2. Listened to Four Great Songs
- “Silent Song” by Daniel Rossen
During the long hiatus Grizzly Bear has taken since their excellent 2009 release Veckatimest the band members have kept busy, releasing several quality side-projects. This solo EP by Rossen – one of the lead singers – is no exception in terms of that level of quality, but it also packs the punch of an exciting message: we’re ready to make another album as Grizzly Bear. Everything that’s good about “Silent Song” is what’s also good about Rossen’s main gig: spiraling harmonies, gorgeous arpeggios, shattering crescendos. Even though he’s on his own, this might be one of the best Grizzly Bear songs out there. Plus some slide guitar licks.
- “Gun Has No Trigger” by the Dirty Projectors
Yet another band we’ve been waiting to hear from for a while now, The Dirty Projectors have become more and more popular for their idiosyncrasies. This, the first release off of their upcoming album (out July 9th), demonstrates that they’re constantly re-inventing themselves to get better at what they do. The unpredictable vocal ticks are still there, but that new steely beat catapults this song into greatness.
- “No Feelings” by the Handsome Furs
This song is actually kinda old by now, and, rather than signaling the return of a great band, it signals the end of a retired one. Handsome Furs used to be a side-project to the indie rock super-group Wolf Parade, but, with the disbandment of the latter, the former has come into its own. “No Feelings” is an affecting rush of a dance song (imagine Bruce Springsteen in astronaut gear, propelled by wailing guitars) and concludes their first album as a main project.
- “The World” by Charles Bradley
Even though it was released in 2010, this song neatly packages and emphasizes all that was good about motown. There’s passion, blazing horns, and hazy background vocals. Bradley’s record, overall, leaves a bit to be desired, but this song is a testament to his ascension to the throne of soul for this decade. Perfect to dig out of the vaults for the sun-kissed summer we’re slipping into.