“Spit You Out”—Metz
Scuzz-rock masters Metz are back with “Spit You Out,” a single that takes no prisoners as it rips through almost five minutes of distorted riffs, rapid-fire drums and screeching guitar solos. When asked to comment on the song’s title, frontman Alex Edkins recently told The FADER magazine that it “is loosely based on the uncanny ability of ‘modern life’ to suck you in, beat you down, grind you up and spit you out…” Look for this caustic tune on “II,” out May 5 on Sub Pop Records. Metz will also be performing at the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern on April 17.
“Sunshine On My Back”—The National
“Sunshine On My Back” finds The National getting hip to the whole “surprise music release” trend, inexplicably appearing online April 2. While this single charts no new territory for the group, it is an awe-inspiring example of just how much genius can be derived from The National’s finely-tuned brand of melancholy indie. Added to the mix is Sharon Van Etten, providing colorful background vocals to Matt Berninger’s signature baritone croon as he sings, “Sunshine in my brain is the lonely kind of pain.” This tune makes sharing in that pain a sonically rewarding experience.
The title of “Things Happen” may be a bit of a misnomer: None of the fine songwriting or melodic craftsmanship that goes into making a single this excellent happens by accident. As earnest as they are playful, Dawes is one of contemporary rock’s rootsiest groups, utilizing bright vocal harmonies to make “Things Happen” sing. This is first tune released off the band’s fourth release, “All Your Favorite Bands,” due out June 2 on HUB Records.
“Alive Tonight”—Grace Potter
Ditching The Nocturnals for the time being after 2012’s “The Lion The Beast The Beat,” Grace Potter is going solo. That doesn’t mean she’s leaving the grit and stomp from her previous work behind, however, as “Alive Tonight” proves itself to be a raging good time that channels the bluesy edge of Potter’s vocals with modern pop production that recalls Florence + The Machine. Look for this single on “Midnight,” slated for a summer release on Hollywood Records.
“Teenage Talk”—St. Vincent
Most musicians would want to take a little bit of a break after releasing the Grammy Award-winning Alternative Record of 2014, but Anne Clark isn’t just any musician. Debuting the new single “Teenage Talk” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on April 6, Anne Clark and her stage name St. Vincent have crafted an ethereal ballad about young love illustrated by minimalist keyboard and shimmer synths. While it looks like this track may just be a one-off single, always be on the lookout for more St. Vincent greatness.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Left Of The Dial”—The Replacements
Embodying the soul of the willfully messy and massively influential 80s rock band, The Replacements’ “Left Of The Dial” is not only their best song, but also the quintessential love letter to college radio. “And if I don’t see ya, in a long, long while/I’ll try to find you left of the dial,” sings vocalist and guitarist Paul Westerberg as he looks for lost love on the lower end of his FM radio. This song plays like an anthem, but not to the mainstream. It’s meant for an audience of outcasts and misfits, the ones unafraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. The magic of Westerberg’s lyrics is in their ability to bring that genuineness out of all of us.
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.