It’s been a few weeks since we’ve posted a 3 Of The Week article, so I thought it’d be appropriate to bring the column back with a post that gets right back to the core of what the series has always been to me: recommendations of new music. 2012 has been very kind so far in terms of strong albums from established acts, but it’s sometimes the newer projects that become truly entrancing and compelling. The three groups included below all stem from acts that are popular to some extent, but these songs find them starting out with new names to create music that is wonderful, but might have flown under your radar.
1. “Hiding Out” – Sucré
Sucré is the newest collaboration between Jeremy Larson, Stacy Dupree-King (Eisley), and Darren King (Mutemath). Their debut album, A Minor Bird, is a blissful experience that pairs Larson’s fantastic arrangements and musicianship with Dupree-King’s wonderful melodies and lyrics. “Hiding Out” opens the album with beautiful “oohs,” piano and strings before giving way to barer acoustic guitar and piano as Dupree-King mesmerizes with poignant lyrics and floating melodies. Larson’s last solo album proved his abilities as a composer and those skills shine throughout this song. I’m not normally a huge fan of female vocals, but this is too perfect to pass on. The ending line of the song sums up the band perfectly: “Nobody wants anything unless you give it to them like it’s worth something.” It’s clear that Sucré’s onto something special, and they’ve given it to us in exactly that manner with this song and album. For a special treat, check out this live video of the song.
2. “Scoliosis” – The Tower And The Fool
When I first listened to this band, I remember thinking that their style wasn’t quite for me. With my first listen of lead single “Scoliosis” from their fantastic debut LP How Long, out now, I found myself sorely wrong and with my newest obsession. Made up of former members of such disparate acts as Therefore I Am and Boys Like Girls, The Tower And The Fool finds itself crafting rock music with a heavy alt-country influence. “Scoliosis” opens with a simple drum beat and great laid-back guitar noodling. The vocals are deep and deeply meaningful. Though the verses are somewhat depressing (“Fuck, sorrow can run so deep”), they’re countered with an uplifting chorus (“Don’t give up”), and the track as a whole has a positive message. The song drips emotion and the musicianship is great. I don’t know what I was thinking before, but this is certainly a band that will be in heavy rotation for me for a long time.
3. “Museum Day” – s / s / s
For the first minute or so of this track, one might assume it was simply a b-side from Sufjan Steven‘s The Age Of Adz, and I mean that in the best way possible. Could that even be read as a negative thing? It’s Sufjan Stevens, come on. In any case, the ultimate hipster dream of mixing his sound with rap verses comes alive on Beak & Claw, the incredible EP collaboration between Stevens, Serengeti, and Son Lux. Serengeti’s parts in the track remind me a little of what Tyler, The Creator might sound like if he wasn’t exploiting people’s sensitivity. The instrumental elements are at once percussive, electronic, and flowing, while the melodies Stevens and Son Lux sing will linger in your mind even after the song’s ended. This is a really creative and interesting song and project and, with songs of this caliber, we can only hope that there’s plenty more on the way in the near future.