1. Titus Andronicus- “Dimed Out”
It was recently announced that Titus Andronicus will release a new album this summer. The album supposedly will be over an hour and a half long, which is great news for fans of these disillusioned and aggressive thinkers/musicians. Here is the first song they have released from their forthcoming follow-up to Local Business.
2. Sufjan Stevens- “Eugene”
Here at WPGU, Sufjan gets a lot of love all the time, but he’s been especially popular in recent months because of the release of Carrie & Lowell, and his incredible Midwest performances. While I really enjoyed all of Carrie & Lowell, “Eugene” is easily my favorite song from this new album. It is fragile, frank, and simple, like a bruised lullaby.
3. Handsome Furs- “Repatriated”
To me, the most disappointing band breakup of this decade has so far been the Handsome Furs. Their last album, Sound Kapital, was a testament to their strengths as a pop-punk duo and a welcome surprise after their lukewarm Face Control. But a downside to mixing professional and personal lives is that a tough situation in one will affect the other, as was evident when this band’s breakup coincided with Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry’s divorce. At least their relatively brief time together yielded some catchy tunes.
4. Perfume Genius- “Mr. Petersen”
Every single Perfume Genius song sounds beautiful to me, but this one has always stood out from the others as being particularly tender and heartbreaking. When it first came out, “Mr. Petersen” was exactly what I needed to hear, for whatever reason. For anyone who has not yet tapped into Perfume Genius, I highly recommend devoting a rainy (or beautiful) day to catch up.
5. Sarah Neufeld & Colin Stetson-“The Rest of Us”
When Never Were The Way She Was came out last week, it was like Christmas in April. Sarah Neufeld is best known for her role in Arcade Fire, but has also released a Philip Glass-like solo album. Colin Stetson is also known for working with Arcade Fire, as well as Bon Iver, TV On The Radio, and a bunch of others, but he too has put out some really powerful solo work, and has been my favorite living saxophonist for quite a long time. That these two decided to collaborate is about the best possible news for anyone who likes these versatile and undeniably talented musicians. This song is equal parts unnerving and ambient. If that seems oxymoronic, then listen to the song and try to prove me wrong.
6. Mikal Cronin- “ii) Gold”
This song comes from MCIII, which is slated for release tomorrow. There’s not much fault to find anywhere in the album, but I highly suggest giving multiple listens to the tracks with the lower-case numerals (like this one), because when those come along it really feels like the album gains a ton of momentum.
7. My Morning Jacket- “Circuital”
This week is a big one for music, with new releases from not only Mikal Cronin and Django Django, but also My Morning Jacket. From what I’ve heard of their new album, this band has brought forth a nice addition to their body of work. Yet, even though I love all of My Morning Jacket’s albums, I don’t think anything will ever come close to making me feel as good as 2011’s Circuital. Here is the incomparable title track from that album.
8. New Pornographers- “The Laws Have Changed”
Over the years, I have included enough New Pornographers songs in Monday Mixers to lose track of which ones I have used and which I have saved for later. So, this one may be a repeat but I’ve been binge-listening to it lately, and sincerely hope that others will find enjoyment in it.
9. The Fiery Furnaces- “Rub-Alcohol Blues”
It’s always tough to recommend particular Fiery Furnaces songs to people because they are largely unclassifiable, at times folksy, at other times kind of psychotic. Gallowsbird’s Bark, though, is a pretty good entry-way for appreciating this wacked-out group. If it seems like this song ends abruptly, that’s because it leads into “We Got Back the Plague,” which closes out the album. If you don’t like being left with the cliffhanger, then consider checking out the rest of the album.
10. Black Sabbath- “Iron Man”
Black Sabbath has long been one of my biggest musical guilty pleasures. It was difficult to defend Ozzy Osbourne as a kid for so, so many reasons. But on this song, as well as “Paranoid,” “War Pigs,” and their other hits, I think the music really speaks for itself. “Iron Man” is unapologetically rude, climactic, and dramatic (especially with that main guitar riff). This song brings forward the kind of energy that makes me want to take off my headphones and go practice with the amplifier turned to 10.