As brazenly strange as they are brilliant, Brooklyn’s Ava Luna deliver high-volume R&B with a twist on the aptly titled “Blitz.” Alternating between giant distorted guitar riffs and a mellow, Prince-influenced slow jam, this tune’s ebb and flow makes an engaging listen from a new breed of funk that is just as cool as it is neurotic. Look for this song on “Infinite House,” released April 14 by Western Vinyl.
“This Time”—Stealing Sheep
“This Time” is an inspired, neo-Brit-pop gem from Liverpool natives Stealing Sheep, one of indie’s newest all-female masters of lyrical and musical enchantment. The true magic of this tune lies in its nimble and cheeky guitar line that, when married with the song’s two-chord melody, is intoxicatingly catchy in the most otherworldly of ways. Tune out to the group’s sophomore release, “Not Real,” starting on April 14.
“SMUCKERS”—Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator is one of the most provocative emcees in hip-hop at the moment, and his latest album, “Cherry Bomb,” serves as a perfect example of the rapper’s polarizing talent. Not many artists recording today are bold enough to simultaneously disappoint and impress the way Tyler does on his new record, with the Kanye West and Lil Wayne feature “SMUCKERS” serving as the LP’s undisputed highpoint. Effortlessly flowing off each other, these three rappers make this track work in a way that the rest of “Cherry Bomb” just doesn’t.
“Greek Tragedy”—The Wombats
“We’re smashing mics in karaoke bars/You’re running late with half your makeup on,” sings The Wombats’ frontman Matthew Murphy. Marrying euphoric pop with tales of teenage debauchery and partying, “Greek Tragedy” recalls the synth-laden sounds of 80s bands like Tears for Fears, as well as modern favorites like The Killers and Bastille. Ultimately, the life of this track is its urgency, which elevates it above a mere pop song, conjuring a charm that is sure to make these Brit’s new album, “Glitterbug,” something that will likely be stuck in your head for days to come.
“Feeling Ok”—Best Coast
Having already released the title track and “Heaven Sent” from their forthcoming full-length, “California Nights,” indie-rock darlings Best Coast offer another album preview with “Feeling Ok.” While the two aforementioned tracks chart somewhat different territory for the pop duo, this tune’s crystal-clear delivery and strong melody mark a return to the group’s simplistic charm. Look for “California Nights” on May 5.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Holland, 1945”—Neutral Milk Hotel
Second only to Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in influence on 90s alternative rock, Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In An Aeroplane Over The Sea” is a major musical statement of cryptic and lush lo-fi rock. “Holland, 1945” is one of the album’s many highlights, channeling the bombast of a marching band on an acid trip with an absolutely monumental guitar fuzz. The group will perform at Cleveland Masonic Auditorium on April 22 on their last tour for the foreseeable future. Don’t miss it.
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.