Every Tuesday at noon our music writers Deborah Sengupta Stith and Eric Webb will be live on Austin360’s Periscope account spinning a mix of the week’s new releases, popular and underground alike for 360 First Spins.
The show is a mix of off-the-cuff commentary, goofy dancing and emoji reviews. Here’s a recap from our debut episode June 9, which covered new music from Muse, Of Monsters and Men, FFS, Tove Styrke, Jenny Uval, Tamia, No Joy, Pins and Of Monsters and Men. Listen to our 360 First Spins: June 2015 playlist on Spotify.
Muse "Drones" – Listen on Spotify
DSS: This is Muse doing what they do best, offering an epic call to arms against the ever-present, faceless machine. A good "Mad Max" chaser or the soundtrack to your own summer action flick adventures.
EW: It’s deeply ridiculous, a little sinister, and very theatrical. I can’t hate on Muse for doing Muse.
Tove Styrke "Kiddo" – Listen
EW: Tove Styrke is giving me major Robyn vibes with this album. A blend of shoulder-shaking, futuristic dance pop and frothy, summer fun. One of my faves of the year.
DSS: I would totally buy designer knock offs at Forever 21 to this music.
Jenny Hval -"Apocalypse, Girl" – Listen
DSS: I appreciate the post-Laurie Anderson performance art aesthetic and the fact that she wears her feminism on her sleeve, but the album got overwhelmingly heavy to me pretty quickly. That said, it’s great music to curl up in a corner and weep to.
EW: The lyrics seem like they have something unique and incisive to say, but overall it’s musically plodding.
FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks) "FFS" – Listen
EW: Rejected "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" cuts. Bargain basement Queen. I appreciate the overall meta-ness of the project, and I love cheesy arena guitars, but I won’t listen to it again. "FFS" is at its best when it dispenses with the "Bohemian Rhapsody" posturing and indulges in its art rock tendencies.
DSS: I’m just annoyed.
Tamia "Love Life" – Listen
DSS: Tamia can sing and this is a fine album to spin when you put on your frilly apron to make candlelit dinner for your man (which I totally do ALL the time). The first couple tracks just felt like sort of standard radio R&B, solid and sexy but a bit boring, but track three "Sandwich and a Soda" is straight up adorable, a super charming seduction.
EW: "Sandwich and a Soda" made me hungry. Otherwise, this is perfectly inoffensive bedroom R&B-pop.
No Joy "More Faithful" – Listen
EW: I was delightfully surprised by these Canadian shoegazers. The first track, "Remember Nothing," crackles with a noisy punk energy that reminds me of White Lung. The rest of the album plays with levels a little more, like on the fuzzy "Hollywood Teeth," which reminds me of Pity Sex, and the dreamy space-out of "I am an Eye Machine." Super swoony.
DSS: This brought me a surprising amount of joy.
Pins "Wild Nights" – Listen
DSS: I love this album. Post-riot grrl pop punk and beachy summer jams combine in the perfect cruising soundtrack for your bad girl gang.
EW: It’s sunny beach music, but samey-samey.
Of Monsters and Men "Beneath the Skin" – Listen
EW: Every single one of these songs would be fine if they didn’t all sound exactly like every song from this band. Tribal drums, big build to a mountain-climbing chorus, ad infinitum. I’m sure they will be great live at ACL Fest.
DSS: It did make me think of the mountains and rocky cliffs which these Icelandic artists grew up amongst.
Quick spins (new singles)
The Weeknd – "Can’t Feel My Face" – Listen
EW: The Weeknd has released a single with a funky bass line that you can dance to, and I am living for it.
DSS: Does he have a whole new album of songs like this coming out before ACL Festival? (Please say yes, please say yes.)
Kasey Musgraves "Family is Family" –Listen
EW: Give me all of your wry crossover country songs about family dysfunction, please. I will listen to anything Kasey releases.
DSS: Love her, love her, love her.
Join us next Tuesday at noon when we take over the Austin360 Periscope account to review new music from Ryn Weaver, Third Eye Blind, Migos, Nate Ruess (Fun.) and more.