Did you ever think we’d make it to this point? Not the time of year, mind you; I’m referring to two consecutive columns that reference Lambchop.
I spent the weekend visiting family, immersed in Christmas music in a way I’m often more or less insulated from in my regular life. For me, December is the time to feverishly dote over every piece of music I listened to in an effort to eventually make a good Year-End List. It’s incredible how much slips through the cracks amid all the noise. And to think I almost started to rank my favorite songs before I remembered that “Lift Yourself” came out this year!
Rosemary Fairweather: “MTV”
What’s next for the fashionable muted, sexy indie pop sound of so many of the gems Gorilla vs. Bear has sent our way? “MTV” sees Rosemary Fairweather in a mode just as coy as many of her kin, but much more fully produced. The song begins with an opaque filter, slowly removed to reveal the full bass to treble spectrum of a dance beat (“High Horse,” hello!) but also so many other radio hits from over the past few decades). Then the verse hits and it feels like Chromatics through an unsubtle Hatchie-style ’90s nostalgia lens. (What decade are we even in anymore?) Add into the mix the very Jepsen-esque themes in use here and how similar the music video’s tight shots of Rosemary’s face are to the legendary “It’s Okay to Cry” video. It’s a good thing music isn’t getting any less great or any less fun to pick apart as we move into 2019.
William Tyler feat. Meg Duffy: “Call Me When I’m Breathing Again”
Some people know the magnificent solo folk guitarist William Tyler best as a member of Lambchop and Silver Jews. I myself am not one of those; his solo albums are always what’s done it for me the most, plus I’m woefully under-familiar with both bands. But new single “Call Me When I’m Breathing Again” offers yet another opportunity to see him in a collaborative environment. This, the second single from his forthcoming full-length Goes West, is a duet with Meg Duffy of the very good Hand Habits. If you’re a fan of either, you might have an idea of what you’re getting into with this one. If not, click on the link above, close your eyes, and let this one wash over you.
Ba-naa-na! This Arular-era unreleased track was dug up from the archives and used in the credits of this year’s M.I.A. documentary MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. Freshly given an official release this week, it’s a fun glimpse back to her earliest days of fame (I feel like I remember learning about the album from a poster in a Barnes & Noble, which feels apropos to the era). What makes this a vital release is the music video, in which M.I.A. and a few others dance in front of a wall. That’s it! It’s the kind of fresh-faced energy (dare I say “authenticity?”) inherent and exclusive to an artist as they’re first experiencing commercial success.