Discover more from The Unskippables
a perfect steely dan flip & futuristic CDMX drum n bass
U.S. Girls, The Saxophones, Water From Your Eyes, W.A.H., & Dry Cleaning!
Hellooooo everyone it is Tuesday and I’m here in your inbox to tell you about the week’s finest new tracks.
But first, as always, a handpicked bouquet of the Good Links:
When Elliott Smith was just Steve – Jayson Greene’s longread on digging into Elliott Smith’s teenage bands is a front-to-back delight, from the scans of perfectly pretentious high school liner notes, how the tracks found life on Smith’s later albums, bittersweet remembrances from his friends on the sweet feeling when your teenage grasp can never possibly match your reach.
BK’s best techno comes from Margaretville – with another excellent Sleep 300 album “Denature” from my favorite techno label, kshack.
Three takes on Morgan Wallen, who sucks – Pitchfork went XL in dressing down country’s #1 golden boy, while Jon Pareles gave a more even-handed review of Wallen’s blasé path to the top, and Jason Isbell just flexed with a subtweet.
KISS said this tour will be their last this week – which is a great reason to listen to 45 minutes of Paul Stanley stage banter. It’s all deeply insane, 100% screamed, and he yells it all with the confidence of a man who had a vision of God on a mountaintop of his own decaying brain cells.
U.S. Girls - Only Daedalus
The opening track from U.S. Girls’ Bless This Mess expertly freaks the piano pocket of Steely Dan’s “Royal Scam” into a sleek party starter. Meg Remy’s nimble writing pairs perfectly with producer/Holy Ghost!-er Alex Frankel’s deft disco touches on the mix. The song’s easy groove and bright synths illuminate the Dan-esque chorus piano bounce in pitch-perfect Cocktails and Dreams neon light – evidently they were close to getting a Donald Fagen duet for this one? Let’s goooooo.
Water From Your Eyes - Barley
“Barely” is striking experimental pop from Brooklyn’s Water From Your Eyes upcoming new LP. Urgent, kaleidoscopic textures careen into Rachel Brown’s deadpan delivery like a psych-pop waterslide, less building layers than constantly zooming out to find new sounds on the margins. There are hints of Broadcast and Stereolab’s past visions of the future, but there’s no nostalgia here – Brown spends the song singing about counting mountains, and it’s clear they see something over the horizon that the rest of us can catch just yet.
The Saxophones - Desert Flower
Underneath “Desert Flower’s” immediate Lee Hazlewood dramatic top notes, you’ll find hints of Karl Blau and Smog in the Saxophone’s deadpan lyricism and haunting, minimal arrangement. The duo’s moody post-Lynchian lounge pop is enchanting and shrouded in a mystic fog, and when the group’s eponymous instrument finally takes a solo, you’ll be grasping for a chic martini at the Black Lodge.
W.A.H. - DIABLO (BUBBLY EDIT)
Stumbled across this DnB edit of Rosalía while curising Bandcamp and all of this 20 year old CDMX artist’s edits are…fire? The “DIABLO” edit felt the most like molecular gastronomy to me, especially the way he flips/pitch-bends the outro of the original track into tiny 8-bit champagne bubbles. The Young Miko and “Chorrito Pa Las Animas” remixes similarly throw pure club chaos on top of the original tracks, edited with the chutzpah of someone who makes edits just to see the grins of their friends on the dance floor.
Dry Cleaning - Hot Penny Day (Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul Remix)
Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul’s Topical Dancer slowly creeped into my favorite records of 2022 with its winking synthesis and surprising lyrical intimacy, so I was happy to see the duo drop a remix for Dry Cleaning’s “Hot Penny Day” this week. Their ear for the perfect mix of the ridiculous and the ridiculously funky is a great pairing for Florence Shaw’s deadpan vocals as they build a creaking groove out of blips and burps around her a capella.
Amanda Lear - Follow Me
I wouldn’t have heard this song if I didn’t go deep into a Vanderpump Rules binge this weekend to see if I could see clues for Tom Sandoval cheating on Ariana with Raquel in Season 10. I mean, he did it once with Ariana and Kirsten, but again? And with…Raquel? Tom Schwartz knowingly covered for them with the “makeout” plot??? Why!
Either way, this song was in a commercial that was on repeat in ad breaks watching season 10, a 1978 glitterball with a Quaalude-esque lurch in the vocal performance that pulls the track out of mere retro glamour and into something alluring and strange.