The Weekly Listen: "Mainstream" Indie

The Weekly Listen: "Mainstream" Indie


Welcome to The Weekly List(en), a curation of the latest and greatest tracks to hit the interwebs in the past week(ish). Didn’t get a chance to peruse the blogosphere since our last update? No worries. We went ahead and did it for you! Check out our picks below:

It’s been a good week for some of my favorite bands, so I’m pleased to share quite a bit of mainstream indie this week that everyone can dig.

First up is tUnE-yArDs’ (boy is that hell to type) new tune “Wait For A Minute.” Frontwoman Merril Garbus reprises her role as U2’s The Edge of vocal effects, twisting and churning from reverb to synth to siren-call. But sans-synthesizer her talent really shines. Without the effects, she’s very R&B with an Amy Winehouse sort of (endearing) whine. Indeed, this is an excellent track for wining and dining at your favorite Williamsburg, Brooklyn gastropub.

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Up next is Thee Oh Sees’ recently-dropped music video for the title track of their latest album, “Drop.” It’s both musically and visually kaleidoscopic, a smorgasbord of post-punk G-chord goodness. It matches well to Parquet Courts’ song “Stoned and Starving,” the sort of high energy punk that turns you into a wannabe Tony Hawk, attempting (and failing) to pull off jumps on your 8th grade skateboard. My advice? Press play, break some glass bottles and try to start a super violent mosh in Red Square.

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I’ll admit, I’m generally a fan of Pitchfork, the arbiter of all that is hipster in the music world. But I’m going to have to disagree with their recent critique of Girl Talk & Freeway’s “Tolerated [ft. Waka Flocka Flame].” First off, it should be very difficult to pan anything featuring Waka Flocka Flame, a rapper who, impersonating Barack Obama in a music video, declared “I’m the head of the motherf**king state, n**** / I bring you change n**** / What the f**k you thinking n****” In any case, I think a cooperative venture between Girl Talk, the kings of remixing anything into an awesome electronic jam, and gangsta rapper Freeway results in a superb tune. It’s the perfect mixture of a dancehall ballad and an ATL trap anthem. I was good friends with a kid a couple years ago who hailed from TriBeCa, the hipster haven of Manhattan. This was a kid who would wear thug faux-fur while listening to post-dub greats like Burial, and boy is this a track for him.

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In case you haven’t be able to tell, both Josh and I love downtempo and trip hop electronica. And Teebs stands at the confluence of both those electronic sub-genres. “View Point” off his new album E S T A R A is that sort of chillwave, but deeper, under the surfer’s crests and into a diver’s coral reefs. It’s rich with aural color, a panoply of chimes, chirps and chants. It’s a good comedown from the first three tracks, meant to accompany you into your 4 am, post-term paper haze.

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Finally, I’ve got one last chillwave track with a twist. I’m a big fan of Lone, and in his new track “2 is 8,” he takes us for a synthy strut through town. This is no ambient soundscape, but puffed up beats meant to get you going. It’s almost a hip-hop sort of beat, but not quite, as no rapper I know is a lover of analog synth, at least not one from this century. So, whaddya say, pretend 2 really is 8 for a minute and kick it.

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Photo: Daniel Varghese/The Georgetown Voice

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Samuel Kleinman

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