Single & Lovin' It, Vol. 2

by Mixtape Mandi

Every week, we compile a list of singles you need to have in your headphones right now. Specially curated by Mixtape Mandi, welcome to Single & Lovin' It for the week of May 1st. Missed last week's? Check it out here!

The War On Drugs return with the new song "Thinking of a Place," their first new, original material since 2014’s Lost In The Dream. As their debut for Atlantic Records, "Thinking of a Place" was produced by The War On Drugs’ Adam Granduciel and recorded and mixed by Shawn Everett. The War On Drugs is Granduciel, joined by longtime core members: Dave Hartley, Robbie Bennett, Charlie Hall, Anthony LaMarca, and Jon Natchez. News of The War On Drugs’ fourth full-length album will be coming soon. What starts out as an ethereal lush synth line leads into a mellow groove. This 11-minute track holds a steady pace: this is the ideal song to turn up in your car while you’re coasting down the freeway into the sunset.

"Thinking of a Place" by The War On Drugs

Grammy-winning band Phoenix are thrilled to announce their new album, Ti Amo, set for release on June 9th via Loyaute/Glassnote Records. The band — comprised of Thomas Mars (vocals), Laurent Brancowitz (guitar), Christian Mazzalai (guitar), and Deck D'Arcy (bass) — shared Ti Amo's first single, a brilliant, shimmering explosion called "J-Boy." Ti Amo is Phoenix's first album since 2013's critically lauded Bankrupt! Produced by the band and recorded at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris with the help of longtime collaborator Pierrick DevinTi Amo is "an album about simple, pure emotions: love, desire, lust, and innocence; it's also a record about our European, Latin roots, a fantasized version of Italy: a lost paradise made of eternal Roman summers (hyper-light, hyper-clarity, pistachio gelato), juke-boxes on the beach, Monica Vitti and Marcello Mastroiani, fearless desire and Antique marble statues."

 

Filled with hooks, claps, and beats, this Phoenix tune is unlike their previous releases; they’ve charted into pop territory, leaving behind their indie-alt-rock persona behind.

"J-Boy" by Phoenix

"One More Love Song" by Mac DeMarco

Today we see the release of Mac DeMarco’s third full-length album, This Old Dog. And after hearing "On The Level," "This Old Dog," and "My Old Man," what better way to get a final peek of This Old Dog before hearing the whole darn thing than through one of the album’s most soulful numbers — "One More Love Song." As Mac stated, “Sometimes [love songs] come from a specific place, but in a lot of instances they could just be plucked out of the air. Have you ever been in love then out of love? There’s a whole gamut of emotions that come with that changing of the guard. And you don’t forget them, ‘cause they suck, or they rock, and you don’t forget things that rock or suck. So, maybe you pluck from something a long time ago, and the great thing is that everyone understands.”

 

One of the mot mellow and smooth tracks on the album, "One More Love Song" is a soft side to DeMarco we’ve yet to witness.

"Down the Line" by Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils have shared their latest single from Somersault, titled "Down The Line." The song features many hallmarks of Somersault — a buoyant bassline, a propulsive, wayward guitar. Beach Fossils have charted into new musical territory with a refined songwriting style. On "Down The Line," Dustin Payseur sings, "I don’t want your Wall Street / Don’t got no degree / Written on the concrete / A.C.A.B." They’ve expanded their range both musically and lyrically. This is a band in bloom: from lo-fi, overdriven, guitar-jangled tunes to this less-than-3-minute track with a steady beat and an expansive melody, Beach Fossils is progressing forward with no turning back now.

"Warped" by Hot Curl

Hot Curl is an indie surf-psychedelic-garage rock band based out of Brooklyn formed at the start of 2015 and consisted of members from various projects that singer-guitarist Prescott Horn had been a part of. They have one release to date: their 2016, four-song EP titled Beached, which combines elements of lo-fi indie rock and surf rock akin to bands on the Captured Tracks label such as DIIV, Beach Fossils, and Wild Nothing. After playing a multitude of shows around Brooklyn and Manhattan, they went back into the studio at Converse Rubber Tracks to record a follow up EP to Beached. This new EP finds them exploring more psychedelic and garage rock realms than its dream-pop oriented predecessor. New single "Warped" is just under six minutes and is filled with swirling guitar melodies, a steady beat, and minimal vocals to allow you to get lost in the lushness of the psychedelic dream of this track.

