New Music Tuesday – 2.18.14: You Have the Right to Bear Hands

I fear for my iPod’s relevance.

This near-sighted post a few years ago explained my apprehension about music streaming services and, as I explicitly stated, I could have been wrong and I was. Now my old buddy Sylar is being phased out, with a few specific purposes:

  • Shower playlist (still going strong)
  • Car rides
  • Exercising

When is the last time you actually downloaded something, because I don’t remember when I did. Spotify and Soundcloud have what I need these days. Shoot, stealing music has become moot in this world of streaming.

The content on my iPod will eventually become a greatest hits complication of my coming-of-age years and that scares me. I want to give it every opportunity to satisfy my needs, but I have finally acknowledged its finite limitations.

I will do my best to keep you for as long as possible, old friend, though I’m not making any promises.

By the way, has anyone tried Beats Music yet? I haven’t the time or the energy.

Phantogram – Voices

After essentially releasing this entire album in bits and pieces last year, we finally have Phantogram’s second studio album in full. If this is the state of electronic indie music right now, we’re in good hands.

Prominently featured on Big Boi’s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, this duo has taken off. Solid stuff.

Issues – Issues

If you love boy-band pop and heavy rock music, you are something special. Luckily, you can get your fix with just one band.

Issues is an odd combo and I can’t think of a band I’ve ever heard come close to this sound. Tyler Carter’s bubblegum vocals sound like he could be related to Nick and Aaron Carter, while Michael Bohn always comes in scorching.

It takes two drastically different genres and mashes them into an identity crisis. My brother swears by them, which I guess would make him something special.

Bear Hands – Distraction

Right at the beginning of “Giants,” there is “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” reference. Being my alma mater, Bear Hands gets preferential treatment this week (I heard that the lead singer’s former girlfriend went to the University of Kansas, so that lyric has a “Royals” type of origin).

To give you a frame of reference, this band sounds like an earthier version of MGMT or Passion Pit (that distinction came before I did any research, mind you). It’s fun, odd and catchy.  The songs are relatively short, too, so Distraction is a manageable listen.

Updated Best of 2014 playlist:

In previous New Music Tuesday entries, this embedded playlist is updated in real time. The commentary below it reflects the older version of the playlist, which no longer exists. I will learn my lesson and make them less time sensitive like this:

The intro to SOHN’s “Artifice” is so fresh. I would wear a suit designed by the producer.

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