5 Great Tracks From This Week: Arcade Fire, Sorority Noise, Dirty Projectors, Ty Segall, Prince Daddy & the Hyena

Posted: by The Editor

Sorority Noise—No Halo

Since the release of 2015’s widely acclaimed, post-emo concoction Joy, Departed, Sorority Noise have sprinted to a frontrunner position within emo’s current lineup (joining The Hotelier, TWIABP, and Modern Baseball) while conversely taking some bold leaps with their sound—exemplified on their excessively minimalist 2016 EP It Kindly Stopped For Me, and their ultimately forgettable attempt at mirroring TWIABP on their own split. Fortunately, “No Halo,” the lead single from their forthcoming Triple Crown Records debut You’re Not As ____ As You Think, rekindles the energy the band channeled so well on tracks like “Art School Wannabe” and “Using,” but in a way that flexes their evolution as songwriters.

By enlisting heralded producer Mike Sapone—known for his board-work on indisputably some of the genre’s most important and best sounding records: Brand New’s discography—Sorority Noise’s sonic canvass has been expanded to allow ample room for spacey guitars that loom in the background, a pounding rhythm section, and a basket of different vocal tracks layered on top of one another. All of this is delivered with the raw, emotional urgency of the band’s live performances. If “No Halo” is any indication of what’s to come, this might be a landmark record for both the band and the genre. You’re Not As ____ As You Think is out 3/17.

Arcade Fire—I Give You Power

Presumably intentionally arriving the day before the inauguration of quite possibly one of the most oppressive regimes in American history, “I Give You Power” is both a glimmer of hope that something good will come of 2017 (i.e. a new Arcade Fire record) and a commentary on the façade of hope instilled by our politicians; as echoed in the lyric “I give you power / I can take it away.” The song features excellent vocals from the legendary Mavis Staples and a funky, bare-bones beat that recalls something off of a Glass Animals record. The usual instrumental fanfare Arcade Fire became known for is largely absent here—aside from the blaring organ that briefly launches the track at the halfway point—but this austere approach works quite well for putting the spotlight on Staples’ and Win Butler’s vocal exchanges. No other information regarding the impending album has been released yet.


Prince Daddy & the Hyena—If I’m Still Broke By Christmas

Prince Daddy & the Hyena’s full-length debut I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving was one of our favorite records of 2016 and the band is already releasing fiery new material in the new year. “If I’m Still Broke By Christmas” is the first of two contributions to the four-way, eight-song split between Dikembe, Henrietta, and Expert Timing that’s being released through Dikembe’s new label Death Protector Collective. This song maintains the gritty, raucous, and adorably tongue-in-cheek quality of their previous releases, while also toying with some cleaner vocals and marking the return of the glockenspiel that worked so well on their 2015 EP Adult Summers. The fact that this band can make a song this catchy without a conventional chorus, and a guitar solo that consumes the entire second half, is a true testament to their abilities. The rest of the split, titled DPC Mixtape #1¸ will be released 2/14.

Dirty Projectors—Up In Hudson

The Dirty Projectors’ latest offering packs up the moody, neo-R&B of lead single “Keep Your Name” with the glitch-folk of “Little Bubble” and attempts to recoup somewhere warm and tropical. Unfortunately, songwriter David Longstreth can’t escape a headspace that’s wearing him down like the brutal climate of the New York locations he references throughout “Up in Hudson.” Clearly, this song is about Longstreth’s recent breakup, and as he runs through the timeline of the relationship in each verse—from “the first time I ever saw your face,” to the “first time I ever kissed your mouth,” and ultimately, “now we’re going our separate ways”—he regretfully acknowledges in the chorus that “love will burn out / love will just fade away.” The song definitely draws comparisons to Bon Iver’s 22, A Million¸ but the litany of colorful instruments on here that the Dirty Projectors have been loading into their songs for over a decade now add a liveliness to this track that Justin Vernon never even brushed against on 22. Perhaps the vibrancy of this song musically is a signal that Longstreth has overcome the heartache professed in these lyrics. Or maybe it’s just his way of masking what’s so difficult for him to openly admit. The band’s self-titled record is out via Domino 2/24.


Ty Segall—Break a Guitar

There’s something infinitely gratifying about a great Ty Segall track. When the California garage rock prodigy is shredding, it’s as if nothing else matters; even in the wake of a national tragedy. The lead single for his forthcoming 10th solo album turned heads as a mostly acoustic dose of sweet balladry—a style that he actually performed quite fittingly. However, “Break A Guitar” is a return to his cranked-up, finger-flyin’ form that owes as much to T. Rex and Hendrix as it does to 90s desert rock riff-meisters like Kyuss and Fu Manchu. Last year’s Emotional Mugger harkened back to his lo-fi beginnings after the surprisingly serene Manipulator, but it seemed to lack the oomph and memorability of the latter. The super heavy distortion and bluesy main riff on this track sound like they could’ve been taken from another one of his more muscular musical endeavors—either the Ty Segall Band or Fuzz—and that means that this might be one of his better efforts. Ty Segall is out 1/27 via Drag City.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis