Mandatory Music: Purity Ring, the Prodigy, Matt and Kim + More
Musicians have a funny relationship with change. While time marches on, successful artists need to adapt and take their sound in different new directions to retain their relevancy. Of course, they can only change so much before an inevitable backlash arises from their core fan base.
This week's installment of Mandatory Music features brave new music from five established acts moving forward. And while you'll surely recognize the elements that attracted you to them in the first place, each song ventures at least a little into uncharted territory.
'Begin Again' from 'Another Eternity'
Back when Canadian electronica duo Purity Ring were putting together their 2012 debut, 'Shrines,' singer Megan James and instrumentalist Corin Roddick were rarely in the same city together and that album was a critically acclaimed breakthrough. So imagine what the pair would be capable of if they were actually in the same room. Actually, there's no need: You can listen to 'Begin Again' from their recently revealed follow-up, 'Another Eternity,' right here:
'Nasty' from 'The Day Is My Enemy'
No, you didn't just step into the Matrix. British techno legends the Prodigy will return with their first full-length since 2009's 'Invaders Must Die' and from the sound of the lead single, 'Nasty,' (featuring vocals by the firestarter himself Keith Flint) the outfit haven't lost any of the filthy beats or grimy lyricism that made them so influential in the '90s. The album drops March 30.
NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS (FEAT. JOHNNY MARR)
'Ballad of the Mighty I' from 'Chasing Yesterday'
Speaking of new albums from '90s institutions, Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher (who is in the running to be the "Last True Rock Star") is also gearing up to release his second album under the High Flying Birds moniker. And although 'Ballad of the Mighty I' (featuring the Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr) has an ominous and vaguely disco sensibility to it, the 47-year-old Gallagher proves he's still capable of writing monster hooks.
MATT AND KIM
'Get It' from 'New Glow'
Everyone's favorite adorable indie power couple Matt and Kim just announced they'll release their fifth full-length, 'New Glow,' on April 7, but the first track they've shared demonstrates you should expect the unexpected. A twitchy, sample-driven party anthem, 'Get It' is uncharacteristic for the pair's studio work, but (as the lyric video below makes abundantly clear) it'll fit right in with their frenetic live shows.
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
'We've Come So Far' from 'Transfixation'
Brooklyn noise-rock outfit A Place to Bury Strangers are known for building walls of chaotic sound then promptly tearing them down and they wanted the upcoming 'Transfixation' to be even more raw and unpredictable than their first three records. Seems like it worked. The first track they released from the album flirts with surf-rock while the second, 'We've Come So Far,' is pure, pounding post-punk.