Your mid-week serving of new music cocktails features old-school indie rock, Cuban-French electronic soul, and three varieties of indie folk. These five tracks are as smooth as your morning coffee: it starts out with a hot jolt then becomes something just warm enough to sip and savor.
The Breeders – “Wait in the Car” (Dayton, OH, USA)
RIYL: The Breeders, The Pixies
The Breeders are back with new music and a world tour!
“Wait in the Car” is the first new music since their 2008 Mountain Battles LP. It is part of a series of 7″ singles (including three covers), and as if that isn’t enough good news, the band’s original lineup is hitting the road for whirlwind tour of Europe and North America starting next week.
This is The Breeders we know and love. This is the crunchy guitar interplay between sisters Kim and Kelley Deal that we have been addicted to for more than 20 years. This is pure indie rock at its finest. Welcome back, Breeders.
The Breeders are: Kim Deal (vocals/guitar), Kelley Deal (guitar/vocals), Josephine Wiggs (bass), and Jim MacPherson (drums).
Ibeyi – “Deathless (feat. Kamasi Washington)” (Paris, France)
RIYL: Lianne La Havas, Laura Mvula, CocoRosie
When it comes to stunning sounds, few compare to French-Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz – aka Ibeyi. The Paris-based duo last week released their sophomore album, Ash, and it’s just as stunning as their 2015 self-titled debut. Their emergence onto the international music scene made critics and fans alike turn their heads, because their sound is utterly captivating.
For the follow-up, they have recruited some mega-star friends for cameo appearances, including Meshell Ndegeocello and Kamasi Washington. The latter brings sultry vibes with his sax on “Deathless,” a tune inspired by the racial profiling and arrest of Lisa-Kaindé at age 16 by French police. With powerful lyrics and a video full of symbolic imagery, “Deathless” is one of this year’s most unforgettable songs.
“You’re not clean
You might deal
All the same with that skin
(She was, she was)
With her books
Left for dead in the streets”
Miya Folick – “Woodstock” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Joni Mitchell
Back in May we mentioned that Miya Folick would have a new album out later in the year. Finally we have details about the American singer’s upcoming EP, Give It to Me. But more importantly, we have one of the most chilling Joni Mitchell covers we have ever heard. Folick’s crystalline vocals will send chills up your spine on her version of “Woodstock.”
Folick channels Mitchell when she pierces certain notes. But she still puts her own distinctive spin on this classic originally released in 1970. Very few modern artists could do justice to the original, but Folick succeeds beyond belief. From the husky whisper of the low notes when she first mentions getting “back to the garden” to the final notes that reach celestial planes, Folick takes you back to Max Yasgur’s farm.
“We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden”
Westerman – “Keep Track” (London, England)
RIYL: Alexi Murdoch, José González, C. Duncan
The spirit of Nick Drake is alive and well in London singer-songwriter Western on his new “Keep Track” single. Even though the famed troubadour died nearly two decades before Westerman was born, echoes of Drake’s carefree, mellow style run through this tune. Fans of José González and Alexi Murdoch also have much to appreciate in Westerman’s intimate style and cashmere-smooth vocals.
If you are not already familiar with his work, don’t discount Westerman as just another singer with a gorgeous voice. Beneath those pipes is a message for society regarding our narcissistic tendencies to overshare. He asks, “Is it right to lay it all out like that?” It’s a simple question that hits hard yet is even more effective when whispered instead of yelled. That nuanced approach is just part of the allure of this gorgeous song. Get to know Westerman now if you don’t already. There is no doubt this is a future star in the making.
Mimicking Birds – “Sunlight Daze” (Portland, USA)
RIYL: The Helio Sequence, Shearwater, Civil Twilight
When you’re an indie band from the Pacific Northwest, it can be hard to escape the shadows of local legends like Modest Mouse or The Decemberists. It can be even harder when your band is signed to a label run by Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock. Such is the luck of Portland, Oregon-based Mimicking Birds. This trio may not have reached global household name status yet (though why they haven’t is baffling to say the least!), their newest single should change that.
“Sunlight Daze” dazzles and soars its way into the place you reserve for new favorite songs. You know the ones that you play 100+ times in a row without growing tired of the melody? This is one of those. Its layers of mellow indie pop are equal parts gentle breeze and sunrise beams that warm your soul. If you have ever camped in the Oregon woods in summer, this song will remind you of how refreshed you feel waking up there. The music Mimicking Birds make – especially “Sunlight Daze” – deserves to be inhaled deeply for its restorative properties.
Mimicking Birds are Nate Lacy (vocals/guitars/synth/keys), Adam Trachsel (bass/synth/keys), and Aaron Hanson (drums/percussion).
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