Sunday, October 8, 2017

Our latest picks: Stars, Arc Waves, St. Vincent, JD McPherson, Marie Danielle

The Montreal indie-pop combo known as Stars is bringing out a new album called There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light and we're jumping on the sort-of title track, "Fluorescent Light." The song's message seems to be, Come out from that boring place and enjoy life. (A bit like, "What good is sitting alone in your room...") Stars will launch a tour next month, starting with three shows in Brooklyn.

From Brooklyn, meanwhile, comes Arc Waves, which describes itself as a band that "crosses sonic boundaries to create songs that blur the lines between indie, classical, punk and electronic music." The group released an EP back in 2014, but we're only discovering them now as they prepare to release their first full-length, the sound the circle. We're adding the first single, "Walking In Space," showcasing the vocals of Elaine Lachica. Bandmate Brandon Jaffe tells how the song came together in an interview at Artist Direct.

From Brooklyn we hop to Manhattan, home base of St. Vincent. But her latest release looks to the West Coast. "Los Ageless," is a critique of Hollywood and its culture of ageism. The video puts Annie Clark in a plastic surgeon's chair, a yoga studio, a nail salon and the like. There seems to be a second theme in the song, though - perhaps of a troubled relationship. "How can anybody have you and lose you / And not lose their minds, too?"

Now, because we love to mix up styles and genres, let's jump down to Nashville and reconnect with Oklahoma native JD McPherson, whose "Lucky Penny" single has been in our mix for several weeks. His Undivided Heart and Soul LP just came out and it's filled with a variety of retro-rock sounds. Our pick for the New Music bin this time is "Crying's Just A Thing That You Do," whose sardonic lyrics remind us of some of Joe Jackson's or Elvis Costello's songs.

Marie Danielle is a singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania who worked with Simon Felice (of the Felice Brothers and producer for The Lumineers) and Christian Wargo (of Fleet Foxes) on her debut album, Hustler. It actually came out last year, but we're catching up to it now as the title cut is being circulated as a single. It's a regretful tale of getting involved with a charming cad. "He was a hustler / but he could sing a tune / to you alone in a crowded room."

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