The characteristically secretive and hidden Chan Marshall, otherwise known as Cat Power, is finally ready to release a new album in 2012, six since the release of her last album of original material (2008’s Jukebox was a covers record). Matador will release the self-produced Sun on September 4th, and today marks our first glimpse at her new, reinvigorated sound. “Ruin” is a radiating first single, a powerful, rhythmic track that not only showcases Marshall’s legendary voice, but also doubles as one of the most impressive pop songs of the year. Backing away from her mostly folk roots, Marshall appears to be more in control of her career and her message than ever before, and all of the shines through on “Ruin.”
Cat Power – “Ruin” – DOWNLOAD MP3
Not three months after the release of their album Choreography, Weird Dreams are about to release some new music into the world. Due in part to the impeccable folks at Slumberland Records, Weird Dreams and Girls Names will release a split 7” on June 25th, culminating in a dreamy, steamy project. It’s a shame the project is only one track each, as the new, more mellow and hypnotic sound from Weird Dreams is simply beautiful. Check out “House of Secrets” for yourself.
It’s been a quiet couple of years since Jack Tatum, better known as Wild Nothing, released his incredibly underrated and magnificent album Gemini. In August, that all changes as Tatum will release Nocturne on Captured Tracks. “Shadow” is the breathtaking first single from the album to be released on limited 7” vinyl August 6th. Dream pop might be one of the most ambiguous genre titles out there, but whatever it might be, “Shadow” absolutely checks off every box. It’s wistful and beautiful, and remindful of why we all fell in love with Wild Nothing to begin with.
It seems like not a day goes by without some more Dirty Projectors talk, and this week we’ve got a brand new from the group. “Dance For You” is the newest single from the band’s forthcoming album Swing Lo Magellan. Focusing squarely on lead man David Longstreth’s powerful vocals and swirling falsetto. The ticking of the snare, the prickly guitar, the clapping of hands; it’s a terrific showcase for Longstreth, especially for a man who spent most of his career doing it all alone before reinventing the Dirty Projectors on Bitte Orca.
July 3rd, 2012 Edit: The number of times I’ve raved about the new Dirty Projectors album in this column is a bit obscene, but now thanks to NPR you’re able to finally experience this album for your own. Swing Lo Magellan might not make the best first impression, in fact it’s rather impregnable, but of everything I’ve listened to this year, it’s definitely the most rewarding. If you can get past the awkward handclaps of “Offspring Are Blank” and the crazy bongos on “About to Die,” Swing Lo Magellan blossoms into one of the most majestic and brilliant records of the year. Pre-order the album before its release on July 10th via Domino Records, and watch the trailer for their short film to be released later this Summer.
Explosive math rockers Fang Island are readying their sophomore album on Sargent House, and this past week we got our second peek at Major. “Sisterly” scales back some of band’s more wicked moments from self-titled debut in 2010, making for a pleasant and light track. It’s maybe a little more fluffy and digestible than I like my music, but “Sisterly” is simply terrific, making Fang Island one to watch out for again in 2012. And if this is the band’s sophomore slump, they’ve got a bright future ahead of them.