Welcome back to The Verge’s weekly musical roundup. I’m Jamieson, I’m still your host, and I can’t believe the musical year’s already starting to wind down. All of your favorite music websites are publishing their year-end lists; each week’s handful of new releases is getting smaller and smaller; listeners around the world are deserting their carefully constructed playlists for haphazard collections of holiday music. There’s still plenty of music worth collecting, discussing, and hearing here, though — jams don’t stop for anyone, not even Santa.
Remember to subscribe to our Spotify playlist if you haven’t already — it’s updated weekly! — and tune into our Periscope broadcast covering this week’s picks when it airs this afternoon. Let’s go:
Animal Collective, "FloriDada":
I’ve already listened to "FloriDada" more than anything on Animal Collective’s last LP, 2012’s Centipede Hz. That album’s insane clutter overshadowed any melodies that might’ve been tucked underneath everything. "FloriDada" is whimsical and zany, but it has a solid vocal core. I don’t think the band’s ever going to return to its late ‘00s peak, the one captured in albums like Strawberry Jam and Merriweather Post Pavilion, but this is a fine piece of playpen / picnic fodder.
ANOHNI, "4 Degrees":
ANOHNI (formerly Antony Hegarty) co-produced new album HOPELESSNESS with Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never, and Mohawke’s influence wins out on climate-conscious lead single "4 Degrees." Those booming horns and synthesized string stabs might as well be ripped straight from Lantern, which included another ANOHNI-Mohawke collaboration in the form of "Indian Steps." "In solidarity with the climate conference in Paris, giving myself a good hard look," she wrote in a note accompanying the release. "Not my aspirations but my behaviors, revealing my insidious complicity. It’s a whole new world. Let’s be brave and tell the truth as much as we can."
The newest single from Chairlift’s upcoming LP Moth has more in common with the band’s earlier work than "Ch-Ching," but it’s given a jolt by the kind of crash-and-burn recklessness last heard on Grimes’ Art Angels, particularly within highlight "Kill v. Maim." Reimaginations of Greek myth don’t often sound this invigorated.
DUST, "Breeding Pit":
Techno trio DUST has roots in Brooklyn’s fertile turn-of-the-decade DIY community, and its debut album Agony Planet is being released in January. "Breeding Pit" is its first single, and it’ll sneak up on you; I found myself unconsciously wiggling at my desk, caught up in its spooky churn after a few minutes’ worth of building. The haunted house has a dance floor!
Glassjaw, "New White Extremity":
Long Island post-hardcore legends Glassjaw haven’t released a new LP in over a decade, but that’s apparently going to change soon. "New White Extremity" is the first single from a comeback album that hasn’t been detailed yet, and it’s also the first bit of music the band’s released since 2011 EP Coloring Book. It’s a ferocious, serrated piece of work; I don’t listen to a ton of post-hardcore, but this song made for a surprisingly effective palate cleanser between other albums this week.
Jack Tatum, "Above":
This is Jack Tatum’s second straight appearance in this column — well, its normal version, anyway. (One of his new singles as Wild Nothing popped up here two weeks ago.) "Above" is one of his two contributions to the upcoming compilation Driftless Ambient II. If you’re a listener who can’t help but be a little wary of the Ambien in "ambient," this one might surprise you: it’s bubbly, bright, and concise. You’ll need to look elsewhere for your next aural sleep aid.
Jeremih, "Pass Dat":
Jeremih gave fans an early Christmas present last night by surprising them with the release of long-awaited new LP Late Nights. Single "Pass Dat" is one of its best tracks, a fusion of downtempo R&B and EDM-pop that doesn’t sound forced or cluttered; it crackles like it was recorded with smoke-addled equipment. That little textural touch makes a big difference.
La Sera, "High Notes":
Ryan Adams is producing La Sera’s new album, Music for Listening to Music To; it’s out in March. "High Notes" is the first single, and it suggests Adams’ hand won’t be too heavy in a stylistic sense. If you’ve listened to La Sera at all before — they’ve been making country-tinged indie rock for a half-decade now — this song’s brisk pace and thin, dusty film are going to strike you as familiar.
M. Ward, "Girl From Conejo Valley":
M. Ward has been churning out genial, NPR-friendly indie rock for a decade and a half at this point, whether on his own or with famous friends like Zooey Deschanel, Conor Oberst, and Jim James. "Girl From Conejo Valley" is the first track cut from next year’s new LP More Rain, and it follows the recipe: bright acoustic guitar, elliptical storytelling, Ward’s soothing voice. It’s folky comfort food.
Prins Thomas, "B":
Prins Thomas Hermansen has been making "space disco" — a particularly languid strain of the Bee Gees’ home genre — for over a decade alongside contemporaries like fellow Norwegian Lindstrøm. His newest album is Principe Del Norte, a quadruple-length collection of ambient music; "B" stretches over almost 12 minutes, and its runtime’s just about average within the context of the album. I have a hard time getting work done with music on in the background, but I opt for songs like this when I want to give it a try — it’s engaging and subtle, but it’s not going to demand your attention.
Here’s the running This Is Your Next Jam playlist — have an awesome weekend!