Hello my little fava beans! You guys, it’s a whole new year and time for a whole bunch of music from weirdos you may have never heard of! Once again, it is time for another installment of the Captain’s Log, a monthly series in which I spin some yarns about the strange assortment of siren songs I heard inside a conch shell on some distant shore (or heard Pitchfork raving about, or whatever). Sometimes, I like to give you a theme to describe all the glorious new artists I’ve assembled for you; this month, the best I can tell you is that they’re all songs you might want to dance around like a lunatic to. Let’s get to it.
Angel Haze – “Deep Sea Diver“
I swear I didn’t just pick this song because the title matches this column’s dubious nautical theme. Hey, big surprise – we’re going to talk about Angel Haze a LOT on Autostraddle this year because she is amazing. The outspoken pansexual rapper just leaked her much-anticipated new record Dirty Gold, and it’s phenomenal – I’ve been blasting it nonstop. Every track is better than the last, but this song “Deep Sea Diver” stuck out to me and resonated on a really personal level. It’s a great ode to the one that got away, and I immediately started combing the internet for lyrics to confirm that the song really was that specific to my own life. Thankfully, Angel Haze is one step ahead of me, and she put together this lyric video to promote the record. I’m not 100% convinced she hasn’t been secretly reading my journal, but at least the song is excellent.
Chlöe Howl – “Paper Heart”
This new-ish video from adorable 18-year-old English human Chlöe Howl makes it look like she was born ready for A Camp (Dapper hour? Check. Balloon arch? Check. Sass for days? Check.). In it, she wears a super cute outfit and sings clever lyrics over slinky, super-hooky electro-pop, like Lily Allen with a bit more salt. I fell madly in love with her immediately, and I think you will too. Her debut record will be out later this year.
The Pixies – “Blue Eyed Hexe“
This feels a little like cheating, because the Pixies are hardly a new or even new-ish act. Just as the band were preparing to return from an eleven-year hiatus, bassist Kim Deal quit the Pixies to focus on the reunion of her other band, the Breeders. She was initially replaced by the perfectly lovely Kim Shattuck (of the Muffs), but currently they’re playing with the incredible Paz Lenthantin (of A Perfect Circle and Zwan). Lineup changes aside, it’s great to have the Pixies releasing music again, and they’re consistent – this song is perfectly 90s, as though they’d never left us to begin with.
Trust – “Rescue, Mister”
You may have seen these Canadian weirdos opening for the Faint on their Danse Macabre anniversary tour a couple of years ago, or on a short run with Light Asylum. They’re great at dark, synth-heavy dance songs, and will appeal to people into the Knife or Crystal Castles. At any rate, their second album Joyland should be out soon, and frontman Robert Alfons describes it at “an eruption of guts, eels, and joy,” so you know. Eels. This is a good song to flail to while you’re alone in your bedroom with the lights off.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – “Stranger to My Happiness“
Last we heard from Sharon Jones and Co, they were planning on releasing their new album Give The People What They Want in August of 2013. Unfortunately, Sharon Jones announced in early June that she’d been diagnosed with stage-one bile-duct cancer, and the record was temporarily shelved. Thankfully, Sharon’s back in action, and the album is now slated to drop mid-January. In this new video, a defiantly bald Sharon Jones and her incredible band perform their hearts out and give zero fucks. If you’ve ever seen the Dap-Kings’ amazing live show, you know what a powerhouse Sharon Jones is, and this mostly-performance video is a joy to behold. The new record is streaming over at NPR, and the band will be touring in February. Glad to have you back, guys!