09/10/2013 06:03 EDT | Updated 11/10/2013 05:12 EST

What You Should Be Listening to Right Now

The Cold and Lovely, Ellis Bell


Release Date: Sept. 24, 2013

If You Like: My Bloody Valentine, Garbage, Silversun Pickups.

I'm weary of the so-called 'Supergroup'. They're frequently overrated and tend to under-deliver. But, when I heard Meghan Toohey (The Weepies, Lenka, Schuyler Fisk, and producer of Toronto's Vivek Shraya's 2007 release), Nicole Fiorentino (The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Spinnerette) and Patty Schemel (Hole, Imperial Teen, Juliette and the Licks) were playing together, my dormant 90s soul lit up. In come The Cold and Lovely. Their EP, Ellis Bell, features 6 slick alt-pop tracks mixed and mastered by Dave Cooley (Silversun Pickups/M83).

Toohey delivers a clear vision of nu-gazey sardonic pop. "Doll", the opening track, releases sweet waves of warm vocal harmonies over polished drums and a propulsive bass groove. From fuzz-drunk one moment to clean the next, "Bring It" conveys a measured yet sexy brash confidence, reminiscent of PJ Harvey. "Ellis Bell", the title track, builds from a shroud of ambient noise to a spectacular lush chorus. "Red Eye" is a soft, introspective ode to the road. You can't help but empathize with Toohey's melancholic refrain echoed in the outro. Contrast with "Blue In Green Again", an uplifting jangly bright track; and "Repetition", a crunchy song complete with wispy 80s-dance drama and an almost anthem rock-like respite. Ellis Bell delivers with idiomatic flair. Sometimes three pros get together and it's easy.

K.Flay - What If It Is


Release Date: out now.

If You Like: Atmosphere, Kid Cudi, MC Lars

When Icona Pop's tour was postponed due to illness, openers K.Flay and Sirah still wanted to party. They hosted DIY pop-up gigs all over the U.S., including a performance under a bridge in LA. Releasing the mixtape West Ghost in February 2013 and EP What If It Is in August 2013, K.Flay is a prolific songwriter, fusing electronic, hip-hop, rap, and indie.

          "Rawks'" loop under K.Flay's signature angst-y ennui lyrics teeters on the edge of licentiousness and penitents. "Hail Mary" features Danny Brown, whose hyperactive, lunatic-wail I can't get enough of. Part-bad seed part-genius, "Hail Mary" is an in-your-face yearning for a simpler time. Never a stranger to a sweet pop hook and clever vocals, "Starf***cker" explores the glorious mess and frivolousness that is New York City celebrity. "So What" an unapologetic anthem to female chauvinism is immediately followed by "The Cops", a lovesick bent cry to the object of unrequited love. K.Flay, a walking paradox, isn't afraid to be vulnerable.

Die Antwoord - "Cookie Thumper"


South African Rap-Rave.

Enough Said. Shit's outta control.

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