New Music Roundup: Jenny Lewis, Liars, Perfect Pussy, and More!

by | Jan 17, 2014 | MUSIC

Every week, the list of songs I wanna tell you about gets longer and more backed up. Every week it’s more and more difficult to narrow it down to only 5. But at least this way you know you’re getting the very best stuff we’ve come across, right? Here’s our latest batch of really really good songs, and we promise, they truly are the cream of the crop.


Every week, the list of songs I wanna tell you about gets longer and more backed up. Every week it’s more and more difficult to narrow it down to only 5. But at least this way you know you’re getting the very best stuff we’ve come across, right? Here’s our latest batch of really really good songs, and we promise, they truly are the cream of the crop.

Liars – Mess On A Mission

Before you say anything, let me assure all the doubters out there that I too have hated most of what Liars have done since their outstanding 2001 debut, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top. After bassist Pat Noecker left (and started the excellent These Are Powers), this band got really bizarre, in a way that seemed to change with every new album but never re-attained their original greatness. However, I suppose everything comes full circle eventually, and though “Mess On A Mission” doesn’t sound a damn thing like They Threw Us All In A Trench or anything else I’ve ever heard by Liars, it is nonetheless a really great song. Electronic beats and beeps drive the synthetic groove, which is relentless in its attempts to get you out of your seat and dancing. Eventually it succeeds, and the last 90 seconds of the track are particularly undeniable. Can they keep up the good work for an entire LP before transforming into yet another weird, off-putting incarnation? We’ll have to see, but you can find out by pre-ordering their upcoming seventh album, Mess, HERE. It’ll be out on March 25.

Perfect Pussy – Driver

This Syracuse-based hardcore punk band seemingly blew up out of nowhere last year, receiving substantial hype from everybody, especially Pitchfork, for their first release, a four-song Bandcamp demo that didn’t even have individual song titles. Now how the hell did that happen? Maybe it’s because singer Meredith Graves’s previous band, Shoppers, was poised to get huge when they instead suddenly fell apart–or maybe it’s because Perfect Pussy really are that awesome. The question of whether the world is even ready for a band with the word “pussy” in their name–at least, one not made up of Russian political protesters–is another issue Perfect Pussy have brought to light. The PR emails I get about their songs call them “Perfect P____,” and in a review of one of their live shows, The New York Times referred to them simply as “a band whose name is unprintable here.” But all of that becomes irrelevant the second you press play on “Driver,” the first track to be released from Perfect Pussy’s upcoming Captured Tracks debut album, Say Yes To Love. Other than an overly-feedbacky vocal mic, most of the lo-fi grot that buried their demo in sheets of harsh noise has been cleaned up, and as a result, the catchy nature of their angry, driving hardcore punk is pushed to the fore. There’s nothing necessarily world-shattering about another two-minute hardcore song, but when it’s this good, it deserves all the attention it’s getting. Preorder the digital version of Say Yes to Love from iTunes HERE, and check with Captured Tracks for more info on the vinyl/CD release, coming soon.

Step Brothers feat. Action Bronson – Mum’s In The Garage

Step Brothers is a new hip hop supergroup featuring legendary producer Alchemist and Dilated Peoples rapper Evidence (and by the way, is not to be confused with last year’s popular mixtape by Starlito and Don Trip), and this advance track has an incredible beat that stands out easily in a world of played-out trap beats. OK, I admit it, I’ve always been a sucker for the 90s sound and preferred it over a lot of the more processed/digitized sounds of the post-Y2K era, but I don’t understand how any hip hop fan could fail to appreciate the spooky, jazzy beat on this track, especially with all the samples from crime films layered thickly between the verses. The song’s title comes from what sounds like a Snatch sample (though it’s probably from some other British crime film), and it fits well with the crime stories being told in the lyrics. Action Bronson’s first up, and of course his verse is outstanding, but Alchemist and Evidence rap just as well as he does and the track remains strong as an ox throughout. Step Brothers release their first album, Lord Steppington, next Tuesday on Rhymesayers, and you probably should just order the whole thing. Do that HERE.

Jenny Lewis – Completely Not Me

Here’s a lovely new track from former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis, who hasn’t given us any actual new music since her 2010 collaborative album with boyfriend Johnathan Rice, I’m Having Fun Now (though there was a posthumous Rilo Kiley collection, Rkives, released last year). This new song is not the first hint of a new album, though (at least not as far as we know)–it is instead a contribution to the second volume of the soundtrack for hit HBO TV show Girls. Subtitled All Adventurous Women Do…, the soundtrack features exclusive new tunes not only from Jenny Lewis but also Miguel and Cat Power, among others, plus new tunes from Beck and Lily Allen and classic jams by Oasis, Aimee Mann, and Daniel Johnston, among many others. It even starts with a Vampire Weekend song, which I know may not be as terrible news for many of you as it is for me, so… there’s that too! The Girls Volume 2: All Adventurous Women Do… soundtrack will be released on February 11–preorder it from iTunes HERE.

Throwdown – Defend With Violence

I know I should be ashamed of myself for enjoying this blatantly thuggish metalcore crap, but I hear the opening riff and all I can think is “mosh.” So let’s all ignore the blah blah Throwdown singer Dave Peters is barking out about “honor” and “cowardice” and whatever other pseudo-noble language he’s dressing up his pugnaciousness with, and just mosh around our bedrooms doing stagedives onto our beds, shall we? Because let’s face it, this song’s got just the right amount of metal leads, chugging riffs, and brutal breakdowns to make it the perfect getting-some-aggression-out jam for this weekend. For some this is probably a great soundtrack for lifting weights, and for others it might just be inspirational music by which to lift beers at the bar, but I don’t do either of those things, so I’m just gonna dance, headbang, and air-guitar around my room for a while and then maybe go get some tacos later. “Defend With Violence” is an advance single from Throwdown’s first album in five years, Intolerance, which will be out on Tuesday. You can order it on CD HERE, or digitally on iTunes HERE. One more time: MOSH!

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Email me your songs, and I’ll write about them: [email protected] Have a great weekend, everyone!

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.




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