Welcome to a new week of new tunes to tantalize your ears! Normally we feature only new music singles here on the Melodic Tonic, but this week we’re making an exception because some of our favorite artists are releasing live albums featuring some killer classic songs. Let’s kick it off with those tracks before getting into the new new tunes.
Peter Murphy – “Dark Entries” (London, UK)
Former Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy released his Mr. Moonlight Tour: 35 Years of Bauhaus live concert DVD late last year. Now he’s back with the complete CD and digital version that includes nine previously unavailable tracks. How fitting that the Halloween season – perfect for celebrating all things dark and ghoulish – is when this album from the “Godfather of Goth” comes out. It releases October 30 on Nettwerk Music.
Drive-By Truckers – “Lookout Mountain” (Athens, GA, USA)
Another live track this week comes form Athens, Georgia roots rockers Drive-By Truckers. They are known for their unrelenting, unapologetically gritty sound. They tour often, and their live shows never fail to create new fans. During the 2014 tour promoting their 10th studio album, English Oceans, the band recorded their three-night residency at San Francisco’s Fillmore Theatre. On Friday, they will release a 35-song compilation from those shows. The deluxe edition of It’s Great to Be Alive! is offered as 3 CDs or 5 vinyl and leads off with this scorching version of “Lookout Mountain.” If you’re not already a fan of DBT, this is a great introduction to their catalog. This track gives you a real taste for the energy of their live performance. So go ahead and crank your speakers on this one. It deserves to be played loud…and often.
Pillar Point – “Part Time Love” (Seattle, USA)
And speaking of Athens, that’s where this next song was recorded. Scott Reitherman (of Seattle band Throw Me The Statue) has teamed up with Kevin Barnes (of Montreal) on the latest release from his Pillar Point project. “Part Time Love” dances over moody synth layers and sultry percussion. At its core are the baroque pop sensibilities of Reitherman’s Throw Me the Statue days, but it’s wrapped in a darker, hypnotic production that makes it completely irresistible. Reitherman recorded the album at Barnes’ studio in Athens with help from fellow area musicians Philip Mayer (Kishi Bashi) and Washed Out’s Cameron Gardner.
the proof. – “I’m Goin’ Back” (Los Angeles, USA)
Los Angeles-based four-piece group the proof. have a funky soul sound that goes down easier than the smoothest whiskey. They’re a new band (formed this summer and began recording a month later!), but you’d never know it from the incredibly tight grooves they lay down on this new single. It starts out mellow, with a spotlight on lead singer Drew Dolan’s warm, bluesy vocals and subdued keys. Then the real magic kicks in, courtesy of funk-filled bass, guitar and percussion. This is a gem of a tune from a band we’re going to keep a watchful eye on. They’re brewing up a batch of sweet sonic voodoo we want to hear more of soon. Stay tuned for details about the finished album.
Shearwater – “Quiet Americans” (Austin, USA)
Finally this week we’re excited to share the latest from Austin’s indie rock darlings, Shearwater. It’s been three years since they delivered a full album of new material (Animal Joy was followed by 2013’s covers album, Fellow Travelers), so we’ve been anxiously awaiting a follow-up. Shearwater fans can always expect intelligent lyrics and soaring vocals from multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Meiburg, and this very, very catchy single does not disappoint. With its strong, minor-keyed synth instrumentation and urgent percussion, “Quiet Americans” has a protest vibe of ‘80s-era David Bowie meets Peter Gabriel unheard in any of his previous offerings. This is one hell of an addictive tune that will sound incredible in a live setting.
Jet Plane and Oxbow releases January 22 on SubPop Records and is available for pre-order from the SubPop online store. Shearwater kicks off a European tour with 17 shows in February before returning to the U.S. in March.
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