May was a long month, and I’m kind of glad it’s over, I mean tornadoes, the HEAT! Well I did discover some great new bands, and of course there was the return of Daft Punk. Here’s some of what I thought rocked in May.
Daft Punk, ‘Random Access Memories.’ Ah, the album that almost broke the internet, well not quite, but it was all abuzz when the album was available to stream a week before it’s release. So is it good, hell yeah it is. Is it the best thing they’ve ever done? Well no, but it’s adventurous and a nice payoff for the wait. There are instant jams like “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself To Dance,” both featuring and produced by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.
Then there’s the fuzzy love song “Instant Crush” with Julian Casablancas that I liked more than anything on The Strokes‘ latest. Another standout is “Doin’ It Right” with Panda Bear, which will probably be in a phone commercial soon. The album could have comfortably closed with it, but instead there is “Contact.” which feels straight out of a ‘Mega Man’ game. As a whole it’s pretty fun, and definitely one to check out if you haven’t already. iTunes, Amazon
Kelly Rowland, “Dirty Laundry.” Ms. Kelly has had a banner year, and it a high point of it was the release of her emotional single, “Dirty Laundry.” The song details the singer’s struggle to be in an abusive relationship and the even more brutal music industry. The deeply personal lyrics have her opening up in a way that we haven’t seen from a singer in a long time. Too many women have been victims of abuse, and Rowland’s straight forward account of her past situation let them, and us know that there is always a way out. So I applaud Kelly for revealing a very private part of her life, and for giving us such a good song. The song will be on her upcoming album, ‘Talk A Good Game,’ which will be released on June 18. Listen on Soundcloud.
Savages, “Silence Yourself.” Hailing from London, this post-punk band like a bit of the past mixed with the new. I wasn’t surprised to hear that they were influenced by the likes of Joy Division and Siouxsie and The Banshees, it’s evident in their dark and menacing songs like the opener “Shut Up” and “Strife.”
Its first single “She Will” could have easily been released in the 80’s. There is a lot of hype surrounding this one, and much of it deserved. These girls rock, so if your goth kid heart is still a little black, check this one out. Amazon, iTunes.
Bad Rabbits, “American Love.” I had to find out more about these guys after I caught them on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ one night. Inspired by Teddy Riley, who produced the album, and his New Jack Swing sound, they deliver one of the freshest albums I’ve heard in a long time. They meld rock with funk effortlessly, sounding like the illegitimate children of Morris Day and The Time.
As you can tell by the cover, the album is about love, sex and partying as presented on songs like “Take It Off” and “Fall In Love.” “We Can Roll” is definitely the most radio ready of the tunes. The guys are also crazy versatile, check out their covers of the Smashing Pumpkins hit “1979″ before you get into their original stuff. iTunes.
Some other goodies:
For you sarcastic hipsters, Vampire Weekend, “Modern Vampires of The City” iTunes
For you metalheads, Kylesa, “Ultraviolet” iTunes