Playlist of the Week: June 5, 2015

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“Don’t Misunderstand”—Melody Gardot

Embracing the smoky sounds of West Coast soul on her latest release, Melody Gardot channels the organic cool and earthy funkiness of artists like recent Rock Hall inductee Bill Withers on “Don’t Understand.” Slithering in and out of spectral strings and nylon stringed guitar, Gardot’s voice is undoubtedly the strongest and more impressive instrument on this track. Look for more pop-jazz gems on “Currency of Man,” out June 2 on Decca Records.

 

“Heartless”—Milo Greene

Transitioning from the acoustic folk of their self-titled debut to sleek, synth-heavy pop on “Heartless,” Milo Greene find themselves rapidly maturing into one of indie’s finest groups. There is a tension evident on this track that brings it to life, stemming from the sandpaper sound of singer Robbie Arnett’s voice scraping against otherwise sweet textures. Milo Green will be at the Grog Shop on June 9 to promote their new album, “Control.” Tickets are $15; the show begins at 8:30 p.m.

 

“Play Dead”—Eternal Summers

Taking the reigns to produce their fourth album themselves, Eternal Summers continue to produce hooky, shimmering pieces of pop perfection on their most recent release, “Gold and Stone.” Having already distinguished herself as one of indie rock’s best female vocalists on “Play Dead,” Nicole Yun adds post-punk sensibilities to her flawlessly ethereal croon. “Gold and Stone” has arrived just in time to soundtrack your summer and is available on Kanine Records June 2.

 

“Hot Wax”—King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

It’s often said that there can be no genius without some form of madness, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard seem hell-bent on proving that the latter is the more important part of the formula. “Hot Wax” is a wild, sludgy jam drenched in reverb that occasionally gives way to electric harmonica and a remarkably phat bassline. King Gizzard will be in town for a two-night stint at each of Cleveland’s Happy Dog locations; on the West Side June 14 and at the Euclid Tavern on June 15, flanked by some of Cleveland’s best local acts. Don’t miss them.

 

“Roaring Waters”—The Darkness

The Darkness sound a bit like the Spinal Tap of the modern era, pairing heavy-metal braggadocio with killer riffs and huge, soaring pop hooks. Unlike Spinal Tap, however, these Brits are 100 percent business; the Led Zeppelin-esque “Roaring Waters” is more than proof of that. This track is one of many highlights on the group’s newest album, “Last Of Our Kind,” an album that was probably as much fun to make as it is to listen to. Pick up a copy starting June 2.

 

Retro Pick of the Week:

“Dancing Madly Backwards (On A Sea Of Air)”—Captain Beyond

For every hard rock band like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin that we remember from the 1970s, there were hundreds more with the same flair and talent forgotten by the passage of time. Captain Beyond is one such band; a supergroup composed of members of Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly that recorded unique and spacey-sounding progressive rock. “Dancing Madly Backwards” is a musical rollercoaster that showcases the group’s distinct sound, weaving up and down through a myriad of riffs and syncopated drumbeats.

 

Teddy Eisenberg is a third year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.