By ALEX LYALL
In this edition of The Haul we pay tribute. First of all, TEARAWAY is sending a lucky over-18 somebody and their equally lucky mate to R&V absolutely free! Which is, quite frankly, insane and definitely worth paying tribute to. Then, we pay tribute to the differing streams of thought that make American music so good.
Best News of the Week – R&V for free
Maybe not so easy as it sounds, as there are quality artists in that line-up! For me personally, it couldn’t be anyone other than Chance the Rapper. Holy moly, he will be good.
Foxygen – America
In the year of Donald Trump, we may have lost the American sentiments that can make music terrific. Foxygen have given us something this week that is both these qualities: American and terrific.
Unsurprisingly, central to the song is the chant which names it. America is sung over a whirlwind of camp, jingly and beautifully-arranged instrumentation. The music is so thoroughly enjoyable that it doesn’t matter if Foxygen blur the lines between exaggeration and sincerity.
30 Days, 30 Songs
Then on the other side of this, there’s the reminder why the American jingles have been less forthcoming recently. The 30 Days, 30 Songs playlist asks artists to share their anti-Donald Trump songs. The playlist so far has orchestrated a grand pool of talent – Jim James, Franz Ferdinand, Aimee Mann and Death Cab for Cutie. Each track introduces a new criticism of the Republican nominee, spanning areas of policy and personal conduct.
Among the artists is super-duo EL VY, consisting of members from The National and Menomena, who invite a children’s choir to sing with them in mourning the state of US politics. A crying Abe Lincoln in the video sums it all up.
President Obama shares his workout playlist
Musicians challenge politicians, politicians praise musicians. Confirmed cool cat Barack Obama has let us in on the jams he loses himself in when he works out. The combination of The Isley Brothers, Icona Pop and Beyoncé makes us wonder how the president works out. Or whether he’s checked out our beginner’s guide. Unfortunately, The Black Eyed Peas are on here too, which kind of wrecks the playlist. Thanks, Obama.
Austra – Utopia
Released from her upcoming 2017 album Future Politics, Utopia is an exercise in imagining exactly what a utopia could look like. It is foremost a love song, combing the wish that she could hold hands and escape a city in which she feels loneliness. The softly charged synth arrangements heighten the feeling of yearning for this kind of utopia.
Did you miss last week’s Haul? No problem! Check it here.
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