Northern Transmissions Weekly Rounup 1-19

Northern Transmissions Weekly Rounup 1-19, include our favourite new songs by Idles, Khruangbin, Vitesse X, and Molly Lewis
Khruangbin Photo Credit: David Black

It would feel weird to write about music this week without addressing the Big Music News, or to at least share some thoughts on it. During my college years, I found myself catapulted into the world of independent music, courtesy of the college radio station. While many local bands entered my orbit through friends, it was the independent music websites that truly became the lifeblood of my discovery, serving as virtual portals to a diverse and eclectic sonic landscape that expanded my musical horizons. It’s hard to overestimate how important many of these websites were to me, including Pitchfork. A world without robust, independent music and cultural criticism and news is certainly a huge loss, both to the communities that they serve and to the many talented writers who might be left adrift. Find ways, in any manner feasible, to directly support the sites and communities that hold significance for you.

IDLES – Gift Horse

Ahead of their fifth studio album, TANGK, IDLES have graciously blessed us with another incendiary dance punk track, “Gift Horse.” The Bristol-based five-piece are perhaps the closest thing we will get to knowing what it’s like to dance with reckless abandon at the top of a raging volcano. Similar to their most recent singles, “Dancer” (ft. LCD Soundsystem), and “Grace,” the new track is a raucous and heavily rhythm driven track. With guitarist Mark Bowen’s incendiary and pulsating feedback coupled with Joe Talbot’s distinctive snarl, “Gift Horse” is IDLES at their best. TANGK is out on February 16th via Partisan.

Molly Lewis – Crushed Velvet

Molly Lewis is an absolute gem, and I was hooked from the first time I heard her music. It’s impossible for me to convey the feeling of ethereal bliss that pours from her songs, and to hear it live is truly a treat. I should mention that she is a professional whistler. I feel like I buried the lede there. Regardless, Molly Lewis is preparing to release her debut album On The Lips via Jagjaguwar on February 16th. Her new single, Crushed Velvet is a waltzy, flittering mosaic of silky-smooth jazz with a touch of soulful elegance. The enchanting melody weaves seamlessly through the air, creating an atmosphere of sophistication and allure.

Khruangbin – A Love international

Khruangbin are perennially perfect. They’re the kind of band that you listen to on a scorching hot summer day with the windows open, inviting you to lose yourself in the intoxicating embrace of a sun-soaked afternoon. Now, the band is back with their first proper full length album, A LA SALA, since 2020’s Mordechai. The first single is “A Love International,’ and it intricately weaves together tight and restrained drum patterns with rich basslines and softly plucked guitars dripping with emotional resonance. It’s, as the kids might say, “very good.” A LA SALA is out 4/5 on Dead Oceans.

Vitesse X – Fortress

I’ve been waiting for new Vitesse X forever, and this week that wish finally came true. The New York City-based DJ and producer released a cover of Pinback’s 2004 track “Fortress.” In a casually buoyant homage to the original, the track playfully nods, infusing a subtle bounce into its DNA, yet concurrently veers into an ethereal and haunting trajectory, evoking a spectral atmosphere that adds an enigmatic depth to the sonic narrative.

Faye Webster – Lego Ring

I saw Faye Webster back in October of 2023 A.D, and it was hands down one of the most invigorating shows that I caught that year.Her onstage aura exuded a palpable electricity, deftly interweaving humor and wit into an already stellar set, elevating the performance to a captivating crescendo. Her newest track, “Lego Ring” comes with a surprise guest: Lil Yachty. The Atlanta-based musicians have been friends since middle school, and their collaboration on this track feels like two friends effortlessly converging at the intersection of shared history and musical influence. THey also made a video game for the song, which kicks ass (play it at Faye Webster’s upcoming LP, Underdressed at the Symphony is out March 1st via Secretly Canadian.


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