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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Cat Dail, Bright Eyes, The Killers, Alison Solo, Sylvan Esso in our New Music Bin

Cat Dail: Red Pill

"Want to get away / But there's really no place to hide." Like many songs this year, this one expresses distress over current social and political trends - in this case with a call to see through lies and recognize reality. New York singer-songwriter-musician Cat Dail has assembled a band of top-rank players to wrap the message in a glossy package that sounds like a theme song for an action movie. And indeed, it's slated to appear in an indie film by the same name, written and directed by Tonya Pinkins, who also contributed to the lyrics.

Bright Eyes: Mariana Trench

A sense of anxiety permeates this track from Down in the Weeds Where the World Once Was. It's the first album in nine years from Conor Oberst, Nathaniel Walcott and Mike Mogis under the Bright Eyes banner. They're joined by Chili Pepper bassist Flea and drummer Jon Theodore from Queens of the Stone Age on this track, named after the deepest underwater canyon on earth. "New-wave synths and an upper-cut of horns ... help get its message of solemn satire across," writes Variety. Sample lyric: "Look out for the plainclothes / Look out for what the wiretap knows / Look out on the ever-widening money trail and where it goes."

The Killers: Running Towards a Place

The Las Vegas rockers' sixth album, Imploding the Mirage, sees frontman Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. working without founding guitarist Dave Keuning and with bassist Mark Stoermer in a reduced role, according to AllMusic, which nonetheless calls the result "a masterful distillation" of the sound they've crafted since 2004. "The typical Killers trademarks are all here -- big anthems and even bigger emotions." From the chorus: "And if we're running towards a place / Where we'll walk as one / Will the hardness of this life / Be overcome?

Alison Solo: Last One Standing

We previously featured "Chiron" from Plutonian, the recent release by this modern practitioner of bluesy classic rock. "The British bands from the 60s and 70s and the bands that emerged during the time of the grunge movement influenced me the most," Vancouver-based Solo told music blog The Ripple Effect. Solo accompanies herself on guitar and bass, with James Last on the drums and Tony Edwards adding keys on some numbers. This track has drawn comparisons to The Black Crowes.   

Sylvan Esso: Ferris Wheel

The North Carolina-based duo of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn seek to brighten a gloomy summer with their new album, Free Love. “It’s a record about being increasingly terrified of the world around you and looking inward to remember all the times when loving other people seemed so easy, so that you can find your way back to that place,” the couple said. Of this track, Stereogum writes: "Meath gracefully spins melodies over hiccuping digital production, building to a nimble and extremely catchy chorus punctuated by sampled children’s chants and the occasional beat drop."

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