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House Playlist: The Walkmen, Lower Dens, Mark E, & Elliphant

Is it just me or is Hamilton Leithauser beginning to sound like Chris Martin?

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House Playlist: The Walkmen, Lower Dens, Mark E, & Elliphant

The Walkmen, “Heaven.” Is it just me or is Hamilton Leithauser beginning to sound like Chris Martin? On the title track off the Walkmen’s forthcoming album, Heaven, Leithauser’s voice sounds tamed, and the band forgoes their usual old-timey diversions for a polished, catchy, two-chord riff and steady, uptempo backbeat. With a chorus like “Remember, remember/All we fight for,” “Heaven” sounds uncharacteristically doe-eyed and anthemic. But with verses about a “gilded age” built atop “crooked dreams,” Leithauser’s feel-good sentiment is quickly tempered by his unfailing skepticism. As the song ends, all that arena-rock bravado collapses completely, as he repeats over and over, “Don’t leave me now…Stick with me.” Manan Desai

Lower Dens, “Lamb.” The third sampling from Baltimore murk rockers Lower Dens’ forthcoming sophomore album, Nootropics, isn’t as immediately accessible as previous cuts (the pitch-perfect “Brains” and the shadowy ballad “Propagation”), but it’s easily the most eerily atmospheric and profound. At just under four minutes, frontwoman Jana Hunter and the remainder of her cerebral folk quartet cover a considerable amount of sonic territory, from the bouncy pulses of an echoing drum machine, haunted house synths, and reverb-drenched guitar and basslines, to the darkly ravishing moments when Hunter’s commonly slender vocals suddenly break form, bursting into a powerful, operatic chorus that could shatter the thickest panes of glass. If the band’s formidable debut, 2010’s Twin-Hand Movement, was a sign of Lower Dens’ potential, then their new album is unmistakably shaping up to be nothing short of expectations fulfilled. Mike LeChevallier

Mark E, “Oranges.” As the maxim goes, when you want an orange, you don’t want an apple. Or, as Janet Jackson might put it, ain’t no revisionism in this house. With “Oranges,” British DJ/producer Mark E doesn’t set out to make some crazy, retro dance-music fruit salad. He sticks to the plain and simple recipe, c. 1987, using only a few synthy EQ tweaks to boost the volume a little. Otherwise, it’s a warm and smooth ride that should sound just right in June. At its best, “Oranges” reminds me of DJ Sprinkles’s titanic take on Terre Thaemlitz’s “Hush Now”—minus, of course, the Act Up coda insisting “silence = death.” With much house, the equation can be a given. Eric Henderson

Elliphant featuring Adam Kanyama, “TeKKno Scene.” Not a song to open any set that doesn’t also involve bloodletting, “TeKKno Scene” is best dropped when everyone in the club is properly sweat-stained, dancing barefoot inches away from broken glass, and one good sip away from spewing it all back. Because the flexible bass kicks, wandering poltergeist howls, Stockholm patois, and hitching record starts and stops all add up to a pretty propulsive sonic vomitorium. And I mean “vomitorium” in the real-definition sense. “TeKKno Scene” is an assault that should effectively thin out the crowds, leaving behind only those for whom the party can never end. EH

House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks.

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Watch: Two Episode Trailers for Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone Reboot

Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes.

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The Twilight Zone
Photo: CBS All Access

Jordan Peele is sitting on top of the world—or, at least, at the top of the box office, with his sophomore film, Us, having delivered (and then some) on the promise of his Get Out. Next up for the filmmaker is the much-anticipated reboot of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, which the filmmaker executive produced and hosts. Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes, “The Comedian” and “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.” In the former, Kumail Nanjiani stars as the eponymous comedian, who agonizingly wrestles with how far he will go for a laugh. And in the other, a spin on the classic “Nightmare at 20,0000 Feet” episode of the original series starring William Shatner, Adam Scott plays a man locked in a battle with his paranoid psyche. Watch both trailers below:

The Twilight Zone premieres on April 1.

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Scott Walker Dead at 76

Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde.

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Scott Walker
Photo: 4AD

American-born British singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Scott Walker, who began his career as a 1950s-style chanteur in an old-fashioned vocal trio, has died at 76. In a statement from his label 4AD, the musician, born Noel Scott Engel, is celebrated for having “enriched the lives of thousands, first as one third of the Walker Brothers, and later as a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality.”

Walker was born in Hamilton, Ohio on January 9, 1943 and earned his reputation very early on for his distinctive baritone. He changed his name after joining the Walker Brothers in the early 1960s, during which time the pop group enjoyed much success with such number one chart hits as “Make It Easy on Yourself” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore).”

The reclusive Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde. Walker, who was making music until his death, received much critical acclaim with 2006’s Drift and 2012’s Bish Bosch, as well as with 2014’s Soused, his collaboration with Sunn O))). He also produced the soundtrack to Leos Carax’s 1999 romantic drama Pola X and composed the scores for Brady Corbet’s first two films as a director, 2016’s The Childhood of a Leader and last year’s Vox Lux.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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