...And don’t the kids just love it

You are not a number

...And don’t the kids just love it
“Cheap Idol,” Swear I love you [Bandcamp]

At some point this week I found myself listening to “The Prisoner” by Iron Maiden and realized that, for me at least, (good) metal has a cleansing quality in a way other music that’s purportedly designed to soothe doesn’t match. If, as Brian Eno suggested with Music for Airports, ambient music can calm a fear of flying, the fear, though only temporarily relieved, still remains. With metal—and I mean really driving, soaring metal at the height of human instrument-playing capability—fears, worries, every sense of weight feels lifted, even erased. Maybe it was that this week a lot of stresses were building, but I needed that song right then, and days after listening to it, the worries still haven’t returned.

Now here’s the rest of what I loved this week. (Spotify / Apple Music)

“Cheap Idol,” Swear I love you

This, the title track from their newly released EP, was released a few months back, but this is my first introduction to it. The first half is slightly reminiscent of Television or Television Personalities (which is a tidy place to fit in on the record racks), but then the extended coda lands us squarely into the present. What a track.

“Sea or War,” Robber Robber

This song packs in a lot of interesting surprises, all starting with a drum track that goes ridiculously hard. But then also a guitar track that (thankfully) never quite goes where I expect it will. I took this one apart in my head all week, and I never got tired of it.

“Hand on Me,” Nourished by Time

The first new song from Marcus Brown since last year’s wonderfully quirky and Erotic Probiotic 2 and also I couldn’t agree with this more:

As on Erotic Probiotic 2, there’s so much charm and personal vision in here, which is exactly what happens when you have a synth in your house and you start noodling around on it and it takes you somewhere only you would have thought to go.

“The Quarrel,” Geotic

A gauzy guitar track that’s certainly beautiful, but really, really tense at the same time, perhaps because patting guitar strings like this for three-and-a-half minutes without totally flubbing the rhythm is hard, for me at least.

“Burn,” Tom Dell

A dark, moody groove in the vein of early Fischerspooner, which is a recipe I cannot resist.

“Andy,” Pelvis Wrestley

In describing this new album, Pelvis Wrestley leader Jammy Violet cites “some broader pop icons that I hold in my heart—your Kate Bushes, your Perfume Geniuses, your Nina Hagens, Bjorks, and Enyas.” So you know, RIYL, and I do.

“Riga,” Robot Orchestra

I had a conversation with a friend last night about the very specific excitement of hearing new music that feels like a direct reference to something you loved from long ago, and maybe something you had thought died off long ago. Like, other people know this too? Other people still love this too? It’s generally how I feel about the recent shoegaze revival. Anyway, strong turn-of-the-century Trail of Dead vibes here, and these are vibes I welcome.

“Canine,” Eat-Girls

What a wonderfully weird, yet weirdly approachable track. From the vocal “whoop” to the horror Farfisa organ, it’s quite infectious.

“Erase My Mind,” Hot Garbage

One song in one week with wiry, nerve-y organ is something, but two is a trend. Maybe.

“All the Time (Angel’s Version),” Fire-Toolz, Lipsticism

New music from Angel Marcloid is always a gift, even if it’s a cover, but it’s also nice to hear a break from the vapormetal that’s been a Fire-Toolz hallmark over the past few years. I was curious how this one came about, because it is such a departure, and was happy to see Marcloid explain it in terms that also had me realize why I listened to “Up the Junction” no fewer than 57 consecutive times (this is not a joke) two Saturdays ago:

There is this thing that happens to me sometimes. I will get addicted to a song. Usually one that someone else writes, but not always. When this happens, I have to listen to it a LOT to get whatever it is out of my system. What can also happen is that I feel driven to remix it or even cover it in order to deal with the experience.

“ily2 (feat. Hand Habits),” claire rousay

Maybe it’s just the cover art, but this sure is the sound of laying in bed all Saturday long with someone you want to lay in bed all day with. A lovely track, dreamy and meandering, with no clear reason to ever end.

“Spectral Evolution,” Rafael Toral

This is an achievement. It’s a song, but it’s more than a song. It’s a tonal guitar masterpiece, and me writing about it is only taking time away from me listening to it again.