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House Playlist The Acorn, Brian Eno, the Weeknd, & Whirl

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House Playlist: The Acorn, Brian Eno, the Weeknd, & Whirl

The Acorn, “White Heat (Silken Laumann Remix).” One of our favorite indie labels, Paper Bag Records, has released a track-for-track cover of Madonna’s True Blue album, which turns 25 this summer (yup, you’re officially old). Highlights include Young Galaxy’s minimalist take on “Open Your Heart,” the Rural Alberta Advantage’s folked-out version of “Live to Tell,” and the Acorn’s clattering synth-rock rendition of “White Heat,” a standout cut from the original album that, save the James Cagney sample, is completely reinvented and nearly unrecognizable from the Material Girl’s version. Download the whole album for free here. Sal Cinquemani

Brian Eno, “Glitch.” After years of on-and-off collaborations, Brian Eno and poet Rick Holland are set to release their new album, Drums Between the Bells, this summer. In addition to a track titled “As If Your Eyes Were Partly Closed As If You Honed the Swirl Within Them and Offered Me…the World,” there’s also “Glitch,” a nervy track that features Holland’s new-age musings (like “Death is not an end/It’s a place to search the light with”), a fantastically rubbery bassline, some flanging reminiscent of Eno’s work with U2 (“Lemon,” anyone?), and a stuttery climax worthy of the song’s title. SC


The Weeknd, “The Morning.” The Weeknd’s House of Balloons mixtape fulfills all the requisite conditions of blogability. Lack of vowel? Check. Mysterious production origins? Check. Siouxsie and the Banshees sample? Yessir. But much like with Odd Future, it’s easy to get the sense that this is more than an Internet-hipster curio. The Weeknd pushes the sonic and lyrical boundaries of R&B in ways that suggest what might happen if Game and Kenna got together for a drink. “The Morning” starts with a soft guitar chord and some slinky synths, the sound of waking up the next day. Singer Abel Tesfaye narrates the lives of those nameless female hangers-on. Then the beat rattles and there’s that utterly cynical chorus: “All that money the money is the motive/All that money the money she be foldin’/Girl put in work girl girl put in work.” Is Tesfaye misogynistic, or like Odd Future, just reactionary? It may be too early to tell, but one thing’s for sure: This is scarred, scary music, with some very sexy production values. At a time when R&B is begging to be revitalized, it’s also nothing less than refreshing. Paul Schrodt


Whirl, “Leave.” There’s no need to remind San Francisco six-piece Whirl that My Bloody Valentine’s landmark Loveless turns 20 this year. Odds are they’ve already started lighting the birthday candles. Whirl’s blurry press shots and limited-edition cassette releases suggest that the group’s worship of the shoegazing architects stretches beyond mere sonic homage; they’re practically a tribute band. One of the highlights from Whirl’s recently released Distressor EP, “Leave” sounds like it was crafted from a veritable MBV checklist: layers of swirling distortion; loose, spastic percussion; ethereal female vocals buried in the mix. While it seems unlikely that Kevin Shields and company will produce a follow-up to Loveless anytime soon, consider Whirl a worthy constellation prize. Jaymie Baxley