We’ve got every track you should’ve heard over this week in one place. Below we’ve collated some of the essential listening of the last 7 days to get you weekend started right. Including some brilliant covers from Patti Smith, Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee. Plus one hell of a premiere from The Kinky Fingers.
Patti Smith is a badass so of course she performed her one punk version of Velvet Underground’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ in 1976.
‘Pale Blue Eyes’, written by and sung by the late and great Lou Reed, was included on the band’s 1969 album The Velvet Underground.
Smith, who had just released her critically acclaimed Horses in late 1975, was touring the record around the States and Europe when she landed in Stockholm late on in 1976. Warming to the crowd, she performed the Velvet Underground track and incorporated a bit of The Kingsmen’s iconic number ‘Louie Louie’ towards the end.
The music world has been paying tribute to Mark E. Smith who sadly passed away this week.
Smith, the snarling frontman for Manchester post-punk band The Fall, has been a marauding presence on the music scene for over 40 years. Dominating the stage in a semi-consciousness while snarling and slurring his words was a compelling as anything we’ve come to understand in alternative music.
Naming the band after an Albert Camus novel, Smith’s infatuation with literature followed him throughout his life. While working as a shipping clerk in Salford, Smith decided to start the band after witnessing a show by The Sex Pistols in Manchester: “When I first saw The Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in 76, I thought, my lot are not as bad as that,” he wrote in his 2008 autobiography Renegade. “We’re better.”
Having made their way through the American dream, up and down those dulcet Rocky mountains, waking up in sweats at the Mexican border and belching through the barbecued bible belt, Kinky Fingers feel curiously complete.
Formerly revered for their surf sound which wouldn’t feel out of place in a blood-filled Tarantino epic… set at the beach, the band have added a sense of soul to their new work and with ‘Prove It’ they make the case that the new album will be the making of the band.
The song lingers and meanders pleasantly through the darker side of soul music, hinting at a previous life in the waves it lilts and sways at the shore until culminating in a powerful push of vocal and riffs and genuinely delighting us.
There’s been a lot of noise coming form The Voidz as they gear up to release a new album this year. It’s included a few festival performances and some new songs being played on Brazilian television, but now we have something a little more tangible.
The track is a move away from the glitchier side of the indie train tracks the band were throwing their rocks from. This one feels a lot less confrontational and instead champions melody and Casablancas vocal above over-zealous synths and needless Scary Movie vocal manipulation.
When Will Toledo, lead singer and artists behind Car Seat Headrest, was 19 he wrote and recorded an album. The album titled Twin Fantasy was a Bandcamp masterpiece, it was what Brian Eno describes as “the sound of failure”, an experiment pursued but never truly finished and finalised.
So what has Toledo done? He’s re-imagined and re-recorded it for all his fans who’ve loved it and for all those fans yet to meet it. Now, he’s released one of those re-imagined cuts, the brilliant make-out track ‘Cute Thing’. It’s a multi-layered, somewhat confused but ultimately charming assault of teenage sexual tension.
The Garden shared their first snippet of the brand new album on the way. Following a three year hiatus the first taste of new music was warmly welcomed. The dupo of Wyattt and Fletcher look set to brew up a storm this Spring with some tour dates in the UK.
Fletcher said of the track’s video “Finishing this video was an accomplishment in itself. The trials and struggles we all dealt with whilst shooting it make ‘No Destination’ that much more meaningful…… and slightly hilarious at times”.
“My love for Jason Molina began only a few years ago. I had overlooked him for years, too overwhelmed by his many monikers and sprawling catalogue. Then on a European tour in 2016 our driver put on Magnolia Electric Company and my mind was blown – and so began my obsession with the man and his music. A few months after hearing him I was on tour with Waxahatchee where Katie and I bonded over our mutual love for Molina, and we got the idea to record two of our favorite Songs: Ohia songs – which is what you have here today; Farewell Transmission b/w The Dark Don’t Hide It.
“These were recorded in Upstate New York with my live band at my drummer’s studio, The Chicken Shack, with both Katie and I splitting vocals duties. We would record all day, eating eggs from all the chickens running around, taking breaks to read old articles and watch live footage of Jason and his band. He’s a true inspiration and there’s no other songwriter or vocalist quite like him. We are deeply honored to be able to sing his songs, and we do hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed creating them. The cover art was done by William Schaff, who is responsible for the iconic Magnolia Electric Co. album art. All proceeds of the digital sales will go to MusiCares® – an organization that provides support and community services to musicians in need of medical, personal & financial assistance – and also helped Jason in his struggle with addiction, as well as paid to have a polyp removed from my vocal chords in 2014. A truly wonderful cause.”