Jason: I wasn’t a huge fan of Deer Tick‘s last album Divine Providence, with its faster pace and hepped up barroom style of rock and roll. Like many of their fans, I missed the more emotionally charged alt-country style of their first three records (War Elephant, Born On Flag Day, and The Black Dirt Sessions). But when frontman John McCauley spoke with Rolling Stone earlier this year about their upcoming album Negativity (out September 24 on Partisan) and said, “I think anybody that thought we lost something with Divine Providence will probably like this one,” I found myself once again anticipating new music from one of my favorite acts.
“The Rock” premiered on Rolling Stone back in June, and just this week Deer Tick dropped a second track from Negativity, “The Dream’s In The Ditch”, also on RS. Both songs are a bit more fast-paced than anything on those first three efforts, but the songwriting quality seems to have returned after something of a dip, with powerful piano chords and horns on “The Rock” and a definite Tom Petty-esque turn on “The Dream’s In The Ditch”. Listen to both below, and catch Deer Tick at Slim’s in October.
Ben: I can be pretty difficult to please with electronica, but Moderat‘s II, which is now streaming on NPR, feels right within my wheelhouse. It’s got plenty of pop moments that almost get too slick for my liking, but it never tips over the edge. Instead, the sugary stuff is tempered by little weird details. Is it too obvious and unfair to label the former element as Apparat’s contribution to the trio’s latest work, while attributing the weirder bits to Modeselektor? Either way, I haven’t been thinking about it too much; I’ve just been enjoying the new album quite a bit and cursing the fact that their criminally short US tour isn’t coming to SF.
Nicole: Though it deserves more praise and thought on The Bay Bridged than a mere “pick” (which is coming, we promise), my pick this week is Whirr‘s newest 4-song EP Around. Fresh out on Graveface, it feels more like a textured, conceptual album with its lengthy 4 songs, which was just what I needed to be my musical accompany on trip through Europe this past week. Listen to “Swoon” below.
Anna: I saw The Postal Service at the Greek Theater last Friday night. While I won’t go into the detail of what it feels like to see the band live after 10 years (Nicole already took care of that for the band’s Davis show), I will say that it was a truly special night, one that will stick with me for the rest of my life. In particular, “We Will Become Silhouettes” was even better than I thought it would be – wonderfully executed and elevated to a new level with Jenny Lewis’ perfectly-punctuated “Ba Ba Ba Ba”s – and reminded me why this will always be my favorite song from Give Up.