The tiered pricing that went into effect last week on iTunes may have freaked out a lot of regular users, but one thing about the site still comes in the glorious key of free: its weekly seven-day song giveaways, starting each Tuesday and lasting until the next one.
As with so many things offered at no cost — pharmaceutical samples, grocery-store parking-lot boxes of kittens — the quality can vary; still, this week’s mixed bag features a track from one of my favorite new Nordics, the raucous, husky-voiced troubadess (is that a word? maybe!) Ida Maria: the highly chant-alongable single, “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” that everybody seems so crazy about, from her new album Fortress ‘Round My Heart. Though I’m actually partial to album opener “Oh My God,” I’m happy to listen to this one fully clothed.
Also on offer? Missouri cowgirl Jessica Harp, once a member of the Wreckers with Michelle Branch, and her solo debut single “Boy Like Me,” from the upcoming summer album A Woman Needs. Honestly, it’s not my cup of juice, but it’s been on the country charts for a few weeks, so what do I know.
I’m more intrigued by Cage the Elephant, a bunch of crazy young Kentucky hooligans who thoroughly entertained me at 2007’s Lollapalooza with their outsized stage antics (crowd-terrorizing, amp-jumping, accidental vomiting) and shambolic, Southern-fried riffs — like if the Kings of Leon loved Iggy Pop and didn’t care about their hair.
The stuff I’m hearing on record is still good, if a little more slick, standard-issue rawk-boogie in a sort of cleaned-up, White Stripes-y vein. But go to iTunes to download “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” or watch the video below, and tell me if you agree: