Listen to these songs and more on The A.V. Club’s Spotify playlist, updated weekly with what we’re listening to.
Christian Fitness, “Full Morrissey”
Being a Morrissey fan has been difficult longer than it’s been fun at this point. It’s a relationship that only grows more complicated with every half-great new record and all-shitty new interview, and it’s one Andrew “Falco” Falkous captures as he goes “Full Morrissey” on the recent Nuance – The Musical. Working under his prolific Christian Fitness moniker, the former Mclusky/Future Of The Left agitator addresses the State of Moz 2018 with typically sneering wit (“I smell a half-finished record in need of edge, in need of outrage / Oh Steven, you are so very, very naughty”). But at the same time, he weaves in mockingly florid, Morrissey-esque turns of phrase that could only be written by someone with at least a little appreciation of the man’s output: “Every year around Christmas, since once I was anything / I have gone to a secret location there to confound sentence structure / And think about death.” All this unfolds over a hypnotically plodding beat and slashing guitars that are tense and needling for a bit, before the big, brassily symphonic swells of the chorus—nastiness giving way to a moment of beauty, like reading Morrissey talk about how Hitler was left-wing, then listening to “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.” [Sean O’Neal]
Oneohtrix Point Never, “Black Snow”
I listen to Oneohtrix Point Never all the time. I blast through the entire discography probably once a week at work; there’s something about his little digital worlds, full of deep-space synthesizers and lonely video game melodies, that’s perfect for reading and writing and staring at the internet all day. If there’s a mode of his I’ve never quite connected with, it’s his more straightforward, songwriter style, as seen in the well-liked Iggy Pop collaboration from last year’s Good Time soundtrack and at points throughout his 2015 effort Garden Of Delete. But “Black Snow,” the first single from his upcoming Age Of, finds a more alluring middle ground, turning a cool, low-key vocal melody into something gradually more ambient and disconcerting as feedback and dissonant computer tones layer over top. The video, directed by the musician himself, plays out like a live-action Cool 3D World video; it’ll be hard to ever hear the track and not picture that grinning demon cowboy.
Oneohtrix has referred to the new record, which was co-produced with James Blake, as “little air-conditioned nightmares,” which sound just about perfect. It’s out June 1, just in time for indoor season. [Clayton Purdom]
Princess Nokia, “Goth Kid”
I resolved to listen to new music on a regular basis this year (or was it last?), but I still find myself just setting my Spotify to shuffle and listening to the same old mix of Hall And Oates, Shannon And The Clams, and Four Tops tunes that make up my playlists. So I have to thank music editor Kelsey J. Waite for putting me on to Nuyorican multi-genre artist Destiny Frasqueri, a.k.a Princess Nokia, with a playlist of women rappers. That’s actually the second time I’ve seen Kelsey recommend the self-reflective, feminist MC, but at least it finally led to me checking out the 1992 Deluxe reissue, which in turn led me to Princess Nokia’s new mixtape, A Girl Cried Red, which is very much in my wheelhouse. The introspective rhymes from earlier tracks like “Goth Kid” are now backed by guitars on new songs like “Look Up Kid,” while “Morphine” is practically dream-pop. But regardless of the production, the soul-baring sentiment remains the same, which is what emo is all about. Elsewhere on A Girl Cried Red, “Flowers Of Rope” is a musical cliffhanger of sorts, leaving me eager to hear more from this new-to-me artist. [Danette Chavez]