Pod Picks for Jan. 31, 2013

January 30, 2013 

Here are some new tracks that range from ambient to blues to retro rock which we recommend for downloading (legally, of course) or streaming to your iPod, iPad, iPhone or other personal media device.

"Ice Age" by How to Destroy Angels

Trent Reznor takes time away from Nine Inch Nails for this new musical project featuring his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, his longtime collaborator, Atticus Ross, and NINs’ art director, Rob Sheridan. This takes the Oscar-winning music Reznor and Ross made for “The Social Network” to the next level. Maandig’s voice sweeps sweetly over the electronic percussion Reznor discovered and has since made a career out of exploring. Reznor has always been able to make ambient music feel human – sometimes powerful, sometimes fragile. The addition of Maandig’s vocals, Sheridan’s cinematic approach and the Ross/Reznor new subtle approach make this another successful plateau in Reznor’s career.

"Ain’t Messin’ Round" by Gary Clark Jr

Clark has been anointed various things by various hopeful blues enthusiasts – things like, “The next big thing in blues” and “The savior of Texas Blues.” But Clark answers these broad statements in this new single by singing, “Play it cool.” And that’s what Clark does. His soulful voice sounds like an extension of his smooth guitar playing. He drops them both down into a funky groove and knows when to let each one do the talking. Plus, his solos show his precision on the frets. And when you have talent like this, you can afford to “play it cool.”

"Bad Thing" by King Tuff

One of Sub Pop Records’ latest darlings, showing on the band’s debut album Sub Pop is feeling nostalgic. This song has the lazy fuzz-vocals of bands such as L7, The Pixies and The Breeders that followed, all inspired by The Ramones. The music is garage-guitar rock with enough of a pop appeal to make it accessible to a broad audience. It feels indie and has that screw-you attitude that made Sub Pop so almost-successful in the ‘90s. King Tuff sound like they stole their crown and tagged it with graffiti.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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