The Needle Drop

New Music

Premiere: The Telescopes - "Until the End"

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The Telescopes are a shoegaze and noise rock outfit hailing from England who have been at it since the late ‘80s. Since forming, they’ve dabbled in a myriad of other sounds ranging from the downtempo of their third album to the Metal Machine Music-esque feedback barrages of Infinite Suns.

On February 1, the band will release its 10th studio album, Exploding Head Syndrome, via Tapete Records. This new album comes on the heels of 2017’s Stone Tape and As Light Return, two of The Telescopes’ droniest efforts to date. Exploding Head Syndrome is, in contrast, a much more song-oriented work and was created almost entirely by frontman Stephen Lawrie on his own. The one exception being the track we’re premiering today, which has a co-writing credit going to fellow guitarist/vocalist Chris Plavidal.

“Until the End” forecasts something much easier-going than the outfit’s first two entries in the Tapete catalog. This track in particular even has a hypnagogic quality to it, in the same vein as John Maus’ take on pop. The quite AESTHETIC visuals courtesy of Little Lens Video further suggest that potential reference point, though admittedly Lawrie tends to bury his voice much deeper into the mix than Maus does. And most importantly, the instrumental palette here remains rooted in The Telescopes’ brand of shoegaze.

The seven remaining tracks on Exploding Head Syndrome have a bit more bite to them, but if you’ve been wanting to hear The Telescopes mellow out a bit or if you’re simply big on dream pop, do give this song and video a shot. Hope you dig it!

Premiere: Hunters Chorus - "Wish"

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Old Growler cover.jpg

Hunters Chorus is a solo endeavor by composer and multi-instrumentalist Ramon Fermin, who also happens to be the lead guitarist of Sun Kil Moon for this current album cycle. Fittingly, Hunters Chorus' debut album Old Growler, a tribute to Ramon's late dog Jasmine, is dropping next month via Mark Kozelek's Caldo Verde Records. The instrumental album finds Ramon on guitar and bass, his friend Haig Shirinian on drums, and Jack Shirley (best known for his work on Deafheaven's Sunbather) on the boards.

Today we're bringing you the track "Wish," which is one of the album's harder rocking spots. Some pieces on Old Growler, such as the intro and closer, are serene soundscapes of unaccompanied electric and acoustic guitar, whereas a track like "Wish" is very much in the spirit of late-period Red House Painters' heaviest moments. Obviously this song is without Mark's aching baritone, but it occupies that liminal space between classic rock and post-rock that some of Blue Guitar and Old Ramon did... the title of the latter is now a kind of funny coincidence.

Just reading about Old Growler's concept, one might expect something along the lines of the first Silver Mt. Zion album and brace for the waterworks, but "Wish" offers something quite a bit more upbeat. It's a solid piece of instrumental rock, and the anthemic guitar leads and soloing that emerge in its last phase have me looking forward to Ramon's contributions to this November's Sun Kil Moon album. His fingerprints are certainly all over the latest single, "Linda Blair."

Old Growler gets unleashed on October 19 and can be pre-ordered here.


Brockhampton - "1999 WILDFIRE"

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The fuck am I looking at—a Brockhampton music video that's not in 4:3? Y'all were right: RCA changed them!

Piss-take aside, "1999 WILDFIRE" is the All-American Boyband's first official single of the year, promoting their upcoming album The Best Years of Our Lives, and it's cause for celebration if only because it's the type of banger that listeners seem to wish "Tonya" had been. It's not a bad one at that, with its OutKast-worthy hook and, damn, that bearface breakdown. Glad to hear him being integrated into the group's music more and more. These teaser tracks aren't giving us at TND much of a reason not to be optimistic about the new album. Hopefully that'll still be a summer drop.

Death Grips - "Hahaha"

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“Hahaha” is the fourth single from Death Grips' upcoming album Year of the Snitch, whose June 22 release date has just been revealed.

The track samples a number of Death Grips’ past songs, most apparently "Lock Your Doors" in the intro. It also features pervasive record scratching contributed by DJ Swamp, who is said to be featured on the majority of the album. These elements, along with the slew of sudden instrumental shifts, put “Hahaha” among the trio's most disorienting and multi-faceted tracks.

serpentwithfeet - "seedless"

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New York-based singer and avant-garde artist serpentwithfeet will release his debut album soil tomorrow through Secretly Canadian. The album’s singles so far have displayed the artist's unique mix of soul and electronic music.

The latest single, “seedless,” is co-produced with Clams Casino. serpentwithfeet’s trembling falsetto is here in full force, as his dark and intimate lyrics describe a flawed relationship. “seedless” has a more straightforward structure than the album’s previous singles, but is made more ominous by an unsettling spoken-word passage.

soil will follow 2016’s blisters EP. serpentwithfeet will embark upon a North American tour later this month.

-Owen Murray

Pusha T - "The Story of Adidon"

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Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” seemed like a savage response to Pusha T’s diss on “Infrared.” However, Pusha’s response, “The Story of Adidon,” changes the playing field and makes it look like “Infrared” was setting the bait rather than poking the bear.

The first shock that comes with “Story of Adidon” is the cover which, as Pusha T points out on Twitter, is an actual photo of Drake in blackface.

Rapping over the No I.D.-produced beat to Jay-Z’s “Story of OJ,” Pusha keeps the shocking revelations coming. Among jabs at Drake’s recent single “I’m Upset” and his producer Noah “40” Shebib, Pusha alleges that Drake secretly has a son with a pornstar. “You are hiding a child, let that boy come home.” He couldn’t have said it more bluntly.

Pusha finished off by saying he wants to see Drake angry, inviting another response. Again, “Duppy Freestyle” seemed like a hard act to follow, but Pusha T somehow made it sound effortless.

-Owen Murray

Drake - "Duppy Freestyle"

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Pusha T took shots at Drake on “Infrared,” the closer of his new album, DAYTONA. Push called out Drake for using ghostwriters in the bars, “The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’ / The bigger question is how the Russians did it.”

On “Duppy Freestyle,” Drake fires back hard at Pusha T and Kanye West, who produced DAYTONA. The context surrounding the track is similar to “Back to Back” which Drake released in 2015 as a response to Meek Mill’s accusations that he used ghostwriters. This time, Drake takes an even harsher tone.

At times Drake is defensive—“Whoever’s supposedly making me hits but ain’t got no hits sound like they need me”—but it’s when he takes the offensive that he sounds serious. He points out what he sees as hypocrisy, calling back to when he helped Kanye with “Father Stretch My Hands” and “30 Hours.” He also questions Push’s integrity with the line, “Man, you might've sold the college kids for Nike & Mercedes / But you act like you sold drugs for Escobar in the '80s.”

Drake has never been one to stay quiet when challenged and his quick response shows that this time is no different.

-Owen Murray

James Blake - "Don't Miss It"

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In January, James Blake released the mellow, atmospheric single “If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead.” Now he has followed it up with “Don’t Miss It,” a collaboration with Mount Kimbie’s Dominic Maker. The tender ballad has a similarly glitchy aesthetic to its predecessor and features self-reflective lyrics over an instrumental that centers around piano and electronic drums. The vocals are pitch shifted and frenetic, but sound incredibly emotional nonetheless.

In addition to his own singles, James Blake worked on “King's Dead” from the Black Panther OST and played piano on André 3000’s recent single “Look Ma No Hands.” Blake’s last album, The Colour in Anything, came out in 2016. He has not yet announced a follow-up.

-Owen Murray