New Mix: Deafheaven, Tim Hecker, John Grant And More : All Songs ConsideredLove doesn't come easy. Just ask some of the artists on this week's show whose songs reflect the sour, absurd, and heartrending aspects of intimacy.
Clockwise from upper left: Deafheaven, Flasher, Wet, John Grant, Tim Hecker
Courtesy of the artists
Courtesy of the artists
Love is often presented as something easy, a matter of simply following your heart. But in actuality, it's rarely that effortless. Several of this week's songs reflect the sour, absurd, and heartrending aspects of intimacy: Wet, one of Robin's picks, mourns the fact that "love is not enough." Singer-songwriter John Grant muses on its absurdity in his darkly comical "Love Is Magic." The episode's closer, black metal band Deafheaven, communicates their feelings most viscerally with a jarring, gruesome refrain. Deafheaven's new album, the aptly-titled Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, is available to stream on our website as part of our First Listen series until its release on July 13.
Also on the program: the classic guitar rock of Montreal singer Michael Rault, the urgent music of D.C. post-punk band Flasher, and the glitchy, atmospheric electronics of Tim Hecker. Plus, a happy National Sugar Cookie Day to Robin Hilton.
Songs Featured On This Episode
Song: I'll Be There
The Montreal-based singer-songwriter Michael Rault arranged the melody and guitar for "I'll Be There" before figuring out what the song was even about. The sunny, breezy track evokes early Paul McCartney solo work or '70s-era pop and rock bands like Big Star and Wings. Rault's album, It's A New Day Tonight, dropped May 18 on Wick records.
The D.C. post-punk band Flasher finished playing the Tiny Desk just hours before All Songs recorded this episode. During their set, Taylor Mulitz (formerly of Priests), Emma Baker, and Daniel Saperstein blew us away with softer, acoustic versions of their chaotic and self-aware songs. "Pressure," from their second album, Constant Image, features fast-paced guitar and curt, trenchant lyrics: "Saving face, or self-effacing?"
Song: Love Is Not Enough
"Love Is Not Enough," from the American indie-pop outfit Wet, is about the tragic collapse of romantic idealism. It's a spare and resigned ballad that closes Wet's upcoming album, Still Run, due for release July 13 on Columbia Records.
Song: Love Is Magic
"Love is magic / whether you like it or not," John Grant sings over skittering electronics and lonesome guitar refrains. But his song, "Love Is Magic," feels less romantic than unsettling — a wry complement to his belief that love is "a s*** show that requires work," but nonetheless something you have to thrust yourself into. His LP Love is Magic debuts October 12 via Partisan records.
New Mix: Deafheaven, Tim Hecker, John Grant And More
Song: Music for Tundra Pt. 1
"Music for Tundra Part 1" is the opening track to Tim Hecker's stunning 2001 debut album Haunt Me, Haunt Me, Do It Again. The album, along with Hecker's 2003 followup Radio Amor, has been remixed and mastered for a 2018 reissue. Haunt Me remains one of Hecker's most stunning works, with other worldly sounds that feel like something you'd experience in a sensory deprivation tank.
Deafheaven has always been a divisive force in the metal scene, and their recent album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, has already been subject to intense critical scrutiny. Assessing the album, NPR Music's Lars Gotrich says it's messy, but has a "laser focus" that he hasn't heard from the band before. He offers "Canary Yellow" as evidence.