The Needle Drop

New Music

Premiere: All India Radio - "Vega"

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All India Radio is an atmospheric downtempo outfit hailing from down under–shoutout to Melbourne! Frontman Martin Kennedy and his rotating cast of characters have been at it since the late '90s and are dropping (what's by my count) their 13th studio album next week. Titled S P A C E and sporting album art that was originally commissioned for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, it's an album so confident in its hand that it's eager to show it as soon as possible.

We're premiering the project's opening track, "Vega," a grand instrumental that sets the stage quite well. Yes, it's got the vibe of other acts who similarly have their heads in the cosmos, like the aforementioned Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips at their most ethereal, but also in the mix is a bit of the Lynchian noir of, say, Timber Timbre. Hopefully this mix of sounds does it for you. Listen below and enjoy!

S P A C E begins streaming May 25 via The Big Takeover.

Death Grips - "Black Paint"

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Death Grips’ upcoming album Year of the Snitch was announced in April, but still does not have a release date. However, this second single, “Black Paint,” could be a sign that Year of the Snitch is arriving soon.

The band started teasing Year of the Snitch last September with the “Death Grips is Online” meme, which is also the title of the album’s opening track. The most eccentric part of this album rollout so far is the abrasive tracklist video that included screaming vocals from MC Ride accompanied by a dark, unsettling, and confusing video clips.

Heavy, distorted guitar riffs and Zach Hill’s energetic drumming make “Black Paint” one of Death Grips’ most rock-centric songs. It contrasts with “Streaky,” the album’s lead single, which centered around dissonant synths and electronic percussion. MC Ride’s vocal delivery contrasts starkly between the two singles as well. While “Streaky” featured Ride’s cooler lower-register, on “Black Paint” he screams cryptic, paranoid lyrics full-volume.

-Owen Murray

Mitski - "Geyser"

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Indie rock singer-songwriter Mitski has announced her new album, Be the Cowboy and released a new single, “Geyser.”

With a runtime of just under two-and-a-half minutes, “Geyser” gets right to the point. It starts slow but builds quickly, ending with an explosion of drums, guitar and synths. In an interview with NPR, Mitski said "Geyser" is “all feeling,” rather than narrative, and described it as one of her vaguest songs.

Be the Cowboy follows 2016's Puberty 2 and is slated for an August 17 release via Dead Oceans. Mitski recently finished touring with Lorde and Run the Jewels and will hit the road again this June for a headlining tour.

-Owen Murray

André 3000- "Me&My (To Bury Your Parents)" / "Look Ma No Hands"

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As a Mother’s Day surprise, André 3000 made his return to music with two songs that pay tribute to the life of his parents. Surprisingly, neither song features a rap verse.

“Me&My (To Bury Your Parents)” is a heartfelt ballad that finds André singing and reminiscing about the time he spent with his parents. André joined Instagram recently to announce the tracks and posted the handwritten lyrics to “Me&My” along with the caption, “Happy Mother’s Day I’m sure all the cards, dinners, flowers and last minute gifts are appreciated but I’ve learned the best gift a mother could get is to simply know their child is ok.” André also shared text messages from his mom from the day before she died in 2013.

While both songs feature André on the bass clarinet, the instrument plays a larger role in the 17-minute jazz instrumental “Look Ma No Hands.” The track is a duet, with James Blake on piano.

-Owen Murray

Snail Mail - "Heat Wave"

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Snail Mail is the indie rock solo project of Baltimore singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan. Following the promising 6-song Habit EP from a few years back, Snail Mail has released two singles ahead of her upcoming debut album, Lush, which will be out June 8 via Matador.

The newest is “Heat Wave,” which has higher production value and a much more grandiose sound than anything on Habit, which had a DIY feel. The guitar work is slightly more sophisticated but retains a rugged appeal, while the improved mixing brings Jordan’s melancholic and sentimental lyrics to the center of attention. The song is accompanied by an exciting, inspiring, and hockey-themed music video.

Snail Mail is playing numerous shows in the coming months, including opening for Japanese Breakfast and Belle and Sebastian.

-Owen Murray

Girl Talk & Erick the Architect - “Trouble in Paradise”

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Electronic producer Girl Talk is best known for his mashup albums that came out in the second half of the 2000s. On Night Ripper, Feed the Animals, and All Day, he mixed classic pop and rock songs with the top hip hop and pop tunes of the day. Though the selection is dated by now, the variety and fluidity of the mixes still makes them exciting listens.

His new single “Trouble in Paradise” with Erick the Architect of Flatbush Zombies just passes the two-minute mark. The track’s only sample is the pulsing bass and some vocal snippets from Julian Casablancas + The Voidz’s “Take Me in Your Army,” which gives “Trouble in Paradise” a dark, synthetic sound. Erick delivers a passionate verse about over-policing and police violence, but spends the second half of the track saying the hook ad nauseam.

Girl Talk’s last release was 2014’s Broken Ankles EP, a collaboration with Philly rapper Freeway. Flatbush Zombies dropped their sophomore album, Vacation in Hell, earlier this month.

-Owen Murray

Blanck Mass - "Odd Scene" / "Shit Luck"

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Blanck Mass is the solo project of Benjamin John Power, a founding member of the British experimental electronic duo Fuck Buttons. On previous Blanck Mass projects Power has experimented with dark, droning electronic music that contrasts with the often colorful sound of Fuck Buttons.

Surprisingly, Power all but abandons electronica in favor of black metal on the newest Blanck Mass singles, “Odd Scene” and “Shit Luck.” The sudden shift in genre is shocking only to a degree; the songs still fit the grim, heavy aesthetic of Blanck Mass’s previous work.

“Odd Scene” and “Shit Luck” were released on a 12” for Record Store Day and follow up the remix EP World Eater Re-Voxed from earlier this year.

-Owen Murray

Wavves - "All Star Goth"

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Wavves frontman Nathan Williams is re-releasing the band's self-titled debut for Record Store Day in honor of the album’s 10th anniversary. This previously unreleased track, “All Star Goth,” will be included on the reissue.

“All Star Goth” would be among the noisiest tracks on the exceptionally noisy Wavves. The heavily distorted guitars create a wall of sound that is suspended underneath echoing vocal harmonies. The song sounds like a combination of Car Seat Headrest’s Twin Fantasy (which it predates by 3 years) and the Beach Boys-esque vocals of Panda Bear’s "Comfy in Nautica."

The Wavves re-release will be available tomorrow on colored vinyl.

-Owen Murray