Track Record

LISTEN: New Tracks From Tori Amos & Peter Rauhofer, Tegan & Sara, Mika, and The Drums’ Jonny Pierce

It’s been a while since Tori Amos release a track that could really take the dance floor by storm, but Peter Rauhofer’s new take on “Flavor” could potentially get the fairy godmother of baroque pop back on the club scene. Way back in  1996, Armand van Helden’s remix of “Professional Widow” reached #1 on the U.K. singles chart and Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play in the U.S., but that was kind of a bizarre anomaly. Tori’s work has always been more suited to a candle-lit dorm room than a teaming, pulsing dance floor. Rauhofer’s “Club Mix,” however, adds a shot of pure circuit party adrenaline to the haunting orchestral track from Amos’ latest album, Gold Dust.

Probably the most beautiful and emotionally resonant songs on The Origin of Love, Mika’s latest single “Underwater” lends itself perfectly to this gorgeous, haunting video. A castaway on a sea of billowing sheets—Mika is after all pop’s Peter Pan, always reveling in cartoon imagery and the tropes of boyhood—the singer finds himself thrown overboard, at which point the video turn from quirky, suggestive stagecraft to sublime underwater ballet. It’s a siren song you won’t be able to resist!

Tegan & Sara have always been one of those acts that, along with Uh Huh Her, prove that lesbian music is more than just overly emotional, acoustic Lilith Fair ballads. The emotions are there, but their effervescent pop sensibility has always made their music morefun! Their latest single, “Closer,” finds the out twins pushing even further into the realm of electro pop, replacing guitars with buzzing and bleeping synths for a track that reminds us of fellow Canadians Dragonette. It’s a kiss-me-at-your-best-friend’s-party kind of feel-good song, a kind of musical reflection of those first few moments when you think you’ve met someone you really really like!

Somehow, the wonky synth effects, stuttering beat, and Jonny Pierce’s warbling vocals all add up to a oddly lovely affect on The Drums frontman’s first solo single, “I Didn’t Realize.” It’s not quite the same sunny SoCal sound as his band; it’s weirder, probably less accessible. Still, it’s exciting to hear Pierce doing something slightly more avant garde. Can’t wait to see what other risky moves he’ll make on his upcoming solo album, due next year.

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