The Monthly Mixtape: Steven Hyden’s Favorite Songs From September 2018

Cultural Critic

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Every month Uproxx Cultural Critic Steven Hyden compiles a playlist of his favorite songs from new albums.

Lana Del Rey, “Venice Bitch”

LDR is, above all, an old-world-style rock star, and one of the only artists of the ’10s who is unafraid to shamelessly mythologize herself. The extended, experimental vamp “Venice B*tch” is a stone-cold Jim Morrison move, building and drifting to a dreamy climax on waves of profound ridiculousness and ridiculous profundity. All hail the lizard queen.

Jeff Tweedy, “Some Birds”

Ever since Sukirae, the 2014 solo project he recorded with his son Spencer, Jeff Tweedy has turned out a series of pared-back, middle-of-the-night folk-rock records (including Wilco’s underrated double-shot of 2015’s Star Wars and 2016’s Schmilco) infused with humor and more than a little existential dread. Tweedy’s forthcoming solo record WARM (due November 30) follows in a similar vein, which you can hear in “Some Birds,” a slice of soft-rock rumination laced with low-key, slow-rising weirdness.

Kurt Vile, “Bassackwards”

“Some people don’t really have that in their brain, that you can play one chord infinite different ways,” Kurt Vile told me when I interviewed him earlier this month. He was referring to songs like “Bassackwards,” one of the longer, most exploratory tracks on his forthcoming album, Bottle It In (due October 12). While Vile before has made songs that have stretched toward the 10-minute mark, they’ve rarely been as meditative or hypnotic as “Bassackwards,” a tragicomic epic about undying wanderlust.

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