Song of the Day | “Lorelei” by Mrcy

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London-based soul duo Mrcy’s debut on Dead Oceans, the eight-track Volume 1, is full of enjoyable updates on retro sounds. Made up of producer Barney Lister and vocalist Kojo Degraft-Johnson, Mrcy (pronounced Mercy) combines a full spectrum of atmospheric samples with tight grooves and Degraft-Johnson’s mighty, world-class vocals. Volume 1‘s lead single, “Lorelei,” is a prime example of the duo’s …

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Song of the Day | “Dog Days” by Dehd

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While the band has been categorized with the vague catchall post punk, Dehd arguably shares more DNA with late-’80s garage-rock revivalists and fellow midwesterners, Detroit’s The Gories, a band that fused punk directness with an ad hoc approach to pop-vocal harmonizing and primitive drums (you won’t hear high hats on a Dehd record, and nary a crash). And just about …

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Song of the Day | “Like I Say (I runaway)” by Nilüfer Yanya

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The first new music from UK songwriter Nilüfer Yanya since her breakthrough 2022 long player, Painless, finds the singular indie rocker flexing her distinctive ear for sonic interplay. “Like I Say (I runaway)” opens with clink-clank electronic drums and the hypnotic warble of Yanya’s electric guitar before morphing into a layered, distorted hook, with Yanya lending delicate, ethereal vocals to …

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Song of the Day | “Push It” by Vicky Farewell

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Orange County, CA songwriter and producer Vicky Farewell makes distinctively woozy pop. The classically-trained multi-instrumentalist’s veracity as a consumer of offbeat music from marginal genres is evident in the twinkling, downtempo, borderline-New-Age single, “Push It,” from Give A Damn, her new full-length due out on slacker-pop darling Mac DeMarco’s record label on May 10.  All songs featured in our Song …

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Song of the Day | “Megabus” by French Cassettes

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On the surface, “Megabus,” a new single from harmonious and experimental San Francisco indie-rock trio French Cassettes’ forthcoming full length, Benzene (June 7 on Tender Loving Empire), is a twee, jangly, indie-folk strummer. But rather than heart-on-the-sleeve earnestness, Scott Huerta deploys his wry wit across a tune full of arch, apathetic lyrics. “Who do you love? Who’s getting drunk on …

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Song of the Day | “Well Alright” by Johnny Cash

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“Well Alright,” the latest posthumously released single by Johnny Cash, is about stumbling upon romance in an unlikely place (somewhere in which, it seems, Cash might have been washing a load of his all black duds). The tune is exemplary of Cash’s tight, efficient songwriting oeuvre. And comes with a cool backstory: Cash recorded the tune in 1993 as a …

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Song of the Day | “Mama Say” by Ibibio Sound Machine

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“Mama say ‘Yeah’” goes the hypnotic refrain of “Mama Say,” the third and final preview of inimitable UK-formed electro-Afro-funk group Ibibio Sound Machine’s hotly anticipated new record Pull the Rope (out May 3 on Merge). The song pulses with electronic drums and a grinding synth-bass line, with flourishes of retro keys that bring to mind late-70’s Nigeria-based Casio-pop lord William …

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Song of the Day | “Sun Without Heat” by Leyla McCalla

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David Byrne once said, “The better a singer’s voice, the harder it is to believe what they are saying.” Byrne’s decidedly-art-rock logic aside, it could also be argued that the more instruments accompanying the singer, the harder it is to believe what they are saying. Either way, on her new full length, Sun Without Heat, the classical and American-roots musician …

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Song of the Day | “Fox Hunt” by Sierra Ferrell

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Despite what impression mainstream country radio may impart, country music has always been a melting pot of influences. And since before she went from busking on street corners to performing on the hallowed Grand Ole Opry stage, West Virginia-bred singer and songwriter Sierra Ferrell was blending a range of traditional styles – bluegrass, gypsy jazz, even calypso – into country-tinged …

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Song of the Day | “The Kill” by Maggie Rogers

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The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Maggie Rogers has had the kind of career arc that’s rare among her peer group of viral video sensations – that is to say: a relatively enduring one. Rogers was first “discovered” by Pharrell Williams when the mega-star/producer visited NYU where she was then a student. Rogers performed a song for him and (skip the next …

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