Crystal Castles, “Plague.” “I am the plague,” screams Alice Glass, as if encased in her namesake and trying to Björk her way out of the shimmering confines. Despite her claims (and lyrics that betray a villainous pity party: “Virgin cells to penetrate/Too premature to permeate/They can’t elucidate/Never thought I was the enemy”), if there’s actually an infection to be found in Crystal Castles’ “Plague,” it’s that hint of double-time breakbeat from the bass kick, which begins mutating about halfway through the track’s arena-ready horror show and continues to drive the usually staid-screaming Castles into something that almost passes for…funky? Go figure they would regard syncopation as something in need of lancing. Eric Henderson
Hans Zimmer, “Aurora.” Composer Hans Zimmer’s response to the killings at the Aurora Dark Knight Rises premiere is a modest one. Quietly released last Sunday, “Aurora” is a choral take on Batman Begins’s “Eptesicus,” merging tenor and soprano voices into a solemn, hymn-like piece of music. With the same affecting chords as James Newton Howard’s suite for the bereaved infant Bruce Wayne, it’s a haunting reminder of how reality and fiction can sometimes blur, so senselessly and with such carnage. The track’s harmonizing voices have since been echoed by the families of the 12 victims, who attended alleged shooter James Holmes’s court appearance wearing Batman icon T-shirts. George Bass
Echo Lake, “Wild Peace.” On the eve of the release of his band’s promising debut, Wild Peace, Pete Hayes, the 25-year-old drummer of South London’s talented dream-pop outfit Echo Lake passed away from an undisclosed illness. Hayes’s versatility can be heard throughout the multilayered, shoegaze-y album, from the chilled out “Another Day” to the propulsive “Even the Blind,” but there’s something to be said for the serenity the percussion generates on the vapory title track; it’s positively gossamer without ever letting its presence be forgotten, steadily carrying Linda Jarvis’s ghostly vocals through the song’s undeniably dusky atmosphere. Mike LeChevallier
This article was originally published on The House Next Door.