Care to peek at our personal playlists? Here is a collection of ten songs that we’re jamming at the moment, including work by Mike Patton, Helms Alee, 2 Foot Yard, Ocean, The Bad Plus, and more.
Mike Patton: “A Perfect Twist (Vocal)” (A Perfect Place soundtrack)
With the brilliant soundtrack to the short film A Perfect Place, Mike Patton filters the same melodic theme through spaghetti western, ragtime swing, film noir, and much more. The theme is first heard while blasted through commanding horns and played over Latin percussive elements, and it later undergoes dark atmospherics while morphing to and fro.
With “A Perfect Twist (Vocal),” Patton uses the melody in a vibrant, springing, Munsters-inspired rock tune, in which he first declares, “I’ll bend you over my knee / let’s see what you can take / never gonna break.”
Ocean: “The Beacon” (Pantheon of the Lesser)
Opening Pantheon of the Lesser, “The Beacon” is almost 36 minutes of the slowest doom. Don’t try to match your deep-breathing exercises to this band; you’ll die due to lack of oxygen.
Andreas Kapsalis Trio: “Doppelganger” (Original Scores)
Finger-tapping guitar virtuoso Andreas Kapsalis creates captivating pseudo-soundtrack work that bounds across genres. With the aid of percussionists Jamie Gallagher and Darren Garvey, Kapsalis traverses Mediterranean, Spanish, Asian, and African styles to fantastic effect while establishing a unique sound.
Helms Alee: “A New Roll” (Night Terror)
Mixing male/female vocal harmonies with alternately melodic and fuzzed-out rock riffs, Helms Alee engages listeners through its ability to soothe as well as bludgeon. “A New Roll,” the first song after Night Terror‘s intro, does the former with bassist Dana James’ soft two-part vocals and the latter with guitarist Ben Verellen’s searing screams.
2 Foot Yard: “Octopus” (Borrowed Arms)
Leading off the group’s 2008 album Borrowed Arms, this song is beautiful enough to melt the coldest of hearts. The gorgeous chamber pop of violininst Carla Kihlstedt, cellist Marika Hughes, and percussionist/guitarist Shahzad Ismaily creates a stirring backdrop for Kihlstedt to sing about her three hearts (like the title’s namesake).
American Relay: “Long Gone” (Corn & Oil)
Blues-rock two-piece American Relay doesn’t beat around the bush. The duo’s straightforward approach will get you grooving with fuzzy slide riffs and driving beats.
Jerseyband: “The Glad Hand” (unreleased exclusive)
From the forthcoming full-length by this lungcore seven-piece, “The Glad Hand” marks another pummeling chapter in the band’s horns + metal oeuvre. Check out the exclusive track below.
The Evpatoria Report: “Eighteen Robins Road” (Maar)
This Swiss outfit produces dreamy, spacey, instrumental rock with a violin that can double as a slide guitar. “Eighteen Robins Road” opens the band’s epic new release for Get a Life! Records.
The Bad Plus: “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” (For All I Care)
In February, hard-hitting jazz trio The Bad Plus will release a disc entirely of covers. The group’s deconstructed renditions of rock songs are often fan favorites, and with “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate,” the three make an already-grand Flaming Lips tune into a jazz-rock epic. Guest vocalist Wendy Lewis establishes a powerful presence throughout For All I Care.
Nebula: “All The Way” (BBC/Peel Sessions)
Psychedelic garage-rock trio Nebula recently released an official bootleg of live cuts recorded with John Peel between 2002 and 2004. A worthy listen for any long time fan or psych/stoner rock aficcionado.