This week marks the beginning of Frankly Good Tunes, a weekly music recap series from the Frankly Music team. Each week we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite new tracks. More in-depth looks into our favorite albums are sure to follow.
April 7th saw the release of several highly anticipated records, running the gamut from the bruising musings of Father John Misty to the East-West folk-fusion stylings of Yorkston/Thorne/Khan. Here are seven of our Frankly Good picks from this week.
Track: “False True Piya”
Album: Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars
New project from collaborators James Yorkston (East Neuk of Fife), Jon Thorne (Isle of Wight) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (New Delhi) brings together traditional British folks songs with those of India.
“False True Piya” was the first release for the release and Yorkston and Khan have a call response through the track. There's an important message behind the album as well. In times like these, it shows us that there can be a beauty when we bring our cultures together.
Track: “Link in Bio”
Album: Swear I’m Good At This
Artist: Diet Cig
From an album packed with feminist themes and mantras, “Link in Bio” is one of the standouts on Diet Cig’s first LP, Swear I’m Good At This. Over a fuzzy pop-punk melody, Alex Luciano narrates the plight of a woman working within the demands of a patriarchal society, demands which rob her of a life without constant, gendered critique (sound familiar?). As the song continues, Luciano sheds the metaphorical chains of patriarchal expectations, confidently singing lyrics that could be taken up as the newest feminist T-Shirt slogan, “I know/What I want/So please fuck off!”
Diet Cig has masterfully packed a powerful message into a catchy two-minute pop song. In the end, all us girls are “trying to take over the world,” and “Link in Bio” is the motivation we need to get started.
Track: “Fireproof” (One Direction Cover)
Album: First 100 Days
Never would I have imagined seeing Mitski and One Direction in the same sentence; let alone hearing one artist covering the other. However bizarre this may seem, Mitski makes it all right. As part of the First 100 Days project, Mitski turns this soft boy band track into a rousing rock song with a beautiful soundscape of pounding bass and drums, making it almost unrecognizable. Mitski’s vocals on the track are incredible; wailing and longing for her love. If this cover teaches us anything, it’s that opposites attract; and if they’re covered by Mitski, they rock.
Track: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
Album: Resistance Radio - The Man in the High Castle
Artists: Kevin Morby ( & Various Artists)
Curated by producers Danger Mouse and Sam Cohen, Resistance Radio soundtracks the latest season for The Man in the High Castle. All of the songs consist of indie artist renditions of the 50's and 60s favorites. James Mercer of The Shins covers “A Taste of Honey” and Sharon Van Etten “The End of the World.”
Kevin Morby brings his own stylings to “I Only Have Eyes for You” while maintaining the origins of the song from The Flamingos.
Track: "So I’m Growing Old On Magic Mountain"
Album: Pure Comedy
Artist: Father John Misty
For the first hour or so of the 75-Minute-Very-Important-Album-About-Humanity that is Pure Comedy, Josh Tillman batters and bruises us with some of the most harshly beautiful music of his career. Everything in his crosshairs - human nature, organized religion, modern capitalism, technology, social media, himself - is met with lightly strummed acoustic guitar, sweeping orchestration, and his acerbic wit. So it’s a bit of a shock when he opts to retreat to the titular Magic Mountain of this song, a place where no one ever grows old. On Magic Mountain, everything abhorrent about the world melts away, and he’s greeted by wine and dancing, “lost souls and beautiful women”. “The longer I stay here, the longer there’s no future,” Tillman sings, desperate to not return to the Comedy of Man he laid waste to across the rest of the album. The sweeping outro builds to a devastating climax, breaking Tillman’s beautiful dream. It might not be the best song on the album, but “So I’m Growing Old On Magic Mountain” is the one I find myself returning to the most.
Track: "Battle Cry"
Artist: Jack White
Jack’s back! His first new track since his wonderful 2014 solo record Lazaretto is a cracking, riff-driven instrumental featuring vaguely tribalistic chanting. It’s got everything you expect from a Jack White song (minus his manic vocals) in that it has two things: a massive riff and a frenzied guitar solo, the type of which only White himself can provide. But "Battle Cry" isn’t signaling an impending album or anything. Rather, it’s essentially a commercial jingle for Warstic, the sporting company White co-owns. Warstic manufactures baseball bats. White is a huge Detroit Tigers fan, and Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler appears with White in a commercial for the company. White’s been busy with Third Man Records, launching listenable vinyl into space, and producing other people’s records, so we’ll take any new music we can get. Enjoy a Big Dang™ riff!
Track: “Judy French”
Album: The World’s Greatest American Band
Artists: White Reaper
You would be forgiven for listening to the first single off of White Reaper’s latest and thinking they’d stolen Van Halen’s guitar rig. The Kentucky garage rock outfit added a hefty amount of 80s arena flair to their sound for this new album, and few of the tracks wear it better than Judy French. The band has managed to sidestep the traps inherent in flying so close to such over-the-top influences, largely thanks to Esposito’s ability to anchor the group in his raucous vocals. Just when you find yourself feeling nostalgic about the hours you spent discovering rock music history in your childhood basement, White Reaper reminds you that they actually released this in 2017.