Instant Playlist - May 21 2014

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      Matthew Barber
      Magnet Eyes (Outside)
      There are things that would make this lazy and low-key slice of harmonica-adorned Americana sound even better, including round-trip tickets to Santa Fe and a dying campfire. But even if those don’t come through, no one is complaining.

      Band of Skulls
      Asleep at the Wheel (Sony)
      Until Rage Against the Machine gets its shit together, fans of grade-A riff rock would do well to break out their Gibson air guitars and unleash their inner six-string gods to what might be Band of Skulls’ best offering yet.

      Kaiser Chiefs
      Misery Company (ATO)
      Places one foot in the grand old tradition of British pub rock, and the other in some hookah bar in the back alleys of Istanbul. The desert-shimmer organs only add to the exoticness.

      International Zombies of Love
      Liquor Store (We Are Busy Bodies)
      It doesn’t matter that IZOL’s decidedly peppy take on synth-rock leaves one wondering what the hell Mike Farrell needs a liquor store for. But it’s the thought that counts.

      Belle Brigade
      Miss You in My Life (ATO)
      The sad fact is that when someone pulls the escape chute, getting over it doesn’t exactly happen overnight. The Belle Brigade sounds like it understands on this down-tempo exercise in percussive electro-folk.

      Lil Wayne
      D’usse (Young Money)
      Jay Z might be the face of D’Ussé (it’s a cognac, if you must know), but Lil Wayne is apparently its voice. Whatever the case, Dwayne Carter goes impressively hard on the song, from his forthcoming (alleged) final LP.

      Sharon Van Etten
      Your Love Is Killing Me (Jagjaguwar)
      You know that moment when you’re finally forced to admit that everything has gone irreversibly, irretrievably to shit? This is exactly that, set to rock-cathedral organ, evil-twang guitar, and death-march drum rolls.

      Die Antwoord
      Pitbull Terrier (Zef)
      As usual, Die Antwoord’s new single isn’t quite as insane as its hyperviolent and thoroughly demented video, but “Pitbull Terrier” keeps the zef flag flying, with double-yew-tee-eff lyrics over a relentless techno pulse.

      Brave Bird
      Rekindle (Count Your Lucky Stars)
      In a development that’s so post-postmodernly earnest we’re certain there’s an ironic intent behind it, bands like Brave Bird are now unashamedly calling themselves “emo”. The maudlin “Rekindle” fits the description, but darn it, we like it!

      Jurassic 5
      The Way We Do It
      The first new music we’ve heard from Jurassic 5 since ’06, “The Way We Do It” borrows its groove from the White Stripes’ “My Door Bell”, but it’s the long-missed voices of J5’s prodigiously talented MCs that make it irresistible.

      Miley Cyrus
      There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
      Fire up your YouTube machine and watch Miley Cyrus sing a reverential Smiths homage to a Belfast audience that knows every word. Did we mention that Morrissey released a new single this week? No? Well, never mind.