Plus, tracks from Boss Hogg Outlawz & Slim Thug, Patrick Park, Aerogramme, and Fulton Lights

By Simon Vozick-Levinson
February 22, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

New single from Fountains of Wayne

The lead single from this power-pop quartet’s upcoming fourth album is every bit as catchy as their 2003 breakthrough hit ”Stacy’s Mom,” and its sharply observed lyrics make it clear why Fountains were critical favorites long before they turned up on MTV. Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood pack this tale of two yuppies with spot-on details, tracing their characters’ heartbreakingly banal lives as skillfully as any Pulitzer-winner. You’ll pump your fist to the new-wave synth hooks, but you just might tear up when you hear the final verse. (Buy it on iTunes)

The baritone flow of Houston’s Slim Thug — best known for his club-ready collaborations with the Neptunes — sounds equally commanding over the droning horns and distant woodblocks on this track, produced by down-south DJ Mr. Lee. We don’t hear Slim’s distinctive voice for long, though, since he lets his Boss Hogg Outlawz crew do most of the talking, which is cool, because they get in some nice jabs: ”I’m back again, like you owe me some cash flow/Most wanted but most feared, like Fidel Castro,” brags one. (Stream it at Slim Thug’s MySpace or buy it on iTunes)

PATRICK PARK, ”Life is a Song”
Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, and countless other indie acts will have to find a new source of free publicity when The O.C. finally goes off the air for good this Thursday. But before it does, the Fox soap will give a hand to one more artist: L.A. singer-songwriter Patrick Park, whose ”Life is a Song” will accompany the last three minutes of the series finale. It’s a plaintive, bittersweet folk number, guaranteed to have the show’s mourning fans reaching for the tissue during the closing moments. (Download it from

AEREOGRAMME, ”A Life Worth Living”
These Glaswegian rockers’ newly-released third LP is called My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go. But this album highlight expresses a slightly different sentiment, to say the least: ”I came here so I could let you go,” frontman Craig B. sings in pained tones, ”And I could cut you out/So I can live a life worth living.” The band provides a suitably emotional backdrop for his pleas, building inexorably to a storm of wailing guitars. (Download it from

FULTON LIGHTS, ”Thank God for the Evening News”
Looped piano notes and a dusty trip-hop beat cast an unsettling spell in this cut from Brooklyn artist Andrew Spencer Goldman’s debut as Fulton Lights, out March 6. Underground maestro Oktopus (one-half of Dälek) co-produced the track (his fingerprints are all over those dissonant murmurs in the background), but credit Goldman’s ghostly vocals and politically provocative lyrics for giving this hazy track a subtle power. (Download it from Goldman’s website)