Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

What are you listening to this week?

Faux Fir, “Failure Prose”

Faux Fir was a great Milwaukee band I saw frequently when I was in college; it wound down around the time I left and has since disbanded, with two members gone to other states. There was talk of making another album via long-distance collaboration, and I hope that materializes someday. In the meantime, I return to Faux Fir’s Bandcamp page to rock out to its poppy, lush synth sounds. “Failure Prose” has this amazing scream in the intro I always admire, and the rest of the song is a good demonstration of the band’s overall vibe: an appealing mesh of catchy hooks, staccato breaks, high-energy through-lines, and berserk-but-contained vocal work. “Functions Of The Heart” shows off more shouty-but-somehow-in-tune vocals that I love—Faux Fir played it at a Valentine’s Day show where my future husband, then just some dude I knew, handed me the winning card of a prize lottery at the concert. And “Baggage Claim,” off the band’s self-titled debut album, is a simpler, fun synth workout that shows off how solid Faux Fir was right from the word go. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]


The Mummies, “House On The Hill”

It’s that time of year when I start dredging up my favorite horror-themed rock tracks to help get me in the Halloween spirit. There are tons of grungy bands and random singles that fit the bill—horror-movie kitsch goes hand in hand with garage rock—but it doesn’t get more spooktacular than dudes wrapped in rags banging out some of the rawest, fuzziest tunes around. I’m talking, of course, about The Mummies, the legendary budget rockers whose limited discography is, as you’d expect, host to plenty of Halloween-friendly material. “House On The Hill,” specifically the rough version found on Runnin’ On Empty Volume One and Death By Unga Bunga!!, is my go-to right now. An uncharacteristically laid-back instrumental from the otherwise furious four-piece, it’s built around a swinging riff from Trent Ruane’s banshee of an organ and adorned with howls and a few guitar solos that shape-shift from creeping to straight blistering. It’s the perfect soundtrack to any cemetery sock hop. [Matt Gerardi]

Exploded View, “Summer Came Early”

Exploded View’s self-titled debut was one of my favorite records of 2016, so I was thrilled to learn the group will return next month with the EP Summer Came Early. The title track, released last week, sounds like an extension of the band’s distinctive debut, a deceptively heavy dub-punk jam with a sun-dazed allure. Frontwoman Annika Henderson’s vocals echo to us from a “post-warming future” where the most anyone can think to do is dip their feet into the rising water levels. The push-pull between the song’s seductive groove and its subtle anxiety captures a depressingly familiar conflict of feelings—how we are all enjoying the October sun and the record warmth but know we’re paying for it, too. [Kelsey J. Waite]


YBN Nahmir, “Rubbin Off The Paint”

If you google YBN Nahmir, the first thing that pops up after that is “age.” Apparently more people than me were shocked by the video, in which a person of an indeterminately young age goes in on a beat with shocking polish and eloquence. (He’s 17.) Anyway, the track has been on permanent rotation, a light, airy bounce that he laces with more than two minutes of exuberant Alabama shit-talk. Nahmir’s leaked out a few other tracks since then—check out the equally effervescent “Change”—all of which composes a sort of Southern corollary to the West coast charms of Aminé or the New York flossing of Playboi Carti. It’s bright and infectious, marking him as someone to keep a close eye on, and it’s worth listening to if only for the best musical Rick And Morty reference maybe ever. [Clayton Purdom]


Share This Story