ICYMI is a series featuring new and notable releases you (and we) may have missed
“Turn to Hate” – Orville Peck
Damn. The guitar and vocal cadence of the intro to this song hit me like a kick in the gut, immediately recalling the opening riff of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” before barreling headlong into a kind of gothic country twang, the perfect jukebox selection for sad urban cowboys mixed up in an unrequited love affair with Bettie Page’s razor-blade bangs.
But when that cowpoke tips his hat back, he’s less Doc Holliday and more Holden Caulfield, a classic figure of newly minted jadedness caught in the bottom of a glass of rye whiskey where the bubbles in the ice form out a perfectly legible “fuck you.” It’s tragic, it’s beautiful, it’s instantly timeless.
“Harmony Hall” – Vampire Weekend
I was maybe a little too quick to judge the new Vampire Weekend releases as they have definitely grown on me over the past few weeks. The first video off their new album, Father of the Bride, is for “Harmony Hall”, and if you’ve dreamt of waking up to Ezra Koenig making you breakfast, your prayers have finally been answered. Focusing on the green snake motif seen on the single artwork, the video is shot in a 90s nostalgia sort of style with high contrast and a wide angled, fish-eye dance sequence. It’s completed by cameos from Jonah Hill and Dev Hynes, a table scene that looks an awful lot like a Parquet Courts press photo, and film strip glitches.
“Scrawny” – Wallows
After stumbling upon Wallows’ “What’s in my bag?” video, it’s pretty clear to hear their influences ranging from Alvvays to The Smiths to The Strokes in their catalogue of work — particularly their latest single “Scrawny”. It’s almost humorous in Dylan Minette’s straight forward delivery of how normcore culture is holding him back. Guitar driven indie pop with a healthy dose of keys and ridiculously catchy hook, it’s likely to be one of the most fun songs off their upcoming release Nothing Happens coming out this March.
– Lauren Khalfayan
“Get to the Point” – Colin Caulfield
Who knew a failing relationship could sound so good. The latest release from DIIV’s Colin Caulfield is a dance-y, synth jam that tricks you into enjoying yourself so much you ignore the warning signs that you and your partner just don’t work. Directed and edited by Nina Ljeti, the music video is home movie meets quick cut trippy text and image overlays. Almost dizzying — it’s easy to get lost in the song (or person) and not really see what’s right in front of you.
– Lauren Khalfayan
“Bet You Wish I Would Call” – together PANGEA
Diverging from their usual surf/ garage rock sound, Together Pangea creates a feeling of nostalgia and positivity with “Bet You Wish I Would Call”. It’s a feel good anthem that reminds me how miserable I am stuck in New York during the harsh winter, wishing summer would come sooner.
The melody creates the sensibility of a somber ballad but the lyrics make you feel like you’re better than whatever problems you’re currently dealing with: an affirmation that not only do you deserve better than your worries but you’re experiencing exactly that when you hear this song. There’s a callback to previous eras of posi-vibes jams with the inclusion of repetitive “ba-ba-ba”s in the vocals, but this song refuses to make it cliché. The piano solo is an unexpected finale that adds a touch of floating down a river on a sunny day, remembering times of nostalgic happiness without a care in the world.
Structure Of Love II [Renholdër Remix] – Vowws
LA based Vowws are no strangers to working with juggernauts of their genre, previously collaborating with living legend Gary Numan on “Losing Myself In You” from their 2015 album The Great Sun and now teaming up with industrial heavy hitter Danny Lohner and Deftones mastermind Chino Moreno on a rework of “Structure Of Love” from last year’s Under The World.
Where the original track was steeped in edgy darkwave recalling Bauhaus and Killing Joke, the fresh Renholdër Remix is darker, sexier, and dangerous in a different way. Chino’s elegant vocals on the hook are gothically seductive like his 2014 Crosses project and reach the soaring heights of the biggest choruses from Deftones’ later catalog. Lohner’s production casts a fell shadow of irresistible creeping dread, twisting Vowws’ dark pop stylings into three and a half minutes of cinematic cyber-noir as tight as Carrie-Ann Moss’ latex catsuit in The Matrix.