I hope you’re enjoying your July 4th weekend — and I hope it’s a nice long one for you. Not a lot of high-profile tunes released this past New Music Friday, but a few that are worth chatting about.
Chat about, how? Well…
I’ve been doing a Twitch stream at twitch.tv/duckthepianowire on Fridays (usually at noon PT / 3pm ET, or thereabouts). I use my expertise as an opinionated 40-year-old dude to listen to the new music and give my unfiltered thoughts. This strange undertaking is called New Music Friday.
I bestow one of four possible verdicts on each new song after one listen: SKIP!!, Add to Playlist, Play the Whole Album, BUY THE VINYL!! SKIP!! is the worst designation and BUY THE VINYL!! is the absolute best.
Here are the highlights from the July 2, 2021 New Music Friday stream:
And here is a recap of the songs covered.
Song 1: “Don’t Depend on Me” by Duck the Piano Wire
Final thoughts: Another moment of shameless self-promotion in this column. (I did it on June 18 too.) But this is a song I’m really passionate about, so I am eager to share it with you. The new video features a brand-new mix of the song, and I think it sounds great. Please give it a shot!
Song 2: “WANNA BE” by jxdn feat. Machine Gun Kelly
Final thoughts: A throwback to the pop punk of the early ’00s. Not my fave kind of music — and the lyrics have a “high school poetry” silliness to them — but it’s catchy. Add to playlist
Song 3: “In Da Getto” by J Balvin & Skrillex
Final thoughts: A catchy fun dance tune for your weekend barbecue. Glad that Skrillex found a style beyond dubstep. Play the whole album
Song 4: “Renegade” by Big Red Machine feat. Taylor Swift
Final thoughts: Even though she only gets a “featured” credit, this is pretty much Taylor’s song. A tasteful pop-folk-rock creation that frames a boatload of lyrics describing the kind of drama that is 100% T-Swift’s forte. Play the whole album
Song 5: “triple check” by contradash
Final thoughts: One of the people that commented on the Twitch stream nailed it: this is club kid hyperpop. It doesn’t give you a chance to catch your breath at any point during its 2 1/2 minutes. Upbeat, but a little too much computerized nonsense in the mix for my taste. Add to playlist
Song 6: “Forest of Your Problems” by Snapped Ankles
Final thoughts: Joy Division-style post-punk married to worldbeat rhythms. I got heavy Peter Gabriel/Genesis vibes, and I love that. Definitely interested to hear more of what this band does. Play the whole album
The next New Music Friday livestream is scheduled for July 9 at noon PT / 3pm ET at twitch.tv/duckthepianowire. Gimme a follow and get in on the good times.
Justin Remer makes movies, directs music videos, and plays in the bands Duck the Piano Wire and Elastic No-No Band when he is not writing movie reviews. His folk-rock documentary MAKING LOVERS & DOLLARS is currently streaming on Amazon.