Music to Your Ears – Animal Collective, Cage the Elephant, Miike Snow and More!

Hey, Tristan here. I’m thinking with a plethora of newly released singles, it’s about time to debut a new column – Music to Your Ears – where I take anything released in the last week and review it for you. This week there was a plethora of singles that premiered, so without further adieu:

Coldplay – Everglow

To say I’m excited about what should be Coldplay’s final album is a heavy understatement. I’ve loved their brand of pop soliloquies so much over the past 15 years that it will be a great loss once all is said and done. I honestly don’t imagine Chris Martin will retire from music, and we’ll have to see what is in store for all of them come 2017. For now, we can have songs such as Everglow, a melodic piano and drum homage to their earlier work. The raw sound has left the group with their youth, but the light that followed them over their meteoric rise has never dimmed. I hope that A Head Full of Dreams has a nice mix of songs like this and the earlier released Adventure of a Lifetime. It’ll be a splendid note of goodbye…

Interesting note for this I noticed in the liner notes I looked up, but did not hear within the song – Gwyneth Paltrow is supposed to guest on the album, and apparently does so within this song. Let’s have a listen again…

Cage the ElephantToo Late to Say Goodbye

Well, Cage the Elephant is back with the second single to their upcoming album Tell Me I’m Pretty – and it’s gorgeous. Singer Matt Schultz wrangles some pain out of the ends of relationships to bring us this oft-told tale of the emptiness of unsuccessful reconciliation. This reminds me heavily of Arctic Monkey’s 2014 Do I Wanna Know? which I also thought would have made a great Bond theme. Honestly, this one fits the bill even better, and I suddenly wish producers would have noticed this – immediately I’d rather this have opened Spectre than Sam Smith’s dreary Writing’s on the Wall. Anyway, I can’t wait for December 18th – not only because of The Force Awakens, but Cage’s newest album finally drops.

Lily & MadelineHourglass

Towards the beginning of this year, I became absolutely obsessed with Lily & Madeline’s 2014 debut Fumes. The sisters have such perfect melody that I had to stop and take notice. I’m thrilled that they already  have a new single to anticipate their sophomore effort, and I’m also happy to say that it doesn’t disappoint. The pace of their songs is often a tad on the slow side, but their vocals more than make up for that. The first album was a fantastic piece to play as the background to the novel you’re reading, and I expect nothing less from their second output, especially if it includes songs such as Hourglass.

LuciusBorn Again Teen

A rambunctious pop ballad to being young again, Lucius is telling us that the fun really never has to end. I can imagine cruising down the highway to my next party blaring this song, or pumping myself up as I run down a wooded path in the autumn. Lucius has their second album upcoming, and while I didn’t really take notice to their first, Wildewoman, I think I might be more interested in 2016’s .

Miike SnowGenghis Khan

It’s been some time since we heard from the master behind 2009’s hit song Animal. Snow is back with a ballad that spells a story of obsessive desire and bitter possessive paranoia. The bass laid down below Snow’s vengeful lyrics drives home his point. At first the innocence behind his sweet tenor lures you in, but once you realize what he’s telling his lover (if they’re even there yet?) you’re mystified by his sincerity.

Animal Collective FloriDada

Another infectious pop swirl through beats and grooves, Animal Collective’s ode to Florida is as wacky as anything they’ve put forward before. The lyrics are typically undecipherable, but who cares? The song is a ton of fun, and I foresee another undeniably dance-able album coming soon. Heck, the song samples The Sufaris’ Wipe Out…this will lead us into 2016 with a bang. I’m ready to follow it into the future.

BannersStart a Riot

The first new band (to me, at least) on today’s column, Banners reminds me quite a bit of Bastille. They aren’t as bombastic, but the guitars that undercut the saccharine lyrics plays much like 2012’s ultra-hit Pompeii. Instead of blowing the speakers up, though, Start a Riot plays like a lullaby – slowing the beat down and promising that the character behind the voice will do anything for their object of affection. I can see this playing out well in beginning of the year lists as publications start to find their “Ones to Watch” lists.

So, I hope you enjoyed this new column and here’s to many more in the future! I plan on having this once a week, but if there’s a dearth of music at some point, or I miss a chance to play something, then there may be a pause (as usual with everything!) Let’s hope we’re never lacking for good music, though. If it’s anything like this week, I expect 2016 to have some fantastic new tunes.

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