Single & Lovin' It, Vol. 5

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 22nd. Missed last week's? Check it out here!

Phoenix are thrilled to introduce the self-titled track from their forthcoming album, Ti Amo, out on Loyaute/Glassnote Records on June 9th. "Ti Amo" is classic Phoenix with a sun-kissed, Italian twist, and hands down one of the most joyous songs you'll hear in 2017. Ti Amo is Phoenix's first album since 2013's critically-lauded Bankrupt! Produced by the band and recorded at La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris) with the help of longtime collaborator Pierrick DevinTi Amo is — in the band's own words — "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."

"Ti Amo" by Phoenix

Last month, The Districts announced their new album, Popular Manipulations, and shared the video for lead single "Ordinary Day." Now, they’re back with another anthem, "If Before I Wake." Rob Grote from the band says, "The lyrics were written the morning after actually waking up during a storm that felt like it was right over my room. It was refreshing to work on as a band because we had been talking about ideas of restraint and contrast, removing chord changes and toying with droning notes, and this one felt like we synthesized some of those ideas more by second nature as we had been exploring those ideas for a while at this point."

 

The distinctly intense sound of Popular Manipulations — charging guitars, thunderous drumming, and Grote’s searing vocals — was brought on by a few cited influences, from shoegaze’s aggressive swirl to the Velvet Underground’s impeccable drone-rock sound. But don’t mistake easy comparisons for a lack of originality: On Popular Manipulations, The Districts are in a lane entirely their own, exploring lyrical themes of isolation and abandonment in a way that ups the music’s already highly charged emotional quotient.

"Ordinary Day" by The Districts

"Television Eyes" by Steady Sun

Steady Sun is psychedelic rock with bombastic sections coupled with quieter, dreamier passages, which can be self-described as "jive daydream." Recorded primarily by Dylan Nowik in his apartment in Queens between late 2015 and mid-2016, "Television Eyes" is the third single off of their upcoming LP Indifferent World, (due for release June 7th) has been released for the world to enjoy.

"Bitter Winter" by ALASKALASKA

ALASKALASKA are an art-pop 6-piece from London. They make beautiful, groove-laden music that seamlessly blends jazz, disco, funk and R&B into a bold and playful sound uniquely their own; synthetic beats play alongside live drums, delayed guitars and shimmering saxophones to create something musically rich and delightfully intricate. Bandleader and principle vocalist Lucinda twists brooding and introspective lyrics — akin to the words of Arthur Russell — into infectious melodies reminiscent of Warpaint, Dirty Projectors, or Talk Talk, which demand repeat listens and could as easily soundtrack a wistful evening alone as they could a party. They've built a cult following and reputation as extraordinary performers through a handful of low-key London shows. "Bitter Winter," the lead track from their debut EP, is the perfect introduction to their brand of off-kilter pop.

"Crazy, Stoned, and Gone"

by Angelo De Augustine

Angelo De Augustine will release his new album Swim Inside The Moon on August 25th via Asthmatic Kitty Records. The video for album track "Crazy, Stoned, and Gone" is a mixed media animated visual by Sufjan Stevens that incorporates several original drawings by De Augustine. Swim Inside the Moon is the second full-length from the 24-year-old, and captures a sound he's been looking for since he started playing music a decade ago. "A sound behind the voice," says De Augustine, who recorded all of this record in his home's bathtub using a reel-to-reel machine and a single Shure SM57 microphone. "I noticed that when you sing off a reflective surface you hear two voices. I was compelled to isolate that voice and bring it more to the front of the songs because in many ways I feel more connected to and comforted by that voice following me." Listeners can hear Nick Drake's intricate arpeggiated guitar parts, Elliott Smith's pure vocals, or, at times, a likeness to the soulfulness of artists such as Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill, Joanna Newsom, and José González.

"The Sun Will Open Its Core"
by Sleep Party People

Sleep Party People's "The Sun Will Open Its Core" is the third single from the forthcoming album Lingering. Written, recorded, produced and performed entirely by Danish multi-instrumentalist Brian Batz, Lingering — featuring collaborations with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman and Air vocalist Beth Hirsch — is Sleep Party People’s fourth studio album, and the first release since 2014’s Floating. Lingering is due out June 2nd via Joyful Noise Recordings. When talking about the track, Batz says, "I got really frustrated and emotionally upset when the whole refugee debate in Denmark was at its highest. I felt extremely indignant in terms of how society dealt with this problem. Normally I don’t go into politics, especially not in my music, but this was kind of inevitable."

"Contagious" by Ugly Sun

Ugly Sun has an affinity for the unbeautiful. Hailing from Buffalo, the band has used their steel city edge to bridge the gap between garage punk and emotive indie. The trio's name succinctly explains the band’s general beliefs in rock and roll. "Rock and Roll has become so shiny," explains front-man and bassist John Crook. "It used to be about the underbelly, the dark parts of society; the dirty parts." He continues, "We want to make rock and roll ugly again." Ugly Sun’s Painted Post EP sees them continuing to explore and expand their intentions. One of the darker more complex songs, "Contagious" points to the extreme places their emotions take them creatively.

"Thief" by Mating Ritual

Mating Ritual has unveiled the stunning single "Thief." Earlier this year, the song was featured on ABC's hit series How to Get Away With Murder, sending fans into a frenzy in high demand of the release. The track is from Mating Ritual's forthcoming debut album, How You Gonna Stop It?, which will be released on June 9th via Ryan Lawhon's own label Smooth Jaws. How You Gonna Stop It? is about the transition from child to adult; from dependent to independent; from unemployed to employed; from committed to single. After having two different bands that were signed to major labels, Lawhon was frustrated with the process and was inspired to carve out his own path with Mating Ritual, ultimately creating his own label Smooth Jaws to release the music.

"Plants" by Crumb

Crumb has shared "Plants," the lead single from their upcoming sophomore EP, Locket. Stereogum, who premiered the track today are saying it's "jazzy, lush, and a little woozy. Lila Ramani's even-keeled vocals underline every word with a hint of unease. Locket is due out on June 23rd and will be available though the band's Bandcamp page.

"Plugged In" by *repeat repeat

Nashville’s emerging surf indie pop-rock trio, *repeat repeat are thrilled to announce their signing to Dangerbird Records. To celebrate, *repeat repeat has released a sneak peek of their sophomore album with the music video for the track "Plugged In." Frontman Jared Corder says, "The song was inspired by the Mike Judge film 'Idiocracy' in which the world keeps getting dumber. It's a lot easier to stay 'Plugged In' and be a slave to consumption; educating yourself is a lot harder (and scarier) these days. We wanted the song to capture the urgency and necessity of knowledge in a world full of fiction."

 

*repeat repeat is your favorite band’s favorite band. Mixing the sunny swoon of 1960s pop with a dark swirl of Warholian garage rock, *repeat repeat create their own geography to match their sound. Based in Nashville, Corder, along with drummer Andy Herrin and vocalist-keyboardist Kristyn Corder, kicked off the band's career with 2014's Bad Latitude. The three musicians make pop songs rooted in the spirit of both coasts, looking beyond the borders of their landlocked hometown and, instead, mixing California surf culture and New York street smarts into the same tracklist.