By John Dickinson
As fall kicks into gear, music aficionados anxiously debate which new releases are worth investing their time and hard-earned money on. Let Stereo IQ save you the stress by picking out the best new tracks released this week -- perhaps you can one-up your buddy who works at a record store, or maybe impress that hipster babe with the thick-rimmed glasses you're always staring at.
5) "Lead the way, show me how / Get me excited for something new somehow / Or at least point me in the right direction." -- Touché Amoré, "Whale Belly" Lyrics
This two-minute blast combines elements of Refused and Minor Threat, as panicked screams allow themes of ennui and confusion to linger atop the band's familiar sound of frenetic beats and aggressive guitar strumming. Overtly introspective lyrics and consciously organic production transport you from your cozy bedroom to a dank basement in Los Angeles, where drones of punk-rock kids lament a changing future and a dying past.
4) "It slipped my mind / And for a time I felt completely free." -- Atoms For Peace, "Default" Lyrics
Thom Yorke's (Radiohead) latest endeavor showcases his famously fragile falsetto as he croons a surreal tale of guilt-infested mourning. A claustrophobic feeling of inferiority blankets the listener once Yorke sings lines of a "troubled, silent poor boy" trying to free his mind from the anxieties of temptation. These ghostly moans build up all the way through the song's ending, during which the narrator admits he is consumed by his qualms.
3) "The slow, cruel hands of time / Turn you into molten lava." -- Band Of Horses, "Slow Cruel Hands of Time" Lyrics
On Band of Horses' "Slow Cruel Hands of Time", slated to appear on their upcoming release Mirage Rock, we see an existentialist anthem garnished with elements of defeatism. This lyric, carried by the melancholy coos of Ben Bridwell through your headphones and out of your tear ducts, will probably bring back painful memories of your college girlfriend.
2) "You find a path to me / From an unwelcomed place / You kept the copy key / Between skin and lace." -- Further Seems Forever, "So Cold" Lyrics
The latest track from the newly reunited emo pioneers exhibits vocalist Chris Carrabba's trademarked tenor voice, as he snarls a caustic response to a lover who simply won't let the past stay in the past. In essence, the song captures the feelings of unrequited love from the receiving end, as Carrabba exhibits a powerful urge to deter all affection from a bothersome apparition.
1) "Putting broken pieces neat into piles/ And watching ceiling sunlight swim." -- Cymbals Eat Guitars, "Hawk Highway" Lyrics
The Staten Island indie rockers' "Hawk Highway" explores the themes of counter-intuition and a quick-beating heart (tachycardia) through the clever rhetoric and lyrical cues characteristic of an English major. Lead singer Joseph D'Agostino's cryptic tone and nearly indecipherable imagery delivers a view into the psyche of a puppy on shrooms, trapped inside of a kaleidoscope. If the scattered subject matter and ethereal dreamscape say anything about D'Agostino, it's that there's a lot on his mind.
BONUS -- Check out Stereo IQ's explanations for Adele's 21:
Adele -- "Need You Now" Lyrics
Adele -- "Don't You Remember" Lyrics
Adele -- "He Won't Go" Lyrics
Adele -- "Hiding My Heart" Lyrics
Adele -- "If It Hadn't Been for Love" Lyrics
Adele -- "I Found a Boy" Lyrics
Adele -- "I'll Be Waiting" Lyrics
Adele -- "Lovesong" Lyrics
Adele -- "One And Only" Lyrics
Adele -- "Rolling In the Deep" Lyrics
Adele -- "Rumour Has It" Lyrics
Adele -- "Set Fire to the Rain" Lyrics
Adele -- "Someone Like You" Lyrics
Adele -- "Take It All" Lyrics
Adele -- "Turning Tables" Lyrics