Mandatory Music: Smashing Pumpkins, Chemical Brothers, Chvrches + More
Are you barricaded inside your home because of Ebola fears? Well, at least you've got new music to listen to.
Although, on the surface, this week's installment of Mandatory Music looks a little like what it could have in 1998 (what with new releases from Smashing Pumpkins and Chemical Brothers), make no mistake that these songs are distinctly 2014 -- complete with ominous apocalyptic undertones that make Brad Pitt's character in '12 Monkeys' look like a relatively reasonable guy.
'Being Beige’ from 'Monuments to an Elegy'
'Monuments to an Elegy,' the third installment in Smashing Pumpkins' 'Teargarden by Kaleidyscope' super-album is slated to drop in December, and increasingly pudgy but consistently bald frontman Billy Corgan unveiled the lead single this week. 'Being Beige' fits right into the Pumpkins' catalog as of late -- it's a mid-tempo rocker with decidedly less caged rat-like rage than we used to hear from Corgan. Still, with drumming by Motley Crue's Tommy Lee, it's a catchy, piano-tinged ditty that manages to feel fresh even at this point in the Pumpkins' (a.k.a. Corgan's) career.
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS (feat. LORDE, MIGUEL)
'This is Not a Game’ from 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1' Soundtrack
Apparently one of the things that happens to you when you're Lorde is that you get asked to curate the soundtrack to 'Hunger Games' movies -- and it looks like she was a fan of all those '90s soundtracks (like those for 'Spawn' and 'Judgment Night') that brought together artists of disparate genres to create crazy collaborations. The latest song revealed from 'Mockingjay -- Part 1' is a new Chemical Brothers song featuring vocals by R&B singer Miguel and one repeated line from the New Zealand songstress herself.
'Get Away’ from 'Radio 1 Rescores: Drive'
Speaking of curated movie soundtracks, BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe has assembled an entirely new soundtrack to the 2011 Ryan Gosling vehicle, 'Drive.' While the original soundtrack sports ethereal electro-pop scored by Cliff Martinez and featuring cuts from the likes of Kavinsky and Chromatics is widely beloved, director Nicolas Winding Refn said he's honored that the movie inspired the new album featuring songs by SBTRKT, Bring Me the Horizon and more. The first taste we've got comes from Scottish electronica outfit Chvrches.
SCOTT WALKER + SUNN O)))
'Brando’ from 'Soused'
Neither Scott Walker nor Sunn O))) write music that would be considered "accessible." Walker, the experimental mastermind behind the Walker Brothers, has become something of a Brian Wilson figure only with no interest in making music that's listenable, and Sunn O))) -- Seattle's pre-eminent drone metal band -- are known for creating meditative, occasionally bizarre soundscapes. Together, they've created 'Soused,' a five-song album on which no song is shorter than eight minutes and no song that would fail to sufficiently scare your parents.
'I'll Trade You Money for Wine’ from 'While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records'
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Chicago's Bloodshot Records (behind releases by Ryan Adams, Neko Case and many more), the label has brought together a bunch of musicians including Ted Leo, Blitzen Trapper and Frank Turner to cover songs from Bloodshot's back catalog. The first song we've heard from the album comes from violin-toting Andrew Bird and singer Nora O'Connor for a toe-tapping rendition of alt-country singer Robbie Fulks’ 'I’ll Trade You Money for Wine.'