"Machinist" by Japanese Breakfast

Japanese Breakfast has shared a music video for "Machinist," the lead single from her new album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, due out July 14th on Dead Oceans. The follow up to Japanese Breakfast's critically acclaimed debut is a work of self-reflection that looks out at the cosmos in search of healing, finding inspiration in science fiction, outer space, and the Mars One Project. "The title ‘Soft Sounds From Another Planet’ alludes to the promise of something that may or may not be there. Like a hope in something more. The songs are about human resilience and the strength it takes to claw out of the darkest of spaces." Michelle Zauner wrote the debut Japanese Breakfast album in the weeks after her mother died of cancer, thinking she would quit music entirely once it was done. That wasn't the case.

 

When Psychopomp was released to acclaim in 2016, she was forced to confront her grief. Zauner would find herself reliving traumatic memories multiple times a day during interviews, trying to remain composed while discussing the most painful experience of her life. Her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, is a transmutation of mourning, a reflection that turns back on the cosmos in search of healing. And you can feel her yearning for growth, strength, and healing in this new track.

"Decay" by CYMBALS

London-based duo of Jack Cleverly and Dan Simons called CYMBALS return with a newfound strength after a series of personal challenges on their second album, Light In Your Mind, out August 25th via Tough Love Records. It's their first new material in two years, and the follow-up to the acclaimed debut LP The Age of Fracture praised by Pitchfork, Stereogum, NME, among others. CYMBALS premiered lead single "Decay," a song about getting comfortable with the decay that exists throughout life, and finding new beginnings within the destruction. Light In Your Mind features eclectic eclectic original songs, ranging from melodically memorable pop, bucolic instrumentals, and longer, pensive songs that explore the space in between.

Click here to listen on SoundCloud

"Matters" by Twinsmith

Omaha's Twinsmith will release their third album Stay Cool on July 14th via Saddle Creek. The band premiered "Matters," the first single off the album. For Twinsmith, the occasion to make a third album came with an opportunity to distill their process down to its essential parts, and to re-focus the band's perspective in order to fully embrace their sound. Longtime friends Jordan Smith and Matt Regner had written a pair of records as Twinsmith, starting with 2013's self-titled debut and then 2015's Alligator Years. While the lineup would grow to include bassist Bill Sharp and other hired guns to round out the stage, the songwriting core learned to vary their approach while relying on each other to push the plot forward. Starting as DIY tinkerers in a basement, Smith and Regner would evolve their sound from hazy surf rock to a fuller, more dynamic guitar-and-keys pop appeal, making good use of the perks like recording studios and engineers that often come with progress. Melodies soar and rhythms sway, the beats pulse with a laid back but urgent immediacy, and the simplicity of it all stitches the songs together in its mysterious way. From the simple three-color design of the cover to the process that created the sounds underneath, Stay Cool rewards with its ability to connect.

"Ghost" by Husky

Australian indie folk duo Husky are thrilled to unveil their new single "Ghost," featured on their new album Punchbuzz to be released on June 2nd on Nevado Music. Produced and mixed by Matt Redlich (The Trouble with Templeton, Emma Louise) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Shins, The Kills, Delta Spirit), Punchbuzz is a collection of Husky's signature folk sound with streamlined indie rock that lopes ahead with widescreen atmosphere, dark lyrics, and newly muscled melodies.

 

Sharp, lean, and driving, the album more than lives up to the dynamic imperative of its title. Husky is comprised of Husky Gawenda and Gideon Preiss. Shaped by their recent experiences, Punchbuzz finds Husky tapping into something that hadn’t previously come to the fore on their debut album Forever So or much-loved follow-up Ruckers Hill.

Click here to listen on SoundCloud

"Heartcore" by Land of Talk

Land of Talk shares its fourth single off the long-awaited new album Life After Youth, "Heartcore." Produced and mixed by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth) and Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes), and featuring Sharon Van Etten, Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Sal Maida (Roxy Music, Sparks), and The Besnard Lakes, Life After Youth is a collection of songs that sees Elizabeth Powell in the finest voice of her career, and reuniting with original Land of Talk drummer Bucky Wheaton. If Life After Youth recreates the same conditions and recruits much of the same personnel that produced Land of Talk's scrappy debut EP, the end result is dramatically different than anything the band has attempted before.

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