New Music Monday – 9/18/17

What a difference a week makes. Last Monday, we were still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Irma, but the hissing lawns crew is fine. This week we’re back with new work from:

  • Beck
  • Neil Young
  • The Naional
  • Foo Fighters
  • Choke Up
  • High Waisted
  • Frightened Rabbit


Los Angeles, CA
“Up All Night” from Colors, due out October 13.

I always felt like there were two “Becks”, electro weirdo Beck, you know, the “two turntables and a microphone” dude and bummed out, acoustic Beck, responsible for gorgeous tunes like Lost Cause and Paper Tiger. I’m good with both Becks. They’re cool. I think there may be a third Beck, though, radio friendly unapologetic pop Beck, judging from the lead singles from the upcoming Colors. I think I’m begrudgingly okay with him, too. Also, I feel like this video is trying to slap me in the face with some kind of meaning or symbolism, but I’m too lazy to figure it out/google it. Whatever, the song is catchy.

Neil Young
“Hitchhiker”, title track from newly released album recorded in 1976.

Look, I don’t want to belabor the point, but if you’re a Neil Young fan and you haven’t listened to this album yet, YOU’RE SCREWING UP.

The National
Cincinnati, Ohio
Sleep Well Beast

By all standards, The National are American’s indie-rock darlings. Their seventh studio album, Sleep Well Beast, has cemented the argument. The National have certainly found a groove as a unit, but they are not afraid to press their limits. Similar to other great bands (Radiohead comes to mind), they push and pull at the arraignments and melodies just enough to stretch the songwriting foundation they’ve built over the last 18 years. Yet, they serve the song. If simplicity is required, they are not afraid to trim the arraignments back and let frontman Matt Berninger’s baritone take the helm. That restraint, coupled with a spirit of daring, and Berninger’s lyrics (which come with help from his wife, fiction writer Carin Besser) has earned them their title. — Joshua

Frightened Rabbit
Selkirk, Scotland
Recorded Songs

The Scottish indie-pop/rockers apparently had three songs that “exist happily next to one another,” so they released an EP. Simple. Cool. These are lovely, sugary sweet tunes, and as they said, do exist rather wonderfully together. The highlight of this EP, however, is the second track, “How It Gets In,” which features Savannah Stopover alum Julien Baker. In fact, it sounds a lot like one of her songs. — Joshua

Foo Fighters
Seattle, WA
Concrete and Gold out now on RCA Records

We’ve all got those trusty items that we come back to time and time again that never let us down. A favorite pair of jeans. A pen that inexplicably never runs out of ink. A trusty pocket knife that has a myriad of uses only limited by your imagination. Well, Foo Fighters latest release is the sonic equivalent of that. There’s not much that’s revolutionary with their newest record, but when you’re one of the keystones of rock music, do you have to reinvent the wheel with every new album? Absolutely not. A killer release in every sense of the word. ~ Petey

Choke Up
Boston, MA
Stormy Blue out now on Say 10 Records

Choke Up’s newest release, Stormy Blue, hits a ton of high points for me. Equal parts raw punk rock and late 90s emo (a la Get Up Kids and Taking Back Sunday), Stormy Blue displays an earnest, youthful side while also embracing a good bit of melancholy that comes with maturing and age. ~ Petey

High Waisted
New York, NY
“Firebomb” off of their split EP with The Coax out now on Little Dickman Records

When you carry the reputation of being “Best Party Band”, you’ve got some hefty expectations to live up to. New York’s High Waisted lives up to the hype and delivers even more with their new pair of releases off of their split EP with The Coax. A bit more garage rock of an offering than their usual surf rock heavy tone, the new releases are a both bangers in major ways. ~ Petey

Atlanta, Ga.
“Toe to Toes”

Just a few months after releasing a brand new album (Emperor of Sand) Mastodon announced a new EP and the first single. They debuted this behind-the-scenes video on Revolver, giving an inside look at the band’s recording process. Which is pretty rad to watch. It’s also hilarious. Most striking to me was how all four of these guys contribute to the writing and recording process. Otherwise, this song is a slight return to that older Mastodon sound, something they departed from on Emperor. Also, I think it’s pretty clear Brent Hinds is a mad genius. I am pretty stoked to hear the rest of this EP. —Joshua