Welcome to an edition of the Music Report dedicated to Queens: Literally, in the case of HAIM and Chelsea Wolfe, and titularly, in the case of Queens Of The Stone Age. In any event, all Queens, fair and true. Dig in.
Queens Of The Stone Age – “The Way You Used To Do”
If you want a hip-swinging, hand-clapping, sexy summer rock song with a dash of menace, welcome to the Queens Of The Stone Age’s new-look, Mark Ronson-produced era. Josh Homme’s band of desert-dwelling leather urchins have consistently released records which sound like a festival main-stage come to life, though this one has the added benefit of a pop hitmaker’s production touch. “The Way You Used To Do” jumps off with collar-popping, greaser-rock swing, a touch of lusty R&B infused into their buzzsaw guitar attack. Home tells Zane Lowe that he met Ronson while working on Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion,” and that he wanted to make something that had some of “Uptown Funk!”’s DNA: “I knew I wanted to make something very tight with the air sucked out of it and very clear, you know [like “Funk!”]. So [Ronson] was a great reminder as an opening… and his desires are so beat centric and so are mine.” They’re off to a good start.
Chelsea Wolfe – “16 Psyche”
Chelsea Wolfe’s all-black everything visual aesthetic reflects something about her sonic approach, which fixes its center point in the anguished operatics of alt-goddess PJ Harvey and suffuses it with even more darkened goth tendencies. Her forthcoming album Hiss Spun packs her heaviest metal bona fides yet, produced by Kurt Ballou of the critically acclaimed skull crushers Converge, alongside the rusty, curdled guitar of Queens Of The Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwen. And now that you’ve seen that everything is connected all the time on the Music Report, take a listen to Wolfe’s lead track “16 Psyche.”
HAIM – “Right Now” & “Little Of Your Love”
Rejoice, all ye close-watchers of LA’s premier new-millennial studio-pop sisterhood: Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim, also known as HAIM, are ready to followup 2013’s breakthrough Days Are Gone with Something To Tell You. Produced once again by the young god Ariel Rechtshaid, Something is an 11-song set featuring the spare and wistful studio pop gem “Right Now” and the recently released “Little Of Your Love,” a more upbeat affair which more directly channels the ’80s own premier soft-pop sister act Wilson Phillips. We have nine more tracks to hear, and there’s a good chance we’ll get more of them between now and the album’s July 7th release. For now, here’s these:
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