7 Best Songs of the Week: Little Dragon, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, and More | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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7 Best Songs of the Week: Little Dragon, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, and More

Plus Lindstrøm, First Aid Kit, The Weather Station, FAN, Wild Beasts, and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Sep 29, 2017 The Dodos Bookmark and Share

It wasn’t the strongest week for truly compelling new tracks, but there was still enough of note to make us rally and put together a decent Songs of the Week post. To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last seven days, we have picked the seven best this week had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared this week. Check out the full list below.

1. Little Dragon: “Peace of Mind” (Feat. Faith Evans)

Little Dragon released a new album, Season High, back in April via Loma Vista. This week they shared a video for a brand new song not found on that album, “Peace of Mind.” It features the guest vocals of ‘90s R&B icon Faith Evans (as well as those of Little Dragon singer Yukimi Nagano). Raphael Saadiq produced it and the video features the band and Evans recording the song in his Los Angeles studio. The relaxed and just damn cool retro sounding track would’ve been one of Season High‘s highlights had it made it on the album (and that album was already really good to begin with).

The song originally ended up on the cutting room floor during the Season High sessions and the band didn’t know what to do with it, so they sent it to Saadiq, who suggested adding another female vocalist. They approached Evans, although Nagano was worried the song was “too weird for her,” as she told The Los Angeles Times in an interview (they premiered the song and video). But it turned out they had an unexpected in, as Nagano told the Times: “Apparently her kids knew who we were, and they were like, ‘No, no. You should do it.’” Nagano is a huge Evans fan and is over the moon it all worked out, saying: “It was kind of like a dream come true. I still can’t really get that it happened, and when I listen to the song I feel really honored to be on the same track as her.”

Also read our recent Self-Portrait interview with Little Dragon.

2. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: “Continental Breakfast”

Australian singer/songwriter/guitarist Courtney Barnett and American singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Vile have teamed up for a new collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice, which is due out October 13 via Matador, as well as a collaborative fall tour featuring an “all-star band.” Previously they shared a video for the album’s excellent first single, “Over Everything” (which was our #1 Song of the Week). This week they shared a video for another song from the album, “Continental Breakfast.” As he did with the “Over Everything” video, Danny Cohen directs. The video features footage of Barnett and Vile in their respective homes in their respective countries. Barnett hangs out with her girlfriend (singer/songwriter Jen Cloher) and cat and visits older relatives (a grandmother perhaps). Vile chills with his wife and kids, teaching his daughters to play various instruments. Both stories culminate with a trip to an amusement park. The song is a relaxed ode to maintaining friendships in different countries. Check out the video below, followed by the duo’s upcoming tour dates together.

Cohen had this to say about the video in a press release: “‘Continental Breakfast’ was made while spending time with Courtney and Kurt in Melbourne and Philadelphia, it’s an intimate home movie into their lives and the time spent with family and friends between recording /touring. Shot on 16mm, the mini-documentary captures honest moments that show the loving and playful nature of both Courtney and Kurt. It was such a treat to experience life with Courtney and Kurt in their natural habitats. It really left me feeling like part of the family and hopefully fans can feel that too.”

Lotta Sea Lice also features special guests Mick Turner and Jim White of Dirty Three, Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint, and Mick Harvey. The album was recorded in eight non-consecutive days spread out over the course of 15 months.

Barnett released her debut full-length album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, via Mom + Pop in 2015 and it landed at #6 on Under the Radar‘s Top 100 Albums of 2015 list. Vile’s last studio album, b’lieve i’m goin down…, also came out in 2015, via Matador. Read our interview with Vile about that album.

Also read our joint interview between Barnett and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, from our Best of 2015 issue.

3. The Weather Station: “You and I (on the Other Side of the World)”

The Weather Station is the project of Toronto-based singer/songwriter Tamara Linderman. She self-produced her fourth album, which is a self-titled affair and due out next Friday (October 6) via Paradise of Bachelors. This week she shared another song from the album, “You and I (on the Other Side of the World).” The string-swept track has a bit of a Laura Marling vibe.

4. Lindstrøm: “Tensions”

Norwegian space disco mastermind Lindstrøm (aka Hans-Peter Lindstrøm) is releasing a new album, It’s Alright Between Us As It Is, on October 20th via Smalltown Supersound.

