The passage of time is important to Mac DeMarco. The pratfalls never stop, and the Viceroy scent of willful self-destruction may always follow him, but a surprising number of the 26-year-old’s songs are about that “same old boy” “getting older,” and even just reminiscing. The burnished acoustic pop of “This Old Dog,” the title track (and one of two new songs including “My Old Man”) from Mac’s upcoming LP, is in line with his continued worries about getting longer in the teeth. He evidently spent more time than usual on perfecting the songs for this album, demoing as he was preparing to make that West Coast move to Los Angeles all New Yorkers, native or not, think about. Don’t worry, parents and kids: Refining his craft doesn’t mean the goofball feeling has to change. That’s pretty close to the theme of “This Old Dog,” a shaggy ode to romantic constancy, come what may. The sentiment is a simple one, and while DeMarco is often aptly compared to Jonathan Richman, his crisply enunciated vocal here summons up vintage John Lennon. Y’know, Mac is 182 in dog years.
Read the rest of this article at: Pitchfork
Thundercat - Friend Zone
After paying tribute to yacht rock with Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, Thundercat comes back with the Valentine’s Day present “Friend Zone.” Manning the ship solo on this outing, Thundercat’s new single returns to his signature bounce as he rides an astral key riff. (He also finds the space to quote Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.”)
“Friend Zone,” along with the previously released “Show You the Way,” will appear on Thundercat’s upcoming LP Drunk, which is out February 24 via Brainfeeder.
Read the rest of this article at: Spin
Act As If - Not Falling
Los Angeles’ indie pop/rock collective Act As If – comprised of Peter Verdell Diego De La Rosa, Derrick Wong, and Tristen Whaley – have spent the time since their 2014 album Steady to perform like crazy and reap the benefits of placing some of their songs in television (MTV, ABC, CBS). The upcoming EP Lovers Online was written about Verdell’s experiences in the online dating world, almost a tell-all (or perhaps a warning). We’ve got the track premiere for “Not Falling” right here.
A funky beat with slight nods to 80’s synth pop begins the song right, giving us the feel that warm weather is just around the corner. (When, of course, it actually isn’t in our neck of the woods.) “I came along and took your heart like medicine” is just one of the fun lyrics in the song, a sentiment many can relate to. The chorus is ridiculously catchy, something you would definitely play with your sun roof open, windows down with friends. As Verdell repeats “I’m not falling,” we are reminded of our own feelings while in puppy love.
Read the rest of this article at: Impose
Steve Monite - Only You
Released in December, Soundway’s latest compilation hopes to address the Western bias of the disco canon, collecting 21 vibrant, sassy and irresistible boogie, pop and disco tracks from ’80s Nigeria in one place.
Just as in the States, the Nigerian disco explosion was ignited when funk and soul hit the dancefloor for a new generation concerned only with getting down.
Flirting with the country’s rock and psychedelic roots that emerged during Nigeria’s bloody civil war, as well as the raw power of Fela’s afro-beat, this new music took inspiration from the sheen of ’80s USA, from the jump-suits to the falsetto vocals and slap bass.
A national phenomenon, it was in Lagos that this scene hit its peak, with artists like Jake Sollo, Lemmy Jackson, Tony Essien and Odion Iruoje carving out deep disco cuts that have been sought after by open-minded disco heads around the world for some time. None more so perhaps than Oby Onyioha’s ‘Enjoy Your Life’, which would have surely made our recent rundown of the greatest disco 12″s, had it ever made it off the album.
Read the rest of this article at: The Vinyl Factory
Whitney - No Woman
The band Whitney's Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich, formerly of Smith Westerns, wrote their debut album, Light Upon The Lake, while swapping song ideas and breakup stories during a Chicago winter. The album came out in June, but after a couple of months in the summer sun, it finally feels ripe. Warmth radiates off this folky, big-band rock record, which is equipped with sweet guitar strumming and vocals as fuzzy as old memories. These are songs of recollection, of bygone days, and it's fitting that you listen after they have had time to settle.
Settling happens not to be on the agenda, however, in "No Woman," the album's first track. The song's narrator flings himself onto a train with a drink in his hand, finds himself by the coast and ends up driving home in the dark, apparently adrift without a cause. Yet this is no aimless road trip: In the short, plaintive chorus — "No woman/No woman," delivered alongside ambling guitar plucks — we get our glimpse of the titular woman and realize that the narrator is not just an itinerant, but a fugitive from hard feelings. It sounds like an accidental dispatch, murmured as if in a fitful sleep — and we happen to be eavesdropping. In but a few words, the thought of her suffuses the atmosphere like the heat outside.
No Woman" succeeds in making us feel displaced, even though we end up where we started. The song begins, seems to end and then restarts with new words that carry the same muddled sentiments; like the narrator, it moves on without really moving on. We meet him in medias res, plodding toward the transition he knows must come: "I've been going through a change/I might never be sure/I'm just walking in a haze/I'm not ready to turn." In the second half, the lyrics are buffeted by an increasingly rhythmic current and accompanied by glimmers of violin, piano and trumpet that swell until the song is nearly over. Then, those auxiliary sounds back away to leave Ehrlich singing over a lone guitar, just as he began. We've returned after some time on the road, but the haze still has yet to clear.
Read the rest of this article at: NPR