Parquet Courts' new album, Wide Awake!, is fantastic, with many tracks worthy of a Most Important choice. I decided to go with "Total Football" because I feel like it captures what makes them great and because it feels a bit timely with World Cup coming up next week. If you've not had a listen to the album, do yourself a favor and cue it up, it's a gem.
I heard Kidjo interviewed on NPR yesterday and immediately was excited about her covers of the Talking Heads Remain in Light album (in its entirety) - her versions almost feel like THEY are the originals. Of course that's because of the deep inspiration Byrne et al got from West Africa in creating the soundscape of the album, but it also has to do with how she interpreted the sometimes seemingly nonsensical lyrics - they spoke to her in a way that translates to me. Even if that's not the case for you, it's a great interpretation and hope you enjoy this Most Important Song.
Swedish pop-wavers Shout Out Louds are one of the few current bands that really pluck my strings of nostalgia. They're most often compared to The Cure, and I get that, but a strong as the comparison is, that's not the string I'm talking about. (And that incarnation of The Cure, the dreamy poppy version, is not nearly my favorite. Give me the dark, gothic rock of the really early days.) No, to me they remind me of the more sophisticated wave-rock of bands like Visage and Ultravox. This latest single, "In New Europe" feels a bit lighter than all that, it's a bit of a chair dancer, but the hints are there.