People.
Invisible People is the band’s fourth album and their first since their 2017 album Freedom Is Free.
For the new album, the band worked with producer Leon Michaels who has previously worked with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and engineer Shawn Everett who has done work with Alabama Shakes and Kacey Musgraves. They also challenged themselves, attempting “to make the best record we’ve never heard.”
“For the first time, we completely disregarded the ‘Can we play this live?’ challenge, shot for the sky with blatant ignorance of genre, and approached with a process that was much more varied.”
Invisible People comes out on May 1st and the band kicks off a lengthy tour in April.
Gorillaz feat. Fatoumata Diawara “Désolé”
“Désolé,” which is French for “sorry,” features Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, someone who drummer Russel Hobbs describes as “an African Queen.”
“This lady made the song what it is, beautiful, like life,” Hobbs said. “What can I say about ‘Désolé’? They say sorry is the hardest word, but that’s not true… Try saying antidisestablishmentarianism with a mouth full of gluten-free cronuts on a speed boat without licking your lips.”
He has a point.
I’m not even going to try to say that and it doesn’t matter what kind of gluten-free food I have in my mouth.
Vampire Weekend “Houston Dubai (Japanese Bonus Track)”
Vampire Weekend’s last album Father of the Bride was eighteen tracks long. Eighteen tracks!
It seemed a little excessive but at the same time, it had been a minute since we had gotten a new Vampire Weekend album so who were we to complain.
Apparently, we here in the States got off easy though because the band recently released a Japanese version of the album and that version includes three more tracks. One of them even features Jude Law because sure, why the hell not.
Of the three that were included on the Japanese version, “Houston Dubai” is probably the strongest one. It would easily fit on an abbreviated version of the album you may or may not have made at some point.
It’s okay. I did the same thing.
SZA/Justin Timberlake “The Other Side”
If you’re like me and you have a young child at home, there’s a really good chance you’ve had to sit through Trolls at least a handful of times. And there’s also a solid chance you’ve then had to listen to the Trolls soundtrack countless times. Like, so many times.
So you know Timberlake’s song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” very well.
Possibly too well.
And now he’s back. Prepare yourself.
A sequel to Trolls was only a matter of time and with one in the hopper, it means more Timberlake-driven family-friendly pop coming with it. Although that’s not totally a bad thing. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” is a fun song, especially in the right conditions, and this new tune that features him teaming up with SZA is also good fun.
The rest of the Trolls World Tour soundtrack features Anderson .Paak, Haim, George Clinton, Ozzy Osbourne and more and comes out on March 13. The movie comes out on April 17.
For SZA enthusiasts, check out this recent interview she did with Rolling Stone.
Car Seat Headrest “Can’t Cool Me Down”
Indie rockers Car Seat Headrest are mixing things up a bit on their upcoming album Making a Door Less Open. Using the album’s first single “Can’t Cool Me Down” as Exhibit A, one gets hints of electronic music and EDM as well as subtle notes of the sound of someone playing old school video games in the other room.
The song kind of sounds like how you’d maybe expect The Strokes to sound like these days if The Strokes actually did sound how you expected them to sound now.
You know, if that makes sense.
The new album has been in the works for a while now and the final product is the result of two attempts to record coming together. The first version was recorded with guitars, bass, and drums, while the other was recorded more electronically. They then combined elements from both recordings and viola, Making a Door Less Open.
Making a Door Less Open comes out on May 1st. The band heads out on tour later that month.
Dirty Projectors “Overlord”
“Overlord” is Dirty Projectors first new song since they dropped a live album, Sing the Melody, last year. Although calling that album a live album is slightly misleading because yes, it’s a live album, but a live studio album.
It’s not like they recorded at Budokan or something.
This new track features Maia Friedman, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, on lead vocals. It’s a slow burn of a tune, gently building up around Friedman’s vocals.
The video for the song features Friedman singing in various spots around New York City with the rest of the band showing up every once in a while.
Mo Lowda & the Humble “Pearls”
This is very much a pro-Philly music column and therefore, any time I can highlight an up and coming Philly band, you best believe I’m going to do it.
