What’s New in the World of Alternative?
There is a bunch of news, good and bad, kicking around in the world of alternative that has come up in the past couple of weeks. Instead of making you drudge through the latest Gaga news and where Rihanna happened to dine three days ago in search of stuff we actually care about, I have decided to compile the latest info to make it easier on your likely anti-stupid-news-about-fashion-because-I-just-want-to-read-about-music sentiment.
So what is new in the world of alternative music?
1. The Killers:
Let’s start off with the news I find to be the most exciting (it’s likely that you’ll agree with me). The Killers, as most know by now, are set to release their newest album, Battle Born, on September 18th. They’ve already released their first single, the characteristically epic “Runaways,” but at their show in Asheville, North Carolina, they also played three other new songs from the album. Available on the ever resourceful YouTube are recordings of “Rising Tide,” “Flesh and Bones,” and “Miss Atomic Bomb,” albeit video recordings of incredibly bad quality.
Now I know that the recordings make it sound like Brandon Flowers is going flat (like REALLY flat), that the crowd noise is more than annoying, and make the bass sound like nothing but crackles, but at least they give us more of a sense of what we can expect from Battle Born.
In a recent interview, the man himself, Brandon Flowers said that “Runaways” “definitely has a couple of ‘brothers’ on the record. It’s a great starting point, but there are more styles as well…We’ve never hid our influences, and we’ve always been loud and proud. This album is going down a few different roads, and you really get a taste of what we like as a band and what we think our strengths are.”
OK, so now I’m really excited. ”Runaways” is a great track, but, as I said in my recent review of the single, it is reminiscent of others of the big, poppy, epic songs of past albums such as “Somebody Told Me,” “Mr. Brightside,” “Human,” and “When You Were Yong.” Which, of course is not a bad thing. But I can’t wait for the deeper and more innovative tracks of the album, which Flowers here promises are not only coming but will be even farther from their typical sound than before. Regardless, I can’t wait for the new album, as there is no doubt in my mind that it will be just as glorious as their previous four (including Sawdust, their awesome and often overlooked compilation album).
EDIT: The Killers just released the official video for “Runaways” late last night! Check it out here.
2. The Darkness:
So The Darkness are releasing a new album entitled Hot Cakes on August 21st. They released their first two singles already: “Everybody Have a Good Time” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us.” Not exactly my cup of tea, but not terrible (but what is up with the videos? Bizare). It sounds like an odd (and not-quite-meeting-the-bar mix of Queen and…I don’t know what), but again, not terrible.
But The Darkness did something that I cannot and will not condone. They covered Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” The cover IS terrible. It hurts me to listen to. Maybe some might enjoy it. Some might even say that they love it. I…I just can’t.
3. Hot Chip
Next up is the promised news about one of my new favorites, Hot Chip. In Our Heads, their fifth studio album, was release back in April, but continues to draw good attention. The band, in typical fashion, has released a slew of weird music videos for many of the disparate tracks on In Our Heads. We’ve got “Flutes,” “Night and Day,” and “Look At Where We Are” thus far.
And now we have “How Do You Do?”
“How Do you Do?” is the band’s second single off of the album and will be released on vinyl and for digital download on September 10th. It is an awesome track of poppy synth, a blend of vocals from Alexis Taylor, Joe Goddard, and backed up by Al Doyle, catchy lyrics, a more-than-dance-able beat, and just overall disco coolness.
The video itself, directed by Rollo Jackson, perfectly matches the song. Essentially the band went ahead and had some fun with a green screen, placing themselves in front of bizarre backgrounds and scenes while also using filters on and off to make themselves glowing afterimages and the like. It’s great and it’s spastic and goofy nature is reminiscent of the song, which I always thought was the purpose of a music video.
Lastly, check out this post that the band made on their website. If you pay close enough attention you may read about how the band is scoring the introductory music to the Ping Pong Competition at the 2012 Olympics in London. Gotta love Hot Chip
4. Passion Pit
Passion Pit just released their sophomore album, Gossamer, on July 24th (check out our very own DJ Lucky’s review of Gossamer here).
Last week on the 18th the band released the video for the second single off of the album, “I’ll Be Alright.” Directed by amateur filmmaker Greg Barth, the video was the winner of the Genero.tv Competition and thus selected to be the official video for the song.
The video is definitively one of the better music videos I have ever seen. It is quirky, funny, artistic, and certainly fitting to the vibe of the song and even the album on a whole. It is what I imagine Salvador Dali would’ve created had he been a filmmaker rather than an artist. Very surreal, yet also very relatable as I’m sure most people can understand the boredom of the security guard and the feelings that we watch him go through during his journey of tripping face.
If only that would happen to me when I went to a Contemporary Art Museum maybe I would finally “get it.”