Every week, The Tune publishes a survey of the newest songs making their way around the internetz 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.
We’re only a few months into 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 Thrice, Snow Patrol, Kanye West & Jay-Z, Mutemath, Switchfoot, Marianas Trench, Jack’s Mannequin, M83, St. Vincent, O.A.R., Dum Dum Girls, Fruit Bats, and many more! 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!
Thrice is one of the most dependable rock bands in existence, and this track — the first they debuted live and the first they recorded for their upcoming album Major/Minor — is a roaring riff-driven song that recalls “At The Last” from Beggars. Unfortunately, Thrice aren’t at their best when they’re roaring…their last three albums can certify that.
Fans all around the world can pick out Gary Lightbody’s distinctive voice anytime, anywhere; however, it shouldn’t be hard behind the string-drenched disco beat of this new single. As usual, Snow Patrol are inoffensively memorable, packing just enough theatricality into a pop number to lend it a sense of unconquerable melodrama. And it’s this unconquerable melodrama that makes their fans love them so much (“this is your life, this is your time!”). Success.
Mutemath’s approach to alternative rock is decidedly unique: percussion-centered and rhythmically playful, their last album Armistice was one of the highlights of 2009, and the new song maintains the “odd soul” that the band is known for. Best of all, they released in as six separate tracks (drums, bass, guitar, synth, vocals, and background vocals) on their site for fans to remix at will.
An Otis Redding sample (“Try A Little Tenderness”) loops on the first Watch The Throne cut we’ve heard that will actually appear on the album (January’s “H.A.M.” has been relegated to bonus track status). ‘Ye and Jay half-freestyle, and while they’re nearly at their best rhyming “stuntmen” with “Phillip Drummond ‘em,” “summer in,” and “dumb again,” the lack of chorus and the short (three minute) playtime keep this from reaching for the skies.
28-year-old Annie Erin Clark has found quite the audience for her last two critically-adored albums, and many of them are diehard fans. Her newest track, the first single from upcoming September release Strange Mercy, is not only meant for them (intergalactic solo, dreamy chorus) but for Padawans too (lilting singer-songwriter melodies, simmering synths).
French electronic act M83 is named after a galaxy, and their music — particularly 2008′s brilliant Saturdays = Youth — has reflected the nomenclature from the start. On the first single from their upcoming October double-album, the band maintains the stellar tones but tempers them with an ’80s-style solo at the song’s climax and an MGMT-esque synth riff that should suck in all the highschool hipsters.
A band that used to be edgy, Jack’s Mannequin is six years removed from their best album (2005′s Everything In Transit). But they seem to have settled on a future as a pop-rock act à la Augustana rather than a return to the emo/punk-tinged piano tracks of their original sound, and this new single is as mediocre as you’d expect it to be. My thoughts won’t be racing to these guys anytime soon.
Bush – “The Sound Of Winter” (Rock)
Come now, did you really think that Gavin Rossdale could write another “Glycerine” or “Machinehead” after being pussywhipped by Gwen Stefani for 10 years? Of course not. But the song is entirely listenable, and hell, that chorus — if not merely for its trite simile — is worthy of the ’90s grunge act.
If you’re “Restless,” Switchfoot, I’ll fire your own advice back at you: “I dare you to move.” And it seems you need some dares to move away from the comfortable radio-friendly pop-rock you’ve adopted on this new single, a far cry from your solid 2006 release Oh! Gravity. There’s absolutely nothing remarkable about this song.
Björk – “Cosmogony” (Experimental)
The world around her makes her wonder, but the famous Icelandic singer makes us wonder. “Heaven’s bodies!” sounds like what Björk’s lover might say to her in bed…
Cartel – “Lessons In Love”(Pop-Punk)
Since their debut album in 2005, I’ve followed all of Cartel’s three releases (with a fourth planned for later this year), and have been one of the many fans disillusioned by their Band In A Bubble stunt and the mediocrity of their last two releases. Like the best cuts on Cycles, however, “Lessons In Love” returns to bouncy, busy pop-punk that plays like a demo from Chroma. But hell, a Chroma B-side is better than anything the band’s released since.
It’s rather ridiculous that O.A.R. are about to release their seventh album — I remember jamming to “That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker” well over a decade ago. The ska/roots rock origins have been minimized in favor of radio pop-rock sounds, however, and when Marc Roberge slides into “I don’t wanna go to heaven if they don’t want me,” you will sing along, though not as loudly as you did to the emotive “Shattered.”
The new 6.5-minute track from California Sub Pop act Dum Dum Girls plods along like a turtle with a distorted guitar, and the effect is something like playing a game of charades while hopped up on painkillers. “You abuse the ones who love you,” Dee-Dee croons like a cross between a Motown singer and EMA. Don’t miss it.
Canadian group Marianas Trench caught my ear with their 2009 second studio album, Masterpiece Theatre, a playful medley of theatricality, pop-punk, and alt. rock; now they’re back, trying to conquer the U.S. by retaining all of the above elements and adding a certain…boy-band beat. It reminds me of The Starting Line‘s “The Best Of Me,” for some reason. Admit it, you’re intrigued.
“We smoke/ The smell is everywhere we go,” stoner rappers Wiz and Curren$y, with a little help from Kanye protégé Big Sean, spit on “Flowers,” one of the two poppy-field new songs from the trio. “O.T.T.R.” talks more of fame and women, though you can still catch them “blazing” from time to time. Both are memorable hip-hop tracks, two of the best of 2011 so far.
Hot Water Music – “The Fire, The Steel, The Tread” (Indie Rock)
If you know anything about the punk scene of the late ’90s and early ’00s, you know these guys — and with their first new release in seven years approaching, the Florida group is aiming to break into the hearts of scenesters everywhere. Chuck Ragan’s vocals are mixed back as he growls over a calm track.
Swede Emil Svanängen‘s “Airport Surroundings” from 2009′s Dear John got me addicted, and this new exercise in calm circularity (3:33, and it feels as if it begins where it starts) is more breezy but less poppy. Suits him nicely.
LIGHTS – “Everybody Breaks A Glass (ft. Holy Fuck & Shad K)” (Electropop) MP3
-another Canadian with an agenda, Ms. Poxleitner fizzes violently like a shaken soda
The Static Jacks – “Relief” (Indie Pop-Rock)
-BritPop plays a part in the upcoming 4th release from these NJ boys
Bright and Early – “Always On My Mind” (Indie Pop-Rock)
-yeah, it’s just pop-rock — forget the indie, this takes it’s clues from the radio