1. Distant Past – Everything Everything
The first single of the Manchester genre-defying weirdo’s next album ‘Get To Heaven’ boosts their catchiest every chorus and what appears to be an almost indie-dance vibe. It lacks the band’s usual obtuse key and chord changes but still boasts frontman Johnathan Higgs’ trademark piercing but beautifully pure falsetto range. Lyrically it’s as dark and bizarre as ever with a prehistoric (“blood dripping down my sunken monkey chin”) and evolutionary (“soon I’ll be the best around). Overall, it’s a well-balanced single, the jagged, rapid fire delivery of the verses complimenting the expansive chorus. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to return to the ‘Distant Past.’
2. Lampshades On Fire – Modest Mouse
It’s been eight years since there’s been any new Modest Mouse material and on the evidence shown here it’s a big hole they left. Taken from upcoming album ‘Strangers to Ourselves’ this lead single reminds of the off-kilter charm and vocal idiosyncrasies of lead singer Isaac Brock. Starting off with only a bare sounding electronic organ and minimal drums it soon develops into a spikey stomp with Brocks speedy patter making for an intriguing listen. “This is what a really call a party now” indeed.
3. Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) – Father John Misty
Father John Misty (formerly folk singer-songwriter Josh Tillman) certainly knows how to tell a story. It’s a love song of sorts, but it’s certainly not a bed of roses. Father John’s beau has a wedding dress “someone was probably murdered in” and she’s “cheated her way through film school” but he can’t seem to help himself. It’s a gorgeous production though full of orchestral flourishes and a trumpet solo that is an earworm in itself. It’s a song to get lost in with Father John’s evocative lyrics and doleful voice taking the listener though an intriguing and beguiling narrative.