After a hiatus while Adam Yauch was treated for cancer, the Beastie Boys (below) return with their new album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, in early May.
Last week the first track from the record leaked, so the band bit the bullet and made the song in question, "Make Some Noise", available at blog.beastieboys. com. Regardless of health setbacks and a substantial collective age, it finds the trio in swaggering, funky form: "My rhymes, they age like wine as I get older/ I'm getting bolder, competition is waning", the lyrics boast. Also on their blog is a promo for a star-studded short film the band have made to mark 25 years since their explosive debut, together with basketball videos, pop-culture dispatches and a photo of Ad-Rock waiting to order a pizza (ind.pn/ibRc80).
The sinister side of summer pop
While perusing the Gorilla vs Bear music site the other day, I happened across a post about two Montreal artists that I had never heard of before: Grimes and D'Eon – the former a women, the latter a man – ind.pn/eDm5Fo. Next week, the pair release a limited-edition 12" split record, "Darkbloom", with five tracks from each. The blog post featured video premieres and downloads of two tracks from the release: Grimes' "Vanessa" has swooning vocals with a 1990s dance mood via a haze of chillwave, while D'Eon's "Transparency" channels 1990s house and R&B grooves. Despite the summery pop vibes, the songs – and their videos, directed by Grimes – have an intriguingly sinister feel.
Monkeys' evolution is still under debate
The spiky, sprightly beginnings of the Arctic Monkeys are a long way off now: following the desert rock of their third LP, 2009's Humbug, the band have unveiled the big, bluesy, gritty rock of "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair", the first single from the June-released album Suck It and See, online at arcticmonkeys.com. It's a bit sludgy but when the big chorus lands, it draws you in. I remain unconvinced by their recent, heavier ways, however.
Songs from the city of reel love
For Danger Mouse's latest project, he's teamed up with the Italian composer Daniele Luppi to create a love-letter to Italian film music. Titled Rome, after the city where it was recorded with the help of some of the musicians who played on the beloved original scores, it comes with vocals by Jack White and Norah Jones. The album is released in May but last weekend two tracks were released digitally at romealbum.com. They're also streaming on YouTube at ind.pn/gPgRTm and ind.pn/ijLQmq. Of the two songs "Two Against One", featuring Jack White and a great chanted refrain, is the standout.