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House Playlist Belong, Fleet Foxes, & Patrick Wolf

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House Playlist: Belong, Fleet Foxes, and Patrick Wolf

Belong, “Perfect Life.” When New Orleans duo Belong lays off the codeine, their slow-to-unfurl, staticky drone becomes a perfect replication of early shoegaze, as evidenced by “Perfect Life,” a track from their upcoming LP Common Era. The song trades in the hardcore noise of 2006’s October Language for drums, melodic synths, and drowned vocals in the My Bloody Valentine tradition. By keeping the lyrics virtually indescribable, Belong retains their chief strength: creating a dumbstruck mood of slow strangulation and creeping dread. “Perfect Life” is their poppiest effort yet, but there’s no mistaking the dirty, clinging crunch of each instrument for the work of any other group. Ross Scarano

Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues.” Fleet Foxes’s take on folk has always had a bit of a winterish theme to it, so it’s fitting that they give us a taste of their new album, Helplessness Blues, at the beginning of February, three months before its spring release. And taste is actually an understatement. The title track is a five-minute epic that showcases everything that worked so well on the band’s first album. It’s catchy, hopeful, and poignant, with Robin Pecknold’s voice soaring over the fevered instruments, promising to give back to whomever he wronged or relied on. Thanks to the band’s brilliant interplay, folk music has rarely sounded so expansive and cathartic. Michael Kilpatrick


Patrick Wolf, “The City.” On “Vulture,” the lead-off single from his last album, Patrick Wolf complained of losing his head to Hollywood, his youth to Tokyo, and his liver to London. “The City” follows in that same pattern of urban anxiety, as Wolf insists to a would-be lover that he “won’t let the city destroy our love.” But instead of focusing on fear and twitchiness, Wolf uses that line as a defiant, exuberant pop hook. Splitting the difference between the shiny-happy-people aesthetic of The Magic Position and the campy ’80s yacht rock of Starship, Huey Lewis and the News, and Eric Carmen, Wolf turns “The City” into a powerful declaration of love in the face of adversity and disapproval. Jonathan Keefe