Previously he shared its first single, “Shinin,” featuring Grace Hall (which was one of our Songs of the Week). It’s Alright Between Us As It Is is his fifth album and also features Jenny Hval and Frida Sundemo. This week he shared another song from the album, the propulsive near-7-minute long instrumental “Tensions.”

5. FAN: “Fire”

FAN is the new solo project of Meric Long, frontman for The Dodos. This week he shared his debut single as FAN, “Fire.” It is due out November 3 via Polyvinyl. A press release says the song was “conceived upon hearing an irreproducible pattern made from the sound of a broken fan in a restaurant bathroom” and recorded in Galicia, Spain “using synths left for him after his father’s passing.”

Long had this to say about the song in a press release: “The song is about finding a bit of inspiration when it feels like there’s no gas left in the tank. I was aimlessly recording synth drones for months while learning to be a father and this was one of the first songs that kinda woke me up. It kinda reminds me of the song ‘I Still Believe’ from the movie The Lost Boys, the one where the live band with the gyrating saxophonist is playing on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.”

6. First Aid Kit: “It’s a Shame”

This week Swedish sister folk duo First Aid Kit shared a brand new song, “It’s a Shame.” The single is out now via Columbia. Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Laura Veirs) produced the song, which was recorded in early 2017 in Portland, OR. There’s no word on whether or not there’s a new album on the way, which would be the follow-up to 2014’s acclaimed Stay Gold. But the sisters do have some new U.S. tour dates next month.

First Aid Kit’s Klara and Johanna Söderberg have issued this statement about the song: “We went to Los Angeles last spring and spent five weeks there writing. It was a tough time for the both of us. We were in this beautiful sunny place, but mostly felt sad and lonely. ‘It’s a Shame’ is a song about the emptiness and desperation you feel after a relationship has come to an end. How you will go to great lengths just to numb the pain and feel less lonely.”

Back in March First Aid Kit shared another new song, “You Are the Problem Here,” in honor of International Women’s Day.

Read our 2014 interview with First Aid Kit.

7. Wild Beasts: “Punk Drunk and Trembling”

This week British art-rockers Wild Beasts announced their breakup in a typed up statement, signed by the band and posted to Instagram. The band also announced a final EP, Punk Drunk and Trembling, and three farewell concerts. They also shared the EP’s title track, “Punk Drunk and Trembling.” While not their strongest song, it was good enough to make this list. The EP includes two other songs, both which were previously released on the deluxe vinyl edition of their last album, 2016’s Boy King. The Punk Drunk and Trembling EP is due out digitally October 20 and on limited edition 10-inch vinyl on November 17, both via Domino.

Wild Beasts released five critically well-received albums. Here is yesterday’s full band statement on the breakup again: “Wild Beasts are coming to an end. Our hearts and minds have been devoted to the band since we were teenagers. We’ve created something quite of our own and built a body of work which we stand by as heartfelt and true. The four of us have decided for our own reasons and in our own ways that it is now time to leave this orbit. We’re care takers to something precious and don’t want to have it diminish as we move forward in our lives. Thank you for your love and energy and for helping us make it what it is. We consider ourselves remarkably fortunate to have lived out this dream. Before we go, we’d like to celebrate with you.”

Read our 2016 interview with Wild Beasts.

Read our 2011 interview with Wild Beasts.

Other notable new tracks this week include:

A. Savage: “Phantom Limbo”

Broadcast: “Tunnel View (Demo)”

Bully: “Kills to Be Resistant”

William Patrick Corgan: “The Spaniards”

Deradoorian: “Nia in the Dark”

Liam Gallagher: “Greedy Soul”

Ibeyi: “I Wanna Be Like You”

L7: “Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago”

LIV: “Hurts to Liv”

Protomartyr: “Don’t Go to Anacita”

Radiohead and Hans Zimmer: “(ocean) bloom”

Frankie Rose: “A Forest” (The Cure Cover)

Run the Jewels: “Mean Demeanor”

Ty Segall: “Alta”

S U R V I V E: “Cutthroat (Lena Willikens Remix)”

U2: “You’re the Best Thing About Me (Acoustic Version)”

Jessie Ware: “Egoísta” (a Spanish Version of “Selfish Love”)

Whitney: “You and Me (Demo)”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Phone Jam” and “Shake It”

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October 1st 2017

I watched two of songs and i will listen other.Thanks for the info

October 3rd 2017

Nice book, I read this book many times it is full of information and so interesting, thanks for post