Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Dark Necessities”

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Everything is happening this week. It’s been five long years, but both Radiohead and now the Red Hot Chili Peppers have returned with brand new songs. “Dark Necessities,” unlike Radiohead’s virtual disappearance before the release of “Burn the Witch,” comes with little fanfare. The album will be available on iTunes and has a full tracklist and album art (above). Die-hard Chili Peppers fans: keep in mind, this is only the first single. “Dark Necessities” is the second song on The Getaway, and is a radio-friendly, instantly-catchy Chili Peppers hit, akin to “Dani California,” or “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” off their last album, 2011’s I’m With You.

The track begins with a very modern sound, an indie-rock build of sorts (Danger Mouse is the album’s producer). But it quickly breaks down into a classic Chili Peppers funk line with the help of Flea’s one-of-a-kind bass-slapping style. The big, bright hand claps add a mod-80s feel, but Anthony Kiedis’ voice remains a defining feature of the anthemic stadium-rock the Chili’s have been crafting since their early days as a 90s funk-punk band. “Dark Necessities” uses piano effectively to create a more expansive sound that Kiedis and co were beginning to move towards on I’m With You, and Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar work here is exceptional, proving that he can not only fill Frusciante’s shoes but take his signature guitar tone to new places. If “Dark Necessities” is any indication, there’s lots to expect from the Red Hot Chili Peppers first album in five years, out June 17.

The Getaway tracklist:

1. The Getaway
2. Dark Necessities
3. We Turn Red
4. The Longest Wave
5. Goodbye Angels
6. Sick Love
7. Go Robot
8. Feasting on the Flowers
9. Detroit
10. This Ticonderoga
11. Encore
12. The Hunter
13. Dreams of a Samurai

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Radiohead: “Burn the Witch”

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After a lot of waiting, Radiohead have finally released new music. “Burn the Witch” is the first single from their upcoming album (which has been rumoured to be coming in June). The track has been teased by the band for more than a decade. Last week, fans in the UK received mysterious leaflets in the mail that said “Sing the song of sixpence that goes / Burn the witch / We know where you live,” the final lines from the song. Over the weekend, Radiohead’s Facebook and Twitter accounts began to disappear, profile pictures and cover photos being replaced by blank images. Their website slowly faded until it too was completely blank. Last night, a teaser appeared on their Instagram of a claymation bird, and then this morning we got a full video to accompany the release of the song.

“Burn the Witch” is a churning, building, absolutely massive Radiohead song. Backed by an orchestral string arrangement, the heavy bass line when it comes in allows Thom Yorke’s voice to take flight. “This is a low-flying panic attack,” he sings before the song’s ominous chorus: “Burn the witch / Burn the witch / We know where you live.” The song’s political undertones are evident in lines such as “Do not react / Shoot the messengers,” and interestingly, the ‘witch’ burned in the video is a man with a notebook who has come to inspect the claymation town. Johnny Greenwood’s impressive arrangement (he’s been performing with symphony orchestras for the last few years) alongside Yorke’s impeccable songwriting reaches its startling conclusion as the song escalates into noise—something Radiohead have always been good at—as the ‘witch’ in the video is set ablaze.

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Watch Flume’s New Video for “Never Be Like You [feat. Kai]”

Flume has shared the video for “Never Be Like You [feat. Kai],” the first single from his upcoming album Skin. Thus far, he’s only released one other track from the imminent new album, the rambunctious “Smoke & Retribution [ft. Vince Staples & Kučka],” which was named Best New Track last month. Watch the psychedelic, Valentine’s-themed video for “Never Be Like You” below.

Bloc Party: Hymns

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homepage_large.e64cf1bcBritish indie-rockers Bloc Party returned today with a brand new album called Hymns, although the lineup is very different from the Bloc Party most know from albums like Silent Alarm, A Weekend in the CityIntimacy, and their most recent tour in 2013. After a 2 and a half year long hiatus, during which both drummer Matt Tong and bassist Gordon Moakes left the band, the new Bloc Party sounds more like frontman Kele Okereke’s solo material than the “return to form” they were beginning to make on Four and The Nextwave Sessions EPHymnsmuch like Okereke’s solo material, veers toward the poppy, but, also much like the solo stuff, ends up sounding like angsty club music, and has lost all the edginess that made Bloc Party Bloc Party. The evangelical religious undertones on the new album do nothing for Okereke’s often-criticized songwriting and the vocals don’t make up for the simplicity (as with his solo material). But where Hymns ultimately fails is in the sense that its not really a Bloc Party album, and doesn’t signal their return, but rather, a continuation of Okereke’s solo project under the Bloc Party name.

Photos: Les Sins at Fortune Sound Club

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Toro y Moi‘s Chaz Bundick played Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver on Wednesday night (November 12) in support of his dance side project Les Sins, for which he released a debut album, Michael, on November 4. His DJ set spanned an hour of Les Sins and remix material, and then he continued with a funk DJ set that went into the early hours of the morning.

Watch the video for Michael‘s “Bother” below: