“Allie”—Belle & Sebastian
“Allie” is perhaps the most quintessentially Belle & Sebastian-sounding song on the Scottish group’s latest release, “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance,” melding twee harmonies with the upbeat rhythm of an acoustic guitar and breezy flute solos. On an album marked by questionable fortes into dancier territory, “Allie” serves as a reminder of just how great Belle & Sebastian can be. “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance” was released on Jan. 20 on Matador Records.
“Uma Thurman”—Fall Out Boy
A funny thing happened to Fall Out Boy after they returned to release 2013’s “Save Rock & Roll:” they became superstars. Now, when bassist Pete Wentz pens lyrics about being remembered for centuries or working miracles on the Pulp Fiction-referencing “Uma Thurman,” it’s not as hard to believe the group’s rock and roll savior aspirations. To hear Fall Out Boy’s new album, “American Beauty/American Psycho,” is to hear emo music alive and well in the 2010s, transformed into genre-defining pop and essential listening.
“Blur My Hands”—Lupe Fiasco Feat. Guy Sebastian
The status of rap in 2015 is pretty good, with young talents like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole continuing to push the genre forward. However, no matter how good current fans of hip-hop have it, there is always room for established greats like Lupe Fiasco, something that this Windy City rapper quickly reminds us on his new album, “Tetsuo & Youth.” Blending fresh production with uncompromising political commentary, “Blur My Hands” is already sure to be one of the year’s best tracks.
With the indie world abuzz due to news of a new Modest Mouse album on the horizon, “Coyotes” serves as a teaser for what one of year’s most anticipated releases. Detailing the real-life story of a coyote that rode Portland’s MAX light rail train in 2002, this track is a breathtaking ballad of circular vocals and layered guitars. Look for Modest Mouse’s newest album, “Strangers to Ourselves,” available March 3 from Epic Records.
“The Big Distraction”—Ohio Sky
Local talent Ohio Sky conjures an arena-ready rock sound just as expansive as its name suggests on “The Big Distraction,” delivering a brooding and hard-hitting ballad that not only distracts but also delights. Hear this track and more at Ohio Sky’s record release show on Jan. 24 in the Cambridge Room of the House of Blues, also featuring Nights and EYE. Tickets are $16 and doors open at 7 p.m.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Hit It And Quit It”—Funkadelic
Doctors recommend a daily dose of funk to keep your life loose and colorful. Even if that last statement isn’t remotely true, the energy on Funkadelic’s hypnotic “Hit It And Quit It” might just convince you to incorporate a little bit more groove into your musical diet. From Eddie Hazel’s blistering guitar solo to the song’s timeless chorus, this track is sure to hit right where it feels good.
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.