Listen to this: Black Country, New Road releases new single ‘Concorde’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Mura Masa, Aeon Station and more.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Yas Akdag, Holden Lay and Jack Peterson

After a brief Thanksgiving break, we’re back. The releases are winding down as Christmas songs begin to dominate the charts. Nevertheless, there’s still brilliant new music coming out. Here, we review some of the most fiery and emotionally vulnerable rock, as well as a dance tracks designed for the club — or your LED light-decorated bedroom. Read on for more.

“Concorde” by Black Country, New Road 

Holden Lay, Staff Writer 

With three singles in the bag this year, Black Country, New Road shows no signs of slowing down in the lead up to the February release of their album “Ants From Up There.” Their latest single, “Concorde,” is a tender slow-burn that showcases the quiet strength of the band’s more conventional songwriting side. Their stripped-back sound — complemented by some country-ish mandolin — sets this track apart from the frantic sound of their earlier single “Chaos Space Marine” and leaves room for singer Isaac Wood’s vocals to soar; indeed, “Concorde” is one of Wood’s most gripping and restrained performances to date. While this track is a different tone for the band, the structure is familiar and the tense build toward a booming climax is typical of their sound. Half of me wonders how many times they can keep making this trick work, while the other half falls for it every time. As Wood sings, “I became a light blue sleeper / And I laid dead or twitchin’ for most of the night,” the inevitably explosive peak is — for lack of a better word — triumphant.

“2gether” by Mura Masa

Yas Akdag, Music Editor

There’s zero chance of forgetting this song’s name — the word “together” is repeated almost every line. “2gether,” the first single off the artist-producer’s forthcoming third studio album, is a laid-back electro-dance track that caters to the more downbeat and dejected club-goer. The production is subtle and undeniably Mura Masa — think warm, brassy synths over a boom-bap beat. “2gether” has a body-freeing ebb and flow. As the song builds to the drop, with a robotic “together” tailing off each line in the pre-chorus, you tense up. Then, the drop hits — a percussive, glitchy synth, basketball-bouncy but also sharp, like knives cutting through air. Your shoulders relax, you breathe a little easier, you think, maybe this is what taking acid at Berghain feels like. And then you do it all over again. 

“Fade” by Aeon Station

Jack Peterson, Contributing Writer 

If you’re a ’90s indie rock kid or if you wish you were, you might have heard of New Jersey’s cult heroes The Wrens — a nonconformist group that for one reason or another never hit it big. Their label disputes kept their three albums from garnering the mainstream status of their contemporaries. Now, bassist and co-vocalist Kevin Whelan has embarked on a new journey to break through under a new name: Aeon Station. This solo project has been in progress for more than a decade and the three singles from “Observatory” — out Dec. 10 — feel like a transcendent climax to a niche career. While I may be more partial to the first two singles, “Queens” and “Leaves,” which were more dynamic and catchy, the third, “Fade,” chugs along at a pace and energy that extends far beyond the typical style of a solo artist. Whelan builds his energy throughout the track, bursting from strained, quiet vocals to yelling crescendos and back again. He alternates between crushing lyrics such as “This life you make is bound to fade / Dreams grow old and waste away” and upbeat choruses that command, “Today is the day we are finally free of pretending / To be something we never wanted.” Whelan lays his heart bare in this autobiography of a song. Listen to the track or watch the video for your main-character, end-of-movie moment — or read the lyrics to add to your 3 a.m. existential despair. The choice is yours.

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