The multi-spectrummed Detroit wonder boys known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. announced today that their new EP, Patterns, will be released April 16th, and have debuted the first single off of it – “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On the Dancefloor.) Can I first say that I’m really enjoying this new wave of bands announcing the release of their new record only a couple weeks before it comes out? It’s so much better than a band saying they’re going to release their new record on a specific date in 5 months – like you would really need that kind of preparatory hype and you’ll be marking off the days on your calender until the thing drops. Anyway, I placed DEJJ’s debut record, It’s a Corporate World, as my album of the year in 2011. I thought it was a fairly genius conglomeration of neo-folk music interspersed with modern digital sound and head-nodding dance grooves. So my first instinct upon hearing this new track is that it falls far deeper into the land of dance-pop than they ever came close to gravitating to before. Sure it starts with a solid minute of odd faux-acoustic build up, but if I had heard the core of it on the radio, I would have presumed it was another one of these brand new bands who are trying to sound like old MGMT. There’s no doubt that it’s catchy, but it seems to be reaching out to a less critical demographic than those that their initial intricacies took hold of before. I suppose there is a touch of irony to the song, and I suppose that everybody needs a song that the 17 year-old girls in day-glo headbands want to dance to, but it doesn’t really reach the high bar of expectations I had for their sophomore record. Hopefully this single is merely a tool to draw new fans into hearing their music, and the rest of the EP will branch off more stylistically than this, but we’ll have to wait a few weeks to see. Til then, give it a spin…
So I’m a few years late on the tip to Wild Light, an indie-pop band out of New Hampshire predominantly known for featuring one of the 57 previous members of Arcade Fire. The band had their moments opening for Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, and The Killers at different points, but it looks like they haven’t bounced back or up or anywhere since their brief touch of fame a few years back. Their website is currently defunct, and I doubt they were ever able to craft a song as catchy and fresh as “California on My Mind.” But I’ll be damned if it isn’t one hell of a cut, and also a beautiful, instinctive response tune – which are usually my favorite.
Purportedly, main vocalist Jordan Alexander wrote this track while living in California and having one of those “fuck this shit” kind of moments. It’s natural – we all have it occasionally about the places we live in, but it’s probably a little harder when you turn on the radio and every other song from the past 40 years in someway references how amazing and magical California is. I’m sure he just heard too much dribble about putting a flower in your hair and decided it was time someone acknowledged their disdain for the place too many pay homage to. Either way, it’s my go-to missed track of the week, so pour a little bit of your beer out for the folks who almost had the pop-rock game plan figured out.