Playlist 20.01.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend


Playlist 20.01.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 20.01.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 20.01.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Arcade Fire feat. Mavis Staples - I Give You Power

Arcade Fire have shared a new song featuring Mavis Staples. It’s called “I Give You Power,” and all proceeds from it will go to the American Civil Liberties Union. “It's never been more important that we stick together & take care of each other,” the artists said in a tweet. Listen to “I Give You Power” below, and scroll down to watch them perform it at a May 2016 performance outside the Louvre. The band’s last album, Reflektor, arrived in 2013; it is unclear if this song will appear on an upcoming release.

Arcade Fire will perform at a number of festivals this year, including Primavera and Isle of Wight. They’ve been at work on their next album, which Will Butler said could arrive this spring. During their performance at Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in October 2016, the band recorded the crowd noise, with plans possibly to sample it for the record.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

Diet Cig - Tummy Ache

Diet Cig earned our Band To Watch designation by virtue of their charmingly approachable and insightful rudimentary songcraft and their infectious live presence, exemplified on their Over Easy EP and a pair of singles, “Dinner Date” and “Sleep Talk.” And now, after two years of relentless touring, they’re ready to release their debut album Swear I’m Good At This.

The first single is “Tummy Ache,” a tune that takes their formula — a few chords, a catchy melody, some reflections on the thrills and frustrations of young bohemian life — and coheres it into something sharper and fuller. “My stomach hurts,” Alex Luciano sings, “’cause it’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt.”

Read the rest of this article at Stereogum

Lucy Dacus - I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore

Getting boxed into being something you’re not is not fun. And it’s not funny, as Lucy Dacus lays out so pointedly on “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” the lead single from the Richmond singer’s forthcoming debut album, No Burden. The track reminds me of when I was in high school and it felt like I was being treated like some sassy gay side character in a sitcom, and it fucking sucked. People stood around waiting for my next punchline, and it was demoralizing and completely out of my control. No matter how smart I was and no matter how hard I tried to push against it, the world had decreed my personality type and there was nothing I could do about it.

But individuals contain multitudes, and feeling constrained by your friend group is a situation that can be changed. Dacus’ song offers an escape, but still feels held back by the fear over forging your own path and bucking societal expectations: “Is there room in the band? I don’t need to be the frontman/ If not, then I’ll be the biggest fan.” Later, she embraces all of the different aspects of herself: “I don’t want to the joke to be on me/ I’ll buy the clothes and I’ll be the best dressed/ I’ll read the books and I’ll be the smartest/ I’ll play guitar, and I’ll be the artist.” Getting people to take you seriously is an uphill battle, but it’s all worth it, and that confidence shines through in Dacus’ music

Read the rest of this article at Stereogum

Hazel English - Make It Better

I want to be seen, yet I want to be invisible,” begins Hazel English on her latest sun-kissed offering. It instantly sets the tone for the tale of mental conflict that’s told. But there’s no chance of this being a desperation-ridden affair; there’s a certain light at the end of every dark tunnel her songs go through, and it shimmers here.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, English isn’t actually a California native – she was born and grew up in Australia – but you wouldn’t know it. The delicately bouncing guitars and suitably soothing synths that drive ‘Make It Better’ produce just the kind of semi-hypnotic bliss that seems so synonymous with that part of the world.

Even if her sound is of the beach-pop persuasion, English has carved out her own easily identifiable niche. The lyrics come from a personal place and they’re all the more affecting for it. As ever, there’s a clarity to what’s being sung here; her elocution is akin to that of any pop star, and the connection is naturally enhanced because of it. ‘Make It Better’, like so much of her output so far, may be relaxed – a touch subdued, even – but it’s far too catchy and immediate to just be stuck on in the background. It’s another welcome helping of bittersweet magic from Hazel English, and another hint at her potential to truly go big.

Read the rest of this article at DIY

Cass McCombs - Opposite House

Cass McCombs writes songs for rainy days. Over the last 15 years, he has perfected a specific style of low-key, dusky mood music suited for long, gray weekends spent indoors with the blinds closed. Among his subtlest moments (2011’s Wit’s Ends) and his wildest (2013’s double-album Big Wheel & Others), McCombs’ voice has rarely risen above a conversational croon; his are songs you sing to yourself, wandering around the house, looking for something to do. And judging by “Opposite House,” the first single from Mangy Love, he may be starting to go stir crazy.In “Opposite House,” McCombs asks a rhetorical question about magnets (and answers it immediately). He deconstructs his refrigerator and then unleashes an army of pet snakes in the hallway, delighting as he watches them “coiling where the mice crawl.” All the while, Angel Olsen provides feathery, restrained backing vocals, subduing her distinctive yodel into something that can comfortably float around McCombs’ quiet, ghostly home. “Why does it rain inside?” they sing together, as a smooth string arrangement and gentle rhythm guitars create an eerily calm, soft rock atmosphere that masks the surrealist nightmare in the lyrics. “When it rains inside, there is nowhere to hide,” McCombs warns, before winking in the mirror: “Which is why I’m all sunshine.”

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

P.S. previous PLAYLISTS & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @lornaluxe, @joflowers, @joflowers