The music has come in waves in the new year. In the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard much of it on The Bridge — Spoon, Laura Marling, Temples and Middle Kids to name but a few. Still, there’s plenty more that hasn’t made it onto the air. Here are but a few new songs that are worth your attention.
Camp Cope, “Keep Growing”
Endorsed by no less than fellow Aussie Courtney Barnett, the indie-rock trio Camp Cope debuted last April with a self-titled album full of ragged but tuneful songs. They have returned with a new split single (two songs by them, two by like-minded Philadelphia trio Cayetana), and the lead track simmers along like an outtake from Ms. Barnett’s last album, opening with a bold statement of utter indifference: “Still can’t decide whether I wanna waste money or waste my time / I’ll probably stay inside / Never really been the social type.”
Jenn Grant – “Galaxies”
Canadian singer-songwriter Jenn Grant has released a handful of folk-inflected indie-pop records that have struggled to find a broad audience in the United States. That may change with the forthcoming “Paradise,” which is slated for a March 3 release. “Galaxies,” the first single, melds Grant’s pure-crystal voice with a buoyant melody, a steady beat and some dreamy electronic production.
Japandroids, “No Known Drink or Drug”
The Vancouver guitar-drums duo Japandroids (pictured above) rocks more ferociously than most bands three times the size. “Near to the Wild Heart of Life,” the band’s third album, arrives this Friday, Jan. 27, and this, the first single, picks up where 2012’s excellent “Celebration Rock” left off. The full album is available to stream here.
The Menzingers, “After the Party”
Hailing from Philadelphia, by way of Scranton, PA, The Menzingers have brought a vaguely Americana vibe to their brand of full-throated punk rock since their 2007 debut. Their fourth album, “After the Party,” arrives on Feb. 3, and if the title track is any indication, they’ve managed to tighten their sound without taming it. Fans of The Gaslight Anthem will eat this one up.
Thievery Corporation, “Ghetto Matrix”
The funky/trippy vibe of Thievery Corporation has entranced listeners for nearly two decades now. Combining elements of dance, electronic and jazz, the music’s sleek urban-noir atmosphere gives it surface appeal, while the slinky grooves provide gravity. This is the first single from “Temple of I & I,” which arrives Feb. 10.
Slowdive, “Star Roving”
In the early 1990s, while a wave of young American bands were riding into the national consciousness on the strength of a pulverizing style called grunge, some kindred spirits in the United Kingdom were building a wall of sound of their own, employing high-decibel guitars and the resulting swirling, gauzy harmonics, and turning them into a style named for the propensity of the bands to stare downward on stage. The “shoegaze” movement was led by the likes of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Another of its vanguard bands was Slowdive, who released three albums before splitting in the middle of the decade. Twenty-two years later, the band is back. A new album is in the works, and a new single is here. “Star Roving” packs a wallop that will knock you straight back to 1991.
Milky Chance, “Doing Good”
The German duo Milky Chance scored a surprise viral hit (over 290 million YouTube views to date!) in 2013 with “Stolen Dance,” a funky mid-tempo strut that effortlessly combined acoustic and electronic elements into something that was rhythmically insistent and eminently listenable. They’re returning soon with their second album, “Blossom” (out March 17), and this, the first single, continues in the same vein with a hypnotic, bubbling guitar figure that should appeal to fans of Citizen Cope.
Thanks, “Your Man”
If Prince had ever gone full disco, it might have sounded a little like this dance-floor confection from the Danish duo Thanks, who collaborate here with Australian singer Sam Sparro. If this song isn’t all over Top 40 radio within the next five minutes, Top 40 radio is officially broken.
Tom Chaplin, “Hardened Heart”
Tom Chaplin’s soaring tenor was at the heart of four wildly successful albums by the British band Keane, whose songs (“Everybody’s Changing,” “Somewhere Only We Know”) stood toe-to-toe with the likes of Coldplay and Snow Patrol in the century’s first decade. After the band went on hiatus in 2013, Chaplin struggled with drug addiction, but he came out the other side and turned the experience into “The Wave,” his first solo album. This dramatic, melodic single sticks close to the sound that made Keane massive, and proves that Chaplin’s powerful voice has not diminished a bit.
Tennis, “In the Morning I’ll Be Better”
Tennis is an indie-pop combo built around married couple Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley. After three well-regarded albums in the past six years, the band returns with “Yours Conditionally” (due March 10). This, the first single, contains echoes of 1960s girl-group pop and glossy sounds of the 1970s. It’s pretty glorious.
Feature photo of Japandroids by Camilo Christen