Even with these eerily unseasonable temps, February is a great time to break a summer song. Set against weeks of slate grey skies, a track like this is a much-appreciated dose of musical sunshine. Thanks go out to the breaking band known as Electric Guest and the producer Danger Mouse (who has emerged from the art house and returned to his infectious Gnarls Barkley sound).
Oh, about the picture above. After almost two weeks of a (nearly) device-free vacation in Vietnam, I’m back. The work that I’ve jumped back into is a bit dizzying, but the music that piled up while I was away includes some exciting stuff. So stay tuned.
When Jack White bid his final adieu to Meg, he headed off into the sunset with an Italian composer, a superstar producer, a bunch of classical guitarists and… well, Norah Jones. Rumors of Euro-inflected spaghetti westerns have swirled about since, and because nobody knew what the hell that meant we all just sort of waited. Until now.
Much like a college buddy who returns from a year abroad just like you remember him (save for a sudden penchant for Pelligrino), Jack’s back with a bit of a twist. It’s the voice that we remember, but now with a moody, almost psychedelic ambiance. It’s music meant to conjure a sense of place, and I suppose that place is depicted in this video…
As I’m caught amidst an afternoon of procrastination, I thought I’d share three cuts from surprising duos that are going to drop in the coming weeks.
The first is from Broken Bells. At the musical core is Danger Mouse, but Cee-Lo has been replaced with James Mercer from the Shins– so Gnarls Barkley is now Broken Bells. A nice, heartfelt song… that you can read about in the Times today but you can hear it here. So there.
The second song for the day, which I think I like even more than the first, is from The Very Best. In the spirit of their astonishingly good first mixtape, they have remixed an existing song from the xx with their own Malawi-inflected sound.