Songs of the Week: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Get Therapeutic, Demi Lovato Has a Heart Attack, and Bowie Sneaks Out a Stream

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Sacrilege”

Karen O says the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, Mosquito, was recorded during “dark times” — while guitarist Nick Zinner was going through a breakup, O herself was working through an “identity crisis” after moving back to New York from L.A. for a while. (Meanwhile, drummer Brian Chase had to put up with two depressed people.) O: “So whenever we’d go into our studio space, we would just try and play music that was as uplifting and cheerful. The music is more of a prescription for what we were feeling. It was like a pep talk.” On this, Mosquito’s first single, we have Karen working it out alongside the yearning blast of a gospel choir swell, shaking and strutting her blues right off. Now this is quality therapy on the cheap.

Frank Ocean, “Eyes Like Sky”

This acoustic strummer is apparently a track from the Channel Orange sessions that Frank left on the cutting-room floor. Maybe just a little inspired by his buddy John Mayer, it shades more sappy than sincere (“A blind boy / sees a green girl / she drives a green car through a dream world”?), and probably was indeed best left to wander YouTube limbo forever. One thing working its favor, though? The general level of earnestness on display means there’s roughly a 1,000 percent certainty Frankie recorded this thing with his eyes closed.

Small Black, “Free at Dawn”

Small Black, out here tryna get that car commercial money.

The Bronx, “Youth Wasted”

The Bronx are a punk band from, no, not the gulliest of all NYC boroughs, but L.A.; they’ve also released not one but two albums under their mariachi band alter ego, Mariachi El Bronx. So maybe don’t try too hard to find meaning or reasoning behind their decision to stuff their new music video with all manner of fleshy Magic Mike man action and premiere it at Playgirl.com. Via press release, they say “We had a lot of fun with Steve (a.k.a. The Hammer), Jim (a.k.a. Double Gunz) and Mike (a.k.a. The Meat Wagon) and shared tips on which brand of cocoa butter shimmers the best, and smells the least … thanks again to Playgirl for impeccable taste and being a leader in the visual/sonic advancement of mankind.”

The Replacements, “I’m Not Saying”

The Replacements share a track off their covers EP Songs for Slim (scheduled for digital release on March 5), recorded to raise funds for the medical care of former guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke. It’s a complete, sloppy Replacements-ization of the breezy Gordon Lightfoot original, and goddamn it goes hard. And so the possibility of a full-on Replacements reunion inches very gradually forward!

Solange, “Don’t Let Me Down”


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Pity the poor Late Show intern whose job it was to tell Dave how to pronounce “Solange.”

Atoms for Peace, “Ingenue”

Honestly, I was ready to write off this new video from Thom Yorke’s side project before I’d even seen a second. I mean, we are living in a post–“Lotus Flower” video world here — could we ever expect Yorke to top the epically impish dance massacre he’d laid down on us there? And then I actually checked out “Ingenue” and — hey, it’s Thom Yorke dancing like a madman again! (This time, +1 friend and +1 ponytail and +1 artsy-ass motorboatin’.) Very wise, Thom. Go ahead and give the people what they want.

Passion Pit, “Constant Conversations” (Juicy J Remix)

Hey, indie rock purists: Maybe you’’ll be less aggy about Pashy Pit getting that Taco Bell bullion now that they’ve turned around and used some of that cash to pay Juicy J for a verse? Or maybe it was a more direct transaction, facilitated by the Bell? Lifetime of Doritos Locos Tacos for lyrics as good or better than “back of the ghost / like Miss Daisy”?

Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack”

It’s weird listening to a song that you’re pretty sure you’re gonna hear a billion times over the next six months for the very first time. Almost like maybe you should just go ahead and crank out the first 100 or so listens now? Go ahead and start working through the numbness?

David Bowie, “The Stars Are Out Tonight”

David Bowie sneakily slipped his new album, The Next Day — his first one in a decade — onto the Internet this week. [Waiting] [Waiting] [Waiting] What are you still doing here? Go listen to it! Now!

Filed Under: Frank Ocean, Songs of the Week

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Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad