360 Mixtape: Ryan Adams, Demi Lovato, Lana del Rey, Metric, Big Grams

Each week, Austin360 music writers Eric Webb and Deborah Sengupta Stith listen to a wide variety of new albums and singles and offer first impressions on the Austin360 Periscope account. We put our favorite new songs from the week into the 360 Mixtape. Consider it your new music soundtrack to get you through the week.

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, singer Ryan Adams poses for a portrait in New York. Adams released an album covering Taylor Swift’s entire “1989” album. Swift released the original album last October. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP)

In this Sept. 17, 2015 photo, singer Ryan Adams poses for a portrait in New York. Adams released an album covering Taylor Swift’s entire “1989” album. Swift released the original album last October. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP)

Metric ‘Pagans In Vegas’ — Listen

EW: Emily Haines, the queen of paranoia pop, and her sinister gang of Canadians go full-on synth (as is the fashion). Sinful and neon for the most part, but I plan to play “The Shade” at my wedding.

Telekinesis ‘Ad Infinitum’ — Listen

EW: The Seattle garage rocker also breaks with predictability and plugs into the generator for a rattling atomic reactor of electronic frenzy.

Robert DeLong ‘In The Cards’ — Listen

EW: Not really pop, not really rock, certainly not EDM. Robert DeLong is the chill house party major domo orchestrating laptop-born sounds for ultimate party effect.

The Front Bottoms ‘Back On Top’ — Listen

EW: You ever have a band that you just can’t get into because the voice drives a nail into your ear canal? I’ve finally given in and embraced the slightly off-kilter vocal charm of The Front Bottoms.

Lana del Rey ‘Honeymoon’ – Listen

DSS: I’ve moved through denial and anger into the acceptance phase of my relationship with the patron saint of the rich, beautiful and mopey. She’s here to stay and this album (MAYBE) makes a case for why that’s okay. Someone has to provide the soundtrack for all that middle class millennial malaise after all.

Ryan Adams ‘1989’ (covers album)  — Listen

EW: In many ways one of the most eagerly awaited albums of the year, Adams’ take on the Swift smash hit improves Taylor’s weakest tracks by injected a little Springsteenian charm (“Welcome to New York,” “Bad Blood”) and turns the sassy sugar high of “Shake It Off” into a mournful, three-Jacks-int0-the-night expression of self-doubt (aided by what sounds like a Casio keyboard). The only downside? Adams switches lyrical pronouns from male to female and female to male, and in some egregious cases (“Style”) rewrites whole lines in what amounts to a musical “no homo.” The gleeful perspective of a young woman was what made “1989” worth covering in the first place. What is there to prove?

Blackalicious ‘Imani Vol. 1’  — Listen 

DSS: Stumbling across a new album from this classic hip-hop crew was one of the best things that happened this week.

Pell ‘Cafe Du Monde’ (single)  — Listen

DSS: As a lover of soulful Southern rap, I’ve been watching this young NOLA cat closely.

Phases ‘For Life’ — Listen

EW: Perky mall pop best enjoyed with a scrunchie in your hair and a copy of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on the VCR.

Demi Lovato ‘Confident’ (single) — Listen

EW: The best Katy Perry song this year (or the best Christina Aguilera song of 2007).

Børns ‘Fool’ — Listen

DSS: A little less sugary than everything else we’ve heard from Garrett Borns, but still solid pop.

Disclosure ‘Jaded’ (single) — Listen

EW: Whoa, the Disclosure brothers handling their own vocals instead of passing them off to Sam Smith (or Lorde or Lion Babe or Alunageorge or …)? Curve ball!

Big Grams ‘Lights On’ (single) — Listen

DSS: As a lover of Big Boi and Phantogram, every track I hear from this collab ratchets up my excitement for a full-length album and the (surely inevitable) festival appearances coming next year.

New Order ‘Plastic’ (single) — Listen

EW: Euro-disco doesn’t die. It just gets older and still sounds like goth kids raving (in the best of ways).

 


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