This week’s new music didn’t bring much in terms of headlines, Jack White and Dave Grohl’s strange non-feud aside, but it did bring some great tracks. DJ Quik made his long-awaited return, while acts like The Rural Alberta Advantage, Beat Connection, and Deptford Goth continued their promising promotional campaigns for their respective upcoming LPs. When nothing grabs huge headlines, it’s best to check out the offerings from bands that mostly skirt outside the attention-grabbing stunts and controversy. Here are selections that may not be showy, but are more than worth your while.
10. Deniro Farrar and Denzel Curry – “Feel Like That”
Whereas Run the Jewels finessed a heist this week by trading lines in dizzying succession, Deniro Farrar and Denzel Curry‘s “Feel Like That” is neatly bisected: Deniro fills the first half of the song, Denzel the second, and neither appears in the other’s space. The very first thing to notice is producer Ryan “Ryu” Alexy’s evocative vocal sample, and Deniro and Denzel are tasked with matching its melancholy tone. They’re both successful. Deniro, his voice wafting like blunt smoke, sounds sorrowful even as he makes heartless threats. Denzel, on the other hand, quickens and slows his flow with confidence, but he still sounds determined to justify a line that signifies both his coldness and a desire to break bad habits: “My heart equals the 31st of December.” Catch these two now on their Bow Down joint tour. –Michael Madden
9. Beach Slang – “Dirty Cigarettes”
“Dirty Cigarettes” is the third new song that Beach Slang have let slip this month, and it might be the toothiest installation in the Philadelphia band’s young career. Following the playful “All Fuzzed Out” and “American Girls and French Kisses”, this new track from the trio’s forthcoming Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street EP treads close to the shadow of the Stone Roses without losing its early-era Goo Goo Dolls charm. “I fall in love to pass the time,” howls singer James Snyder against a rough and mournful lead guitar riff. “I need the struggle to feel alive.” It’s a hot, barbed jam that features some of Beach Slang’s cleanest and most introspective lyrics: an exercise in simplicity set against big, ambitious songwriting. –Sasha Geffen
8. Angel Olsen – “All Right Now”
Taken from the upcoming deluxe edition of her beautiful new LP, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, “All Right Now” supplies a glimpse into the bare crafting ritual behind Angel Olsen’s work. With just a few layers of guitars, organ, and the occasional percussive flourish, the formerly unreleased song sees Olsen singing at the upper end of her register, articulating soothing counterpoints to the heartbreak she wove into the album’s devastating tracks. “It’s always been all right,” she sings spectrally in front of a gently swaying instrumental mesh. “All Right Now” comes as a rare reassurance from a songwriter known for her brutal takes on love and losing it, but it’s a lullaby we’ll happily file next to the gut-punches. –Sasha Geffen