New music from Sufjan Stevens and others
SUFJAN STEVENS, ”THE HENNEY BUGGY BAND”
The Henney Buggy Company produced sturdy carriages for privileged Illinois residents in the late 19th century, and the long-gone family brand is just the latest piece of Land of Lincoln history to be utilized by this geographically minded singer-songwriter. As fans wait to see which state the troubadour will pay tribute to next as part of his grand “one album per state” project, the Christian-bred tunesmith will offer an addendum to last year’s Illinois album, called The Avalanche, due July 11. This fluttering track contains all the sad-marching-band charm of Illinois‘ best tracks. Download it for free here.
THE PIPETTES, ”YOUR KISSES ARE WASTED ON ME”
Matching polka-dot dresses, synchronized hand moves, and bratty lyrics may seem anachronistic in 2006, but this new group led by three harmonizing, Phil Spector-loving ladies makes such dated details work. Clearly inspired by classic ’60s artists like the Ronettes, the Supremes, and Dusty Springfield, the British band offers a bopping gem that wouldn’t sound out of place on any girl-group greatest-hits CD. Download it for free here and watch the video for free courtesy of Memphis Industries.
BUILT TO SPILL, ”LIAR”
”I wouldn’t be a liar if I told you that,” warbles Built to Spill’s lead singer Doug Martsch on the hook to this uncharacteristically straightforward, peppy-sounding track, taken from the band’s recent disc of ragged guitar tumbles, You in Reverse. Though it’s not totally clear what ”that” actually is, the tune’s stark truth seems to belie its sunny day radiance while cutting to a deep, possibly hurtful place. Stream the song with Windows Media or Quicktime, and buy it on iTunes.
SHEARWATER, ”LA DAME ET LA LICORNE”
This stunningly melodramatic song from Shearwater’s fourth album, Palo Santo, is immediately arresting, thanks in large part to the vocals of Okkervil River member Jonathan Meiburg, who summons the wailing spirit of Jeff Buckley with piercing passion. As the track quietly develops from a piano-and-voice elegy to a fuller, slow-moving sway, its haunting hunger is rapturous. Download it for free here.