Now Hear This – August 2018
Summer draws to a close and cooler nights are on the horizon. No better time to put on headphones and spend some time with new music.
The Struts w/Kesha – Body Talks
It is hard to imagine The Struts finding a way to squeeze more glitter into their glam-stomp aesthetic but a re-working of their “Body Talks” single with Kesha checks that box. Having raided David Bowie and Gram Parsons’ closets, Kesha continues her evolution as an artist who isn’t tied to overly produced club bangers and The Struts continue to dispense some of the most fun rock-n-roll in 2018. Having recently wrapped up a tour with Foo Fighters, the band is perched on the edge of a major breakthrough when their sophomore album arrives.
Astari Night – Sunday Queen
Heaven knows, we are miserable now. If you don’t feel at least the occasional urge to pull the shades down on the world outside and disappear into the welcoming darkness of a darkwave playlist, then we can’t be friends. Getting the balance just right between ringing guitars and moaning synths, Astari Night blend the cool, detached attitude of Interpol with the sheer terror of The Cure’s darkest albums (Faith, Pornography, and Seventeen Seconds). Hailing from the Sunshine State that gave us Marilyn Manson and Cruxshadows, Astari Night prove that even the worst humidity will not stop the power of black eyeliner.
Let’s Eat Grandma – Hot Pink
The future of pop resides here. Constantly shape-shifting, “Hot Pink” uses the loud-soft dynamic that has worked for everyone from Nirvana to Lorde but here it sounds like a thousand MacBooks marching into battle. Weaponizing their youth, Let’s Eat Grandma leverage perceived innocence against society’s assumptions. When Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton sing – “I’m only 17, I don’t know what you mean” they are taunting us. Not only do they know what we mean, they have known all along. Unpredictable and smart, Let’s Eat Grandma remind us of the importance of comma usage and pop music that tries to break new ground.
Halestorm – Uncomfortable
Halestorm keep the rock-n-roll torch burning no matter how hard the winds of change blow. On “Uncomfortable”, the band captures the power of Skid Row’s Slave To the Grind-era with Lizzy Hale striking her best Joan Jett pose. While the band will never be accused of delivering feminist anthems, it also doesn’t shy away from tackling the traditional stereotypes woven into the classic rock canon. After trying to broaden their audience on Into The Wild Life, Halestorm ditch the slick production for what they do best: rock-n-roll.
Em Hoggett – What I Want To Say To You
How many songs must be written before we listen? London ex-pat Em Hoggett’s fierce new video for “What I Want To Say To You” bravely addresses the issue of sexual assault. As a victim herself, her voice carries the scars of the experience as she reaches out through music to other survivors. This issue will not go away and the sooner we address it directly, the sooner our collective awareness will become a source of strength. Gaslight Anthem did just that this week when news broke of sexual assaults at their recent concerts. Hoggett’s hauntingly honest music reminds us of the personal lives being forever torn apart by these crimes. Turning the personal into universal inspiration, Hoggett joins artists such as Lady Gaga and Tori Amos in giving a voice to those who need it most.