Scene’s Selections: New Singles
A few artists released new singles. Scene listened. Run it back.
“Moment” — Pinegrove
By Mike Donovan, Scene Editor
Momentary pleasures — the type initiated, felt and lost at a pinprick on the timeline — feed on the luxury of not knowing. Neither future nor past have any bearing on the instantaneous. What’s now is safe, insulated. Only beyond the moment, when the mind begins its cycle forward and back through the varieties of lived experience, does the subject, in this case Evan Stephens Hall of Pinegrove, become “scared to know.”
“I’m scared to know,” Hall sings in a harmonic structure so ambivalent — so middling — as to confuse our capacity for emotional discernment. “Got me talking in the dark, saying anything I can.”
His pleas, at the end of “Skylight,” for those important to “leave [their] light on” must’ve fallen on deaf ears. To darkness Hall returns: a murky, humid darkness where an individual’s solipsistic presence manifests itself as the atmosphere’s unseemly weight.
“And in this moment,” Hall continues, “I can’t see past it. I’m in this disaster. I’m scared to know.”
“What’s in this moment?”
“holy terrain” — FKA twigs ft. Future
By Ryan Israel, Scene Writer
FKA twigs is back. She’s been through a lot, but she’s back. The English singer returned from a three year hiatus in April with “Cellophane,” a sparse and hauntingly beautiful track. And now, along with the announcement of a new album “MAGDALENE” to arrive on Oct. 25, comes “holy terrain.” A sharp contrast from the minimalism of “Cellophane,” “holy terrain” features a moody and atmospheric beat courtesy of a collaboration with Jack Antoff of Bleachers and Skrillex. On the single, twigs speaks on her search for a man who can treat her the way she deserves, “For a man who can follow his heart / And stand up in my holy terrain.”
“holy terrain” includes an appearance from the always versatile rapper Future. It’s twigs second time collaborating with a dominant rapper, her appearence on A$AP Rocky’s
“Fu— Sleep” was a highlight of his 2018 album “TESTING.” “I love sad Future,” twigs said when explaining the feature in an interview with i-D, but on “holy terrain,” sad Future only amplifies the dark, sultry vibe created by twigs. She’s in control, demanding more for herself and creating a song perfect for late nights in the process.
“Father of All…” — Green Day
By Willoughby Thom, Scene Writer
Three years after their last album “Revolution Radio,” Green Day is back with a new single off their upcoming record “Father of All…” coming out Feb. 7 of next year.
The album’s title track, “Father of All…,” doesn’t sound like something you would expect from Green Day, but the instant and contagious energy contained within its just over two minute length is something these Bay Area punks are known for. Unlike any Green Day song before, Billie Joe Armstrong debuts a high falsetto fused with a retro sounding microphone effect giving the song an interesting depth and edge. Other than Armstrong’s voice, however, Green Day sounds no different: the repetitive guitar riffs, intuitive drumming from Tre Cool and rhythmic basslines from Mike Dirnt all remain the same. But, what is shockingly different, and exciting, is Armstrong’s vocal experimentation.
The email announcing the song’s release contained a self-proscribed description of the new album by Green Day, claiming that “rock has lost its balls,” and their new motto “nothing says f— you like a unicorn” — referring to the unicorn on the record’s cover.
Green Day’s new path is excitingly weird, and I think we are all in for a treat.
“Little Trouble” — Better Oblivion Community Center
By Charlie Kenney, Associate Scene Editor
On their debut, eponymous album, Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers’ “Better Oblivion Community Center” sounds much as you’d expect a collaboration between the two to sound — somber, thought-provoking music more concerned with epigrammatic lyricism than catchy melodies and polished vocals. The record may be, at times, slightly more upbeat than their respective discographies, — notably “Dylan Thomas” — but it never strays too far into that dreaded feeling of optimism. The duo’s new (and first) single “Little Trouble,” however, takes quite a different approach.
“Little Trouble” sounds like something you could put on at a party and not get yelled at for. The track opens with an enticing guitar riff that permeates the background for the remainder before Oberst and Bridgers throw all of the energy their voices can muster at one another for the songs nearly three-minute length. Oberst’s signature raspy sound bounces off Bridgers’ much younger, softer foil. The song cascades in and out of melody with, as expected, somewhat cryptic lyrics. “For lazy tarot readings on hot June nights / Right next to that bodega’s neon sign” are words the two would normally employ in a lamenting manner, but, for whatever reason, they decide to do the opposite on “Little Trouble.” Maybe it’s because they’re dating now, maybe it’s because they want you to throw them on the aux.