Every week, The Tune will publish a survey of the newest songs making their way around the internets and the music world in general. Despite the name, it is not just reserved for newly-released CD singles, but rather for any new songs from albums that have not been released yet. The songs will mostly be ones that have leaked/been published over the former week, but occasionally we will throw in little-known tracks from the last few weeks or months that never made it onto our survey. Again, the only condition is that the album has not been released yet. EPs and singles are okay. We are also introducing a new rating system for singles, one that is somewhat unique. Rather than rating the songs based on a 5-star scale, a thumbs up/down scale, or having no rating system (isn’t that annoying?), we will give them prizes not unlike sporting events: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Shit.
Here in June, we’re just starting to try out this concept of an entire week’s worth of new songs in one place, with streaming links and our new rating system, so make sure to leave us some feedback and let us know what you think! You can comment at the bottom of the post or email us with the form on the right (and slightly down).
This week’s survey includes new, free MP3s from Coldplay, Wilco, Sublime With Rome, Washed Out, Bon Iver, CSS, Bombay Bicycle Club, Damon Albarn (of Gorillaz), Best Coast, Drake, The Cool Kids, Still Corners, and many more! This is our biggest Single Survey to date, so take your time and make sure to listen to some of the unreviewed tracks at the bottom! If you’d like to write a review for any, go to our Staff page and apply to write for The Tune. Also, look for the red MP3 tag for free and legal downloadable songs!
M’s dominate the titles of the two newest tracks from Coldplay’s upcoming fifth album; despite the fact that it’s currently untitled as has no release date, we’ve already heard what we can safely presume is 1/4 of the album. “Major Minus” mixes Chris Martin’s vocals surprisingly low, implying indie pop-rock and a chorus that is…well, reminiscent of Radiohead. A decade after being accused of sounding like their British brothers, Coldplay actually do. “Moving To Mars,” on the other hand, is more typical of recent Coldplay — a tense piano ballad that erupts into an arena-filling guitar solo. While “Major Minus” is humbler than Coldplay have been since Parachutes, “Moving To Mars” exploits the band’s worldwide selling power. Both songs are solid, but neither will be winning any awards.
I might fall in love with this new Wilco song. I might shake my ass to the rambling background. I might even enjoy it more than anything since A Ghost Is Born.
Stephen Colbert & The Black Belles – “Charlene II (I’m Over You)” (Comedy?)
“If I wasn’t over you, why would I write this song? Think about it!” the Comedy Central host suggests on this half-comedy, half-cock rock song. While it certainly isn’t the most creative track ever, props to Colbert for…being himself. Oh, and the track is disturbingly addictive groove rock.
Bon Iver – “I Can’t Make You Love Me/Nick Of Time (Bonnie Raitt cover medley)” (Folk/Indie) MP3
Justin Vernon’s falsetto has never sounded as stirringly and starkly beautiful as it does on this B-side to “Calgary,” the first single off of his new album, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Songs rarely bring me to tears, and even more rarely do cover songs do the trick, but Vernon’s live performance of this from a few weeks back did. A lone piano accompanies the singer, who may have — with this performance — established himself as one of the greatest crooners of our era.
“No, I won’t come down,” Sublime’s Nowell replacement, Rome Ramirez, sings in his best Bradley imitation. The entire song, half-ska and half-pop-rock, is an ode to smoking marijuana — thus, Wiz Khalifa has a verse in the middle. Of course. Even someone with their “head in the clouds” could see that one coming.
Drake “don’t trust these bitches” cause “they might catch me slipping” — what a surprise. Nearly five minutes of impending pandemonium slip out the door, as if the singer were too afraid to confront these “trust issues.” But the man’s vocals are pure gold, and save the song from utter despondency.
Alicia Keys – “Typewriter” (R&B)
This new/old Alicia Keys track will be included on the June 28 deluxe edition of Keys’ 6x-platinum debut Songs In A Minor. It’s a slice of smooth R&B with complex vocal arrangements that spur the song onwards through its rather weak chorus. As long as you’re not expecting another “Fallin’,” you’ll enjoy it.
The recent British Sub Pop signee has an album out this fall, but still no Wikipedia page (someone fix that!). They’re one of our favorite up-and-coming bands — “Endless Summer” MP3 and “Don’t Fall In Love” were two of the most chilling songs from 2010 — but “Cuckoo” seems a step below their previous singles, relying heavily on dark atmospherics and ethereal vocals rather than melody and structure.
Two songs from Georgian (state, not country) chillwave project of Ernest Greene, “Eyes Be Closed” and “Echoes,” MP3s have already received SILVER ratings from us, and the newest track from the July release — Latin for “love of [one's] fate” — is a sexy, peacefully-throbbing song that makes love more than it screws. Pick up these three MP3s and start to get excited for the summer’s best stoned-at-the-beach release. And then put your headphones on, sit by the pool, and pretend you’re at the beach.
Pitchfork reminds us that “Wild Flag aren’t Sleater-Kinney, not even if you squint real hard,” and the song’s chaotic femininity might be Blondie on a bad hair day. The song seems to play around nonchalantly (despite its bumbling beat) until it gets to the final chorus, when everything comes together, even if it’s only for 30 seconds.
Big Talk – “The Next One Living” (Pop-Rock)
After last year’s ill-fated solo effort from The Killers‘ lead singer, Brandon Flowers, next up to try his Vegas luck is Ronnie Vannucci Jr., the drummer. Not only do his songs roll with a Killers flavor missing since 2006′s Sam’s Town, but his vocals frequently (and astoundingly) sound more like The Killers’ singer than Flowers’ own record. A sneaky, albeit repetitive, chorus aids the pop-rock song in establishing a homey feel, comfortable and familiar.
Signed around the same time as Still Corners, Sub Pop’s other new band also has a fresh track this week, and it too features arctic atmospherics and languid, liquid vocals.
As releasing yearly full-lengths makes a comeback in popularity (see also: Portugal. The Man, Jack White, etc.), even indie pop bands from London have to get in on the opportunity. Perhaps if they spent less time churning out material and focused on the quality instead of the quantity, they wouldn’t be critically panned — but either way, the new single shuffles through a jaunty piano-laced beat that is a mite too repetitive.
Two minutes of freak folk that doesn’t appear on Woods’ just-released Sun and Shade — the squealing guitars and lo-fi vocals are typical of the band, but the song feels incomplete and unfinished. Perhaps that’s purposeful, but fans may just find this empty.
Noise pop — where?? Best Coast are back with a new single from the Adult Swim Singles Program, featuring surprisingly coherent lyrics and a summery, Cults + Motown feel. Yet another summer single for the playlists.
Bristol-based electronica/dubstep producer Joker is one of my favorite electronic artists in the scene, but I don’t particularly expect two accelerated verses from a bland rapper named Buggsy to ruin my video game-esque synths. Evidently, the unmixed and unmastered track was leaked through twitter — let’s hope that “mixing” it includes removing the raps.
Speaking of summer music…now THIS is rapping. A track from the Chicagoans’ upcoming debut album, masterful verses and a catchy chorus mark carry the song. My only complaint is that it’s too short — at 2.5 minutes, it seems to end just as it’s getting great.
I know it’s not typical of dubstep, but I much preferred Zomby when he teamed with Panda Bear or utilized ethereal vocal stylings. The blips and beeps certainly congeal into an enjoyably mysterious melody here, but the song feels like it needs vocals. Sadly, no other song on Zomby’s album besides the two above utilizes vocalists.
A few other selected new songs from the past week: