Who else is stoked for "The Hunger Games"? Win Butler and Regine Chassagne are with me. The Arcade Fire's leading lovers concocted this song for the soundtrack. It transposes the book/movie's "Battle Royale"-style totalitarian child murder contest with the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. I'm not even sure if I like this song, but I am leading off with it anyway as an excuse to write about The Hunger Games.
s / s / s - "Museum Day"
In which Sufjan Stevens sings in Auto-Tune, Serengeti apologizes for sloppy flow and Son Lux does whatever Son Lux does. I am seriously feeling Sufjan's Auto-Tune embrace. (See also: his Rosie Thomas collaboration "Where Were You?") The debut s / s / s EP, "Beak & Claw," is coming this spring on Anticon.
Clams Casino - "Swervin"
XV is a nice enough rapper, but I'm thankful Clams let us hear this beat in all its unblemished glory. Nobody is making better hip-hop instrumentals right now.
Beach House - "Myth"
One of indie's most beloved acts is back, and this time they've got at least one song that latches on instantly without demanding you take time to get in the mood. "Myth" is the first taste from "Bloom," coming May 15 on Sub Pop.
Beach Fossils - "Shallow"
From Beach House to Beach Fossils, who are still milking their dreamy/drippy post-punk formula with exceptional results. This comes from a new 7-inch out now on Captured Tracks.
Roc Marciano - "Poltergeist"
The cover art says it all. New York rap is in good hands.
Despite releasing at least one indelible indie rock anthem, defunct Brooklyn band Oxford Collapse is likely destined for the dustbin of music history. But frontman Mike Pace's new solo project, The Child Actors, is doing a good job of keeping the group in some semblance of spotlight. "Summer Lawns" shows Pace hasn't stopped writing indie rock that grabs you. Buy the song and its B-side, the acoustic "McKinley," at Bandcamp.
The Mars Volta - "Zed and Two Naughts"
I've never given The Mars Volta much of a chance. Maybe I'm just bitter about At the Drive-In breaking up before I got the chance to see them. But maybe now that an encounter with ATDI doesn't seem as far-fetched, I'm ready to give the group's space-rock offshoot another shot, starting with "Zed and Two Naughts" from their upcoming album "Noctourniquet." Get it March 27 through Warner Brothers.
Gunplay - "Jump Out"
Maybach Music Group's resident thug turned heads on Kendrick Lamar's recent "Cartoon & Cereal." New single "Jump Out" finds him in his natural habitat, delivering boasts like "I'm a human L.A. riot!" amidst screaming females, gunshots and one of the more belligerent gangster rap beats you'll hear this year. Find the track on Gunplay's upcoming mixtape "Bogota Rich: The Prequel."
Burial & Four Tet - "Nova"
It's a lovely thing when great minds come together so gracefully. "Nova" will be released as a single on Four Tet's Text Records.