We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. That’s why we launched Playlisted, to share our latest recommendations. While up to this point, we’ve just been talking about full albums, now we’re going to branch out and make Playlisted a weekly round-up of tracks music fans have to hear.
Corin Tucker Band, “Groundhog Day”
Corin Tucker made her name as a member of groundbreaking bands like Heavens To Betsy and Sleater-Kinney. She’s mellowed a little since, but the press release for Kill My Blues, the forthcoming record from the Corin Tucker Band, promises a sonic return to her musical past. If lead single “Groundhog Day” is any indication, that promise might be more than just publicist-speak. The track rocks hard, combining Tucker’s signature whisper-yelps with a touch of Portland-style rock. It’s not new Sleater-Kinney, but it’s pretty darn close.
Turbo Fruits, “Love Tennessee”
Birthplace of Dolly Parton and home of Music City, USA, Tennessee is rightfully known for its country music. While that’s fair, it’s not the whole story. In fact, the Volunteer State has a thriving garage and scuzz scene, one that birthed Jeff The Brotherhood and the late Jay Reatard. Nashville four-piece Turbo Fruits not only have a passion for raw, attitude-laden rock, but also for their home. Hence, “Love Tennessee,” an ode to a state and a scene off a split 7-inch with fellow Tennesseans Bad Cop. Sneering fondly about whiskey, Cokes, and telling jokes, lead singer Jonas Stein—formerly of Be Your Own Pet and founder of The Bruise Cruise—shreds any remaining notion that Tennessee is just for slide guitar and honky-tonk. Listen to this cut on repeat and you’ll be on the first bus to Memphis.
Thee Oh Sees, “Lupine Dominus”
Bay Area lo-fi act Thee Oh Sees is nothing if not prolific. The group has released at least a record a year since 2005, including the forthcoming Putrifiers II this September. Some of the material can be hit or miss, but “Lupine Dominus” is a winner. A psychedelic frenzy of piercing organ, heavy drums, and fuzzed-out guitar, it’s the perfect song for a hot summer road trip or a long night of substance abuse.
Joey Bada$$, “Survival Tactics”
17-year-old Brooklyn MC Joey Bada$$ has been popping up on hip-hop scene blogs for a few months now, but he’s poised to go much bigger very soon, and rightfully so. His tracks combine the youthful energy Tyler The Creator wishes he had with sharp, self-critical lyrics, proving Bada$$ to be not just a talented rapper, but also one who knows his roots. “Survival Tactics,” off the recently released mixtape 1999, is not only a great introduction to Bada$$’ work as a whole, but also stands on its own two feet, confidently straddling the line between hip-hop’s history and future.
The Avett Brothers, “Live And Die”
Decidedly tamer than all the other tracks on this list, “Live And Die” is the lead single from The Avett Brothers’ The Carpenter, due out September 11. The follow-up to 2009’s I And Love And You, The Carpenter marks the Avetts’ second time working with producer Rick Rubin, and like I And Love And You, it moves the band away from its bluegrass past toward a more radio-friendly sound. That doesn’t mean a complete abandonment of the band’s signature sound, but rather a toning-down of some of that hill-country charm that longtime fans fell in love with. Still, “Live And Die” is a catchy song, and one that should have no problem finding a spot in a modern radio landscape peppered with fellow roots-rockers Mumford And Sons and Of Monsters And Men.