Jack White recently came out of relative hiding for a performance on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, fighting back tears on acoustic performances of “Love Is the Truth” and The White Stripes’ “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket”. And if an old pro like Jack can still get caught up in the beauty and power of music, what excuse do any of us possibly have? With that in mind, we think you might just find an emotive experience somewhere in our latest batch of new songs, so make sure to have your handkerchief handy.
10. Wrekmeister Harmonies – “Light Falls I — The Mantra”
Photo by Sasha Geffen
Wrekmeister Harmonies mastermind J.R. Robinson left Chicago for the great wide open of Oregon recently, and the big-sky feelings permeate the first taste of his upcoming Light Falls. “Light Falls I — The Mantra” eschews the push-and-pull of orchestral metal and focuses mostly on the pull. Robinson, bandmate Esther Shaw, and guests Ryley Walker and Cooper Crain (of Cave and Bitchin Bajas) build a stretched, gentle drone, Robinson speaking in a low rumble: “Stay in, go out, get sick, get well, light falls.” It’s an understated, softer version of what you might expect from Wrekmeister Harmonies, but suffice it to say there are plenty of beautiful moments here — and some serious surprises later in the record. Light Falls is available in full today via Thrill Jockey. –Adam Kivel
09. Peals – “Become Younger”
Baltimore duo Peals prepped their sophomore album — Honey, out September 16th via Friends Records — to be full of refined pop melodies. William Cashion (Future Islands) and Bruce Willen (ex-Double Dagger) took their time over the last three years in Willen’s home to create cuts that mimic the album’s title. Just look at “Become Younger”. The song keeps a sweet melody as a constant while guitars trickle downwards in a stream-like fashion. It’s hazy and lush, the type of bare-bones song that makes you feel content as it traps you in its sticky fingers, in a rare moment of reflection that lasts for six minutes. Sometimes you need a break from it all. “Become Younger” offers you that with a side of inner peace, too. –Nina Corcoran