I'm going to be honest with you. I'm really struggling today. Last week, I was right there with my colleague Aaron Byrd, dancing in acceptance. In this moment, however, I can't really say that's true. I did get up to dance when Anne Litt played my Nick Drake request during yesterday's MBE though. Silver linings do abound.
Of course, the primary reason I’m feeling it so hard today is the death of Fountains of Wayne co-founder Adam Schlesinger. Y'all, we need to talk about the pop genius that was Adam Schlesinger and what an insane loss this is not just for the music community, but also for humanity.
I could write a dissertation on the layers of success achieved by "That Thing You Do!" (a tune written for the 1996 film of the same name by Schlesinger), that extend far past the simple fact that it's a stone cold bop. I'll spare you that, but do enjoy this throwback to Fountains of Wayne live on Morning Becomes Eclectic quipping about wishing that Celine Dion had performed the song during the 1997 Oscar ceremony.
Schlesinger also wrote songs for the musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend which is available in it's entirety on Netflix, and would make for a pretty incredible binge watch or re-watch right about now. He will be missed.
Phew, ok, that was a lot. You still with me? Good, because there's so much new music to get into as well. Music remains perhaps decidedly more uncancelled than ever. It feels like a new virtual dance party or festival is announced every day. This one in particular looks SPECTACULAR, but your options for in home entertainment are basically limitless. These options include an onslaught of new singles and albums. Here are a couple of standouts:
Waxahatchee - "Can't Do Much"
Though it's been out for a week now, I haven't had the chance to fully experience Katie Crutchfield's new album under her Waxahatchee moniker. Like all of her work, Saint Cloud promises to be raw, and personal. I just haven't been quite ready to be so fully immersed in her intense and richly detailed stories. I'm a person who likes to enter a body of water slowly, to adjust to the new temperature. I can swim for hours once I've done soListening to this deceptively bouncy country ditty of aching and longing over and over is the sonic equivalent of swirling around with my head above water until the desire to plunge beneath the surface becomes too overwhelming.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - "She's There"
Australian band RBCF were a pretty immediate KCRW favorite, so hearing the official announcement of their second full-length album Sideways to New Italy this week was pretty wonderful. "She's There" is the album's second single, the first "Cars in Space" was released back in February when the promise of a new record was still faint. “She's There” is quick, bright and wistful, all the things a good pop song should be (and certainly what we could use now). Sideways to New Italy is set for release on June 5th via Sub Pop.
The Strokes - "Bad Decisions"
In perfect fashion - because I don't think any of us realized just quite how much we needed this - the Strokes are poised to release their very appropriately titled album The New Abnormal next week. This song really feels like peak Strokes. Obviously nothing could replicate the feeling of hearing "Last Nite" for the first time, but "Bad Decisions" with it's giddy nod to Billy Idol comes pretty damn close.