A lot of great new music just came out on Friday — here’s two of the albums that you need to listen to, according to Sylvia June.
The Killers, Imploding The Mirage
Release Date: August 21, 2020
Why I Like It: The entirety of Imploding the Mirage sounds like “Mr. Brightside” worked through that soul crushing disappointment and grew up, and I’m digging it. I’ve been gaining more appreciation for The Killers as one of best contemporary “song-story” artists (Bob Dylan is another), because they are so good at telling compelling stories through their music. The depth of the little worlds they can build in four minutes astounds me. But if you don’t like song-stories, especially ones about love, you might struggle to like what The Killers have to offer here.
You’ve probably heard the first single, “Caution.” It’s classic Killers, very enjoyable, inspiring us all to listen to that angel on our shoulder and not live with “might have beens.” But it’s actually not among my favorite tunes on this album. Which is misleading — I have listened to the album in its entirety several times since it came out Friday because I like it so much. I appreciated the surprising collaborations with k.d. lang and Weyes Blood, since it’s not something they normally do. This is The Killers sixth studio album.
- “Blowback” — It’s one of those Killers song-stories, but it got me in a few ways that many songs don’t. “She’s reaching for her backpack / Puts out a cigarette and gets on the bus / She’s sittin’ on a secret she didn’t ask for, no girl ever did / But there’s a whisper in her heartbeat, and she can hear it just enough to keep her alive”
- “Dying Breed” — I loved how hopeful this was. “There’s gonna be opposition, ain’t no way around it / But if you’re looking for strong and steady, well, baby, you found it / We’ll weather the coldest night / Baby, we’re a dying breed”
- “My God” — The layered harmonies make this song really powerful. “Don’t push, control is overrated / I know that if we stick together / My God, it’s like the weight has been lifted”
Girl Friday, Androgynous Mary
Release Date: August 21, 2020
Why I Like It: I’m so glad I decided to listen to this album based on my interest in the band’s name — these riot grrls are anything but “Girl Friday” sidekicks. I had never heard of this L.A.-based quartet before Friday, but I’m completely in love with their tightly wound harmonies and genre-bending sound that blends all the stuff I like about punk, metal and pop into one great band. “Androgynous Mary” is Girl Friday’s full-length debut, and it fucking rocks.
They’ve only been playing together for 3 years. Seeds of the band were first planted when guitarist Vera Ellen walked into a friend’s house at UCLA and saw Libby Hsieh playing bass on the couch. Drawn by her unique playing style, Ellen introduced herself, and the two musicians immediately bonded. After a year of playing together, they decided to grow their collaboration into a full band, adding drummer Virginia Pettis and guitarist Sierra Scott. They’re bad ass feminists, working through some shit like the rest of us.
- “Amber’s Knees: A Matter of Concern” — Not only is it a great tune, the video for “Amber’s Knees” is trippy. They all dressed up like Bret Michaels and danced around, and there’s some weird CGI. Not sure whether the song is named after the winner of the second season of “Rock of Love” (and yes, I watched that show religiously, thank you). It’s all a mystery to me.
- “Eaten Thing” — We’re getting into Acid King stoner metal territory here. “I want to eat you up / Did you think I would be enough?”
- “Clotting” — Several songs on this album deal with the ending of relationships and that is just something I know a lot about. “I smell of something rotting / I’m unknotting every promise that I made / I wipe the blood, besotting / Pray for clotting, I remember all you didn’t say”
- “Gold Stars” — This is another one of those songs, but it rocks pretty hard. “I said leave, I said leave, I said leave, but you heard love.”
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