Looking for new music? DJs at WVAU share their thoughts on a range of recent releases.
Atoms For Peace | “AMOK”
Thom Yorke and Flea in the same band?
Atoms For Peace is technically composed of Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. But Yorke is the real creative force.
“AMOK” sounds exactly like Yorke’s other side-projects / IDM outings. Glitchy, off kilter percussion is complemented by dancing synths and sharp guitar lines, with Yorke’s trademark falsetto hanging above the futuristic instruments.
“AMOK” is a perfect midpoint between Yorke’s older solo material and Radiohead’s latest full length, The King of Limbs. The album is a bit brighter than comparable works and maintains a consistent tempo and texture.
“AMOK” doesn’t reach the heights that some of Yorke’s previous work has, but it is just the album we need to hold us over until that new Radiohead album drops.
Recommended If You Like: Thom Yorke, Radiohead, Four Tet
-Cameron Stewart, Sultry Red Feedback, Fridays 2-4 p.m.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs | “Sacrilege”
NY rockers are back, and they brought a gospel choir with them.
For the first single from their upcoming LP “Mosquito,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs pick up where they left off on 2009’s dancier, synth-laden album “It’s Blitz!”
“Sacrilege” is perhaps the fullest sounding song this band has ever done, as it supplements its usual drums-guitar attack with a bouncy bass line and noodly keyboards. However, Karen O’s vocals keep the track firmly grounded in YYY-territory, before they give way to a surprising gospel choir outro.
It’s a musical statement almost as bold as the ridiculous “Mosquito” album artwork (a screaming baby towered by a ghoulish spider), and proof that the band’s trend of musical growth from album to album is intact.
RIYL: The Kills, TV On The Radio, Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”
-Cameron Meindl, Rhyme and Reason, Wednesdays 8-10 p.m.
Phoenix | “Entertainment"single
They’re back (and just in time for festival season)
It’s been four years since 2009’s “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” and with this first look at their new release it seems the French quartet are aiming to take over the summer airwaves.
From the very beginning, there is a near immediate satisfaction. As the first official release off of the upcoming album “Bankrupt!” the synth driven intro to “Entertainment” acts as a proclamation of the energy and excitement to come.
Thomas Mars’ smooth vocals compliments the manic instrumentation and allows for a contrast with his relaxed tone against the peaks and valleys given here.
If nothing else, this festival and road trip-ready single is an indication that Pheonix isn’t shying away from its usual ‘80s-influenced pop sound, and fans of Pheonix’s previous work will be happy with this colorful track .
RIYL: Passion Pit, MGMT, Matt & Kim
-Leigh Hopkins, Ambient Bloom, Wednesdays 12-2 a.m.
Chvrches | “Recover”
The pains of love + beautiful synth pop
After releasing a few singles, the Scottish synth pop trio’s promising new EP may have listeners asking for a full-length record.
The dreamy titular single “Recover” bounces with spacey ‘80s synths, and Lauren Mayberry’s spaced out girly pop vocals on top of sparse syncopated drum pad beats.
In contrast, “ZVVL” anxiously grows and grows with male and female vocal harmony until released with a harsh but interesting futuristic breakdown.
Following, “Now Is Not The Time” sounds like a better version of Sky Ferreira’s “Everything’s Embarrassing,” and the EP ends with a dramatically synth-harsh “Recover” remix and an awesome electronic music box sort of rhythm.
Chvrches, in the world of new synth pop, knows how to put the right sounds together and not overdo it. Let’s hope we hear more from them soon.
RIYL: Haim, Robyn, The Knife
-Molly Pfeffer, Velvet Sessions, Wednesdays 5-6 p.m.