We don’t mean to startle you, but there are non-VMA artists who released music this week! Can you believe it? Yes, there was new Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus and Drake, and hats off to all of them, but, to be fair, there were other videos and songs debuting this week.
Here’s what you may have missed.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone”
The deeply funky, yet serious Multi-Love from indie rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra has managed to stand out in a very strong year for albums in the genre. The latest clip from the record for “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” is a schizophrenic piece that aims to label and diagnose the strange moments in our lives.
“My approach was to present the multiple ideas as if they were a trading card deck,” says director Dimitri Basil, and isn’t that so true? Aren’t we all trading cards between the cruel sticky fingers of a match in the trading card game of life? Also, this is briefly NSFW for a moment, so be forewarned for some quick nudity.
Metric – “Lie, Lie, Lie”
Way back in May, we heard our first preview of what the return of Emily Haines and Metric would be like for their new album, Pagans in Vegas. While “The Shade” was grandiose and sweeping, their new track “Lie, Lie, Lie” is more contained and smaller synthpop.
Heavily resembling a Violator-era Depeche Mode song, Haines moseys all along this slinky stomper. While the whole album probably won’t sound this way, it’s certainly a fun departure.
Mercury Rev – “Are You Ready?”
Mercury Rev haven’t released an album in seven years, but they are making up for that long layover in a big way with their new video for “Are You Ready?” In the highly surreal clip from their forthcoming album The Light in You, dreams blur with reality as a young girl wanders about a city and runs afoul of more than just the late-night city lights. It’s a truly trippy visual and a pretty great return for the veteran rockers.
Battles – “FF Bada”
The experimental rockers in Battles never seem to disappoint when it comes to creating arresting and intriguing guitar songs that always have something new to discover. “Ice Cream” has to be one of the best songs of 2011. Well, we’re now four years removed from that track, and Gloss Drop and the New York trio are back with a new album, La Di Da Di, dropping later this month.
“FF Bada” is another helping of the group’s dizzying instrumental work and one more example of how the group is one of the tightest bands on the planet. It’s easy to get lost in the maelstrom of a track. Don’t fight it, just go with the current.
Nite-Funk – “Can U Read Me”
If there were any two forces we’d like to see team up, it would be the impossibly funky Dåm-Funk and the Italo-disco dream group Nite Jewel. While not on his fantastic album dropping this week, Invite the Light, Dåm decided to pair up with the Italians Do It Better crew for a special track that will be performed at West Coast Dåm-Funk shows.
It’s truly no surprise that these two linked up. Both bands are awash in heavy synth, emotion, and chill. There was talk of Nite-Funk maybe releasing a proper album at one point, but it never came to fruition. Here’s hoping, with the success of this track, that it finally does in the future.