Curtis Harding, Japanese Breakfast, and More Music Discoveries
"It's music to soundtrack a dream or that state right before dreaming and it's a rare song that could be as affecting any time of year."
This week on the WERS 7 o’clock news we jammed to the Atlanta native Curtis Harding’s new track, floated in the psychedlic sounds of Japanese Breakfast, rocked out to the solo single of Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage, and welcomed the return of the indie darling BORNS. Check out what the WERS Music staff has to say about the songs you’ve just heard and make sure to tune in next week for more music discovery on the 7 o’clock news!
ON AND ON
You wouldn't know it from just listening to "On and On," Curtis Harding's first new track since his 2014 debut album, but the Atlanta based artist is more closely affiliated with the Black Lips and lo-fi record label Burger Records than modern R&B and soul artists such as Leon Bridges. Harding has also worked as a back up singer for Cee Lo Green and sang in choirs throughout his life, but said that he has always felt like a solo artist and coined the sound of his music as "sloppin' soul" because he has taken sounds he hears in different places and combined it with soul music.
The bones of his first effort are very apparent here; the horns and foot-stomping beats that are hallmarks of 60s and 70s music make an appearance on this soulful track and Harding certainly shows off his vocal range as well. When Harding spoke about the single he said it was written about "the cosmic wave that won't let anyone or anything stop you. We all have purpose and I believe once you know yours it's harder to give up." It's a good change of pace to see a positive and inspiring message go along with an equally positive and addictive song.
As of now, Harding has not released any plans for a new album and he is only touring in Europe for a few months in winter, but we can hope for new music and a US tour from him soon.
With Japanese Breakfast's newly released sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, lead singer and founder Michelle Zauner is moving in more cosmic directions as she expands the slightly washed out and psychedelic sounds from her debut. Psychopomp, the album that put her on the map a few years ago, was recorded in the wake of her mother's death, and was a bit more anchored in traditional pop structures than her new album.
"Road Head" in particular seems like it is floating in space and time; Zauner's voice floats in and out over the flute-like synths and sighs the melancholy lyrics. It's music to soundtrack a dream or that state right before dreaming and it's a rare song that could be as affecting any time of year. It's perfect for the ending days of summer, as the light stretches out into the early evening and tints the sky, but it would be as appropriate and beautiful on a grey winter day.
Though the track is ultimately about failing relationships, it does not stop it from being one of the more beautiful songs released of the year. You can catch Zauner playing more beautiful songs from her new album on October 11th at The Sinclair.
WINTER IN THE SOUTH
Maybe most well known for his work as the frontman of the indie band Parquet Courts, Andrew Savage (aka A. Savage) is taking some time to release a solo album. Savage’s single, Winter in the South, is fun, quirky, and surpirsingly western.
His new album will have features from some of Savage’s friends such as Woods, Ultimate Painting, and Psychic TV. In a press release for his new album Thawing Dawn Savage said “Once I realized I had a small body of work that didn’t fit anywhere else, I started to examine the commonalities: What’s the common denominator of all this and how I can expand on it?”.
Savage’s transition from punk to western quirk is extremely refreshing and welcome and we will definitely hear more of his deeply self aware and philosophical ponderings on his new record. A. Savage’s new album Thawing Dawn, arrives October 13.
Garret Borns returns with the wisdom and exhaustion of a year on tour. His debut album, 2016’s Dopamine, was full of innuendo and decadence, and his tour featured enough glitter and glam to fill the treehouse where he famously wrote that record.
Now on “Faded Heart”, Borns is returning to life beyond rock stardom, no glitz and a lot more dishes to do. He’s living in his own home, trying to maintain his cool after living life in another galaxy, but still rocking his incredible falsetto. There’s a video promoting the song called “The Search for Lost Sounds”. Together, the video and song capture Borns’ return to Los Angeles from the road, a return in particular to all the sounds of LA’s noisiest neighborhood.
This theme of cathartic return, with hope for the future makes “Faded Heart” a perfect sunset in late summer song. No release date for the new BORNS album yet, but you’ll be sure to hear as soon as we know.