IT’S A jungle out there in those lovely series of tubes known as the Internet. So, starting today, Patrol will guide you through the dark underworld of bad publicity pitches and endless saccharine sweet pop platitudes and lead you to newly unearthed jewels of good music. We’ll supply the analysis and links; you lend us your ears. You may not always like what’s unearthed and, at times, I will succumb to long-winded verbose prose flowing from the music and my highly unstable emotional state. But it will be interesting.
But this isn’t all about my music preferences, good music is usually discovered out of good conversations, so if you’ve got a new track that’s getting ridiculous repeat time on your iPod, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check it out.
Seriously though, you should click back here each Friday and listen to what we find.
Stars, “Why I Want to Save You”
This is not an epic ballad. It will not change your life, make you cry, or even rethink your priorities for the afternoon, but it’s a welcome footnote to what Stars has been doing for the last eight years—making luscious pop music that brightens the world. Torquil whispers his way through the verses on top of a light and swirling stereotypical Stars riff, gently opening into the slow chorus that features Amy quietly echoing the refrain. Released in conjunction with Stars new EP, “Sad Robots,” Why I want to Save You” has the feel of an EP, short, sweet but hardly big enough for the next album.
Stream: “Why I Want to Save You”
Cold War Kids, “Something Is Not Right With Me”
The first single from Cold War Kids’ upcoming release Loyalty to Loyaty finds the California indie rock darlings back in old musical territory, but with the strong promise of inventive days to come. Lead singer Nathan Willet yelps his way through the tongue-in-cheek verses (“I tried to call you collect/you said you would not accept/your friends are laughing because no one still uses pay phones”) and into the slightly repetitive chorus. What separates this song from typical Kids fare is the inventive electric lead guitar that takes a little ride at 23 seconds. While you’re on the MySpace, make sure to check out the absolutely fantastic, Thom-Yorke -channeling, “I’ve Seen Enough.” Cold War Kids seems to be filling out their trademark sparse sound quite nicely.
Stream: “Something Is Not Right With Me“
Frightened Rabbit, “Old Old Fashioned”
If you never grabbed your copy of 2008’s brilliant Midnight Organ Fight, you’ve missed the simplistic beauty that is Frightened Rabbit. If Damien Rice and Gary Lightbody had an illegitimate, deformed love child that grew up to produced dark, sensual ballads, it might sound something like Frightened Rabbit. This cut from their upcoming live album, Liver! Lung! FR! finds the Scottish quartet upping the power on one of their album classics. As lead singer Scott Hutchinson longs to “turn off the T.V/we never speak/there’s a radio in the corner/we never speak,” the live setting transforms the wistful song into an almost frantic plea for a simpler life. It’s one of the few tracks avoiding complete emotional depression and nihilism on the album and translates perfectly live. “Do you want to get old-old-fashioned with me?”
Download: “Old Old Fashioned (Live)”
Fantan Mojah, “Stronger”
Definitely not the standard style of my recommendations or listening genres, but this reggae-stereotype-fulfilling track from Mojah is a beautiful trip down that wistful and beautiful corner. The video is dropped in the middle of Jamaica, which helps to provide the perfect holistic musical completion for the almost incomprehensible lyrics.
Kid Cudi, “The Prayer”
One of the best rap songs I’ve heard in awhile. Cudi effectively couples semi-profound lines (“So all the while ’til I’m gone make my words important so/If I slip away, if I die today the last thing you remember won’t/Be about some apple bottoms jeans with the boots with the fur/Baby how I dream of being free since my birth”) with the grandiose rock-line of Band of Horse’s “The Funeral.” It’s a slow, meandering little rap-ballad that manages to highlight the genre’s confessional power of the genre without succumbing to the depraved braggadocio defining the mainstream.
Download: “The Prayer“
Bonus Pick: Andy Zipf, “Find You”
Patrol-recommended performer Andy Zipf is a semi-finalist in Paste’s “Rock n’ Reel” contest, allowing one artist the opportunity to play Cayamo, an at-sea music festival including artists like Lyle Lovett, Over the Rhine and Brandi Carlile. Zipf’s using his soulful ballad, “Find You” to try and woo hearts and votes, so if you have a few minutes, click over to Pasteand throw your support in his direction. You have to vote on all the candidates for your vote to count, so take a few minutes, discover some other good music (including Natalie Zukerman and Ellery) and support an incredible D.C. musician deserving just a little more love.
Nathan Martin is a Patrol music editor.
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