The band in question is Mo Lowda & the Humble, a rock band that calls to mind Kings of Leon and Young the Giant among others.
Earlier this week, the band released “Pearls” off of their upcoming album Ready Coat, which comes out on March 6.
It’s a more polished tune that some of their earlier stuff, but that’s to be expected from any band that is coming into their own. Ready Coat is the band’s third album and follows Creatures, which came out in 2018.
Elsewhere in Music…
It’s All About Planning People!
As was previously stated, this music column is incredibly pro-Philly and that is especially true when it comes to The Legendary Roots Crew.
However, we also believe in organization and as cool as it is that The Roots now have their own street in their hometown, you gotta have your ducks in a row, Philly.
According to Questlove, he was under the impression that a vote was happening in May and then there would be an unveiling this summer to coincide with the group’s annual summer festival, The Roots Picnic.
View this post on Instagram
Welp this is very Philly: technically we were supposed to wait for the vote and then like in May come Picnic Time we’d have an unveiling w confetti & kool aid lol but cats was like “NOAP!!! WE FINNA PUT THIS JAWN UP NOW!!!!!”—-“ really awesome to see the place we honed our skills and craft embrace us like this. #Repost @whyy ・・・ Philadelphia government may never have gotten anything done this quickly before… . A stretch of East Passyunk just below South Street is being dedicated as “Avenue of The Roots” in honor of the famed Philadelphia hip hop group. A resolution to add the honorific was introduced Thursday in City Council by Councilmember Mark Squilla — and by Friday morning, the little red street sign was already installed. . . ✏️ @phillydesign 📸 @imagicdigital . . . #whyilovephilly #philly #philadelphia #phillyevents #visitphilly #discoverphl #phillypulse #peopledelphia #ourphilly #billypenngram #theroots #therootspicnic #phillymusic #phillyhistory #phillyblackpride
Eh, oh well.
The location of Passyunk Avenue that is now known as Avenue of the Roots is where the street connects with South Street. It’s the spot where the group got their start back in the day, jamming out on the corner.
For more Roots, check out The Roots Appreciation Society Playlist.
Anything Else, Questlove?
This tweet was in response to the news that Public Enemy would be performing at an upcoming Bernie Sanders’ rally in Los Angeles.
The rally will also feature Dick Van Dyke, but Quest didn’t seem to have much to add about that.
This Week in Late Night TV Performances
Feeling Stressed? RZA’s Got You Covered
Hey, who among us doesn’t need to chill out a bit? Things are wild right now. There’s a possible global pandemic coming in hot, a Presidential election already getting nasty, it’s almost tax time and some people still haven’t seen Parasite.
Shit’s nuts, man.
You can rest easy, though. RZA is here to save the day.
RZA from Wu-Tang Clan?
Earlier this week, RZA released Guided Explorations, an EP he produced as part of a collaboration with TAZO Tea because it really is all about corporate synergy these days. The EP features soothing words of advice from the rapper over soothing and ambient soundscapes.
File under: Yeah, sure. Why not?
This Week In It’s Hard Out There For a Tribute Band
Dave Matthews Goes Undercover (Kind Of)
The good people at Jambase went way back for their Throwback Thursday this week and shared a clip from the H.O.R.D.E. tour in 1996 and damn it, it brought back memories. In the clip, Dave Matthews wears a hidden camera and kicks it during the tour’s stop in Memphis.
For the youngsters out there, the H.O.R.D.E. Tour was kind of a big deal in the mid-nineties, especially for those of us new to this new generation of jam bands out there including Dave Matthews Band, Phish and Blues Traveler.
It started in 1992 with Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic, and Phish performing and wrapped up in 1998 with Ben Harper and Barenaked Ladies headlining. The 1996 iteration of the traveling festival featured Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz, Rusted Root, Blues Traveler, King Crimson and more at various stops.
If you’ll indulge me here, I went to two H.O.R.D.E. shows. I saw the 1996 tour and then went down to Boston in 1997 for the stop there, a stop that featured Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Primus, Beck, Ben Folds Five, Ween, and Soul Coughing.
It was amazing.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try and not think about how old I am now for the rest of the day.
It should be fun.
And We’ll End Here
See you next week!