New Tunes Reviews, September 10: The Pixies, Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, and more

If you were not lucky enough to secure a copy of Pixies EP1 last Tuesday when ordering was announced, you can listen to it now on Spotify. These 4 songs are the first in a series of EPs to be released in the next 15 months (via article in NYTimes).  “Andro Queen” sounds like a dreamy Flaming Lips-inspired song, while the other three tracks follow the typical Pixies’ quiet-loud-quiet formula. “Another Toe in the Ocean” does seem like a refined version of that equation. “Indie Cindy” and “What Goes Boom” are a great throwbacks, complete with Black Francis’s talk-singing. 

For fans of Sonic Youth and noise-rock, Body/Head‘s Coming Apart came out this week. The new project of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace is definitely for those like guitar noise albums.

UK garage-rock band Arctic Monkeys released a new album called AM this week.   With more harmonies and a crisper sound, this album does have some good songs. “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” seems like the next logical step after 2007’s “I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor.” But again, it sounds mature and toned down.  The club/barroom sentiment is still there.  As Franz Ferdinand’s latest album went more 80s-new-wave, this album continues with a more refined garage sound.  If you are a fan of bands like The Strokes, this album may be up your alley. 
Baltimore-based indie rock band Arboretum released Coming Out of the Fog. I saw them open for Band of Horses at Carnegie Hall in 2009 and was very impressed. Their new album feels very much like roots rock. It is worth a listen if you enjoy that genre and are looking for modern bands that do retro things.   
Another album for those who are in the mood for a more retro release, listen to Trombone Shorty‘s Say That To Say This.  Brass instruments are front and center on this great new album from New Orleans-based musician Troy Andrews and his band, Orleans Avenue.
Arcade Fire posted a song called “Reflektor,” from their forthcoming album. Based on this song it seems like the album, produced by James Murphy, will be more electronica-dancey than previous releases. Thoughts?  I like it especially the mix of French and English lyrics.WNYC posted a round-up of bloggers’ “knee-jerk” thoughts of the song, as well as links to the interactive and music video.