13 New Songs You Need To Hear before January ends

January 29, 2014
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Following a massively huge track like “Pumped Up Kicks” is a seemingly impossible task, but with “Coming Of Age,” the first single from their upcoming sophomore effort Supermodel, Foster The People certainly give it the old college try. With prolific producer Paul Epworth at its helm, “Coming Of Age” channels something of a Killers vibe. At once dancey, unabashedly poppy and more lighthearted than the group's breakout hit (which tackled mass shootings), “Coming Of Age” is the best of the band's non-“Kicks” singles so far. My only gripe? It's a perfect summer anthem, released during one bitterly cold winter. [PO]

HAVE MERCY, “Pete Rose And Babe Ruth”

Baltimore's Have Mercy are wasting no time raising the bar set by last year's The Earth Pushed Back. While that had a brash and live feel, their emo rock capabilities are more clearly translated on their upcoming No Sleep split with Daisyhead. Producer Paul Leavitt can be credited with that. The man behind modern masterpieces like Moneen's The Red Tree and the Dangerous Summer's War Paint makes a perfect match for HM. We just wish they teamed up for more than two songs. [BK]

THE HOLD STEADY, “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You”

The Hold Steady pick up where 2010's Heaven Is Whenever left off with a four-minute dose of soul rock, finding the skittish Craig Finn deep in a seedy story (“There was a side of this city I didn't want you to see/There's just these cats that I know/We go back pretty deep”). They picked up Memphis-based guitarist Steve Selvidge a while back, who makes his recording debut with the band here, bringing some Southern hospitality to the Brooklyn boys' twangy bridge. [BK]

LA DISPUTE – “Stay Happy There”

Don’t let this song title fool you: There isn’t anything happy about La Dispute’s first single from their upcoming third album—except for the fact that La Dispute have new music out. Frontman Jordan Dreyer rushes through the song, spitting out his lyrics, only coming up for air at the halfway point. It’s confrontational (“But doesn't it seem a bit wasteful to you/To throw away all of the time we spent perfecting our love in close quarters and confines?”) and dark (“I know you were getting tired of my drinking/I guess I was never cut out for the coke scene/You were worried I would end up like your father”), before coming to a mysterious yet profound ending: “Everything is happening at once.”[BM]


By the time Manchester Orchestra's new album, Cope, arrives in April, nearly three years will have passed since their last, Simple Math. We got a taste of what was in store last fall, with the release of “After The Scripture” on the soundtrack for Dallas Buyers Club, but it's the group's latest (and appropriately named) single, “Top Notch,” that really has me eager with anticipation. While “After The Scripture” was stripped down and understated, “Top Notch” is riff-laden and heavy, juxtaposing frontman Andy Hull's haunting, infectious vocals with crunchy, dynamic guitar work. Hull recently described Cope as “unapologetic heavy rock,” and if “Top Notch” is any indication, he's not kidding. [PO] >>>

Written by Jason Pettigrew