I don't care what anyone says. The song of the summer isn't Carley Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" or Maroon Five's dated "Payphone" and it's certainly not Katy Perry's "Wide Awake." For my money, and mind you I make very little of it, it's Electric Guest's "This Head I Hold." Already a hit on alt-radio, this song by the duo of Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton has captured the 1960s and 1970s groovy feel like no other band in recent memory. Seriously I can picture Dick Nixon socking it to me every time I hear it on the radio --- whatever that means.
Sure it doesn't have the legs Jepsen's song has had, but Guest have climbed the charts since its release, and already performed the track on Late Show with David Letterman. It's appeared on countless television spots. But, the L.A. tag-team of Taccone and Compton are far from two-trick ponies. Their debut album Mondo has been well received, and provides a nice soundtrack to anyone willing to give themselves a self-high five. The MTV "buzzworthy" band are currently on tour, and stopped by Primary Wave Music's Listening Room earlier this month for an A-Sides. There, they performed two songs including "Head" and sat down for a chat. Watch. Listen. Love. Oh, and watch their version of "Troubleman" exclusively on asidesmusic.com.
"This Head I Hold"
'Shiny' Happy Person
It felt like Shiny Toy Gun instantly took off when they dropped their debut album We Are Pilots over six years ago. They received significant airplay for infectious, arguably 1980s-inspired, tracks like "Le Disko" and "You Are The One" and seemed well on their way to becoming a staple in the alt-rock and pop scene. Then, some things went down. The LA-based band replaced lead singer Carah Faye, and released a much darker record with a new front lady called Season of Poison. They had a few hits, but it wasn't as fulfilling without Faye in the mix. With that said, Chad Petree, Jeremy Dawson and Mikey Martin brought their original singer back, and are set to release a new album -- appropriately called III -- in October.
Guns just released the music video "Waiting Alone," their first new track with their original vocalist, and you can watch it below. Below it you'll find an exclusive in-depth interview with Faye, which I conducted earlier this month also at Primary Wave. Good to have her back.
"Waiting Alone" Music Video
Rounding out our trifecta of A-Sides this week is the Nashville five-piece Moon Taxi. Gaining steam since they slayed the crowd at this year's Bonnaroo, the band recently released their Southern rockin' debut Cabaret, and it's quite easily among the best albums of the year. Currently on the road with Matisyahu, the band will make their Lollapalooza debut next week. Earlier this month, they filmed an A-Sides session at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY, performed "Mercury" and sat down for an informal chat. Ride the Moon Taxi now before everyone else jumps on. Expect greatness from these guys.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.