Now Hear This is a daily dive into the standout songs of the last 24 hours. Today, Winnipeg crushers KEN Mode move in a new direction, Ben Khan reaches his zenith, Annabel embrace meaninglessness.
KEN Mode, "Blessed"
Winnipeg ear-destroyers KEN Mode have hit the noise rock jackpot for their next album: they've landed Steve Albini. And, like most Albini-engineered recordings, their new single feels like it's scraping the inside of your brain. Still, it's less of a barrage than your usual KEN Mode hardcore attack, more measured and spacious, letting the drums and spoken word (shouted word?)-style vocals and nimble drums take the lead, before that dirty, dirty guitar tone comes in and breaks you. This is sure to confuse some of the purists, but it's an interesting foot to put forward. - Richard Trapunski
Ken Mode's Success is out 6/16 on New Damage.
Ben Khan, "Zenith"
Ben Khan's newest song is a neon pop dream filled with funk-driven bass lines, underwater synths, and handclap drum beats. "Zenith" is the second track we've heard since last year's 1992 EP, and exactly one year after that dropped, he'll be putting out a new EP called 1000. In the coming years, Ben will run out of years AD, and will be forced to continue his catalogue of album titles in BC. Still as mysterious as ever, it's a safe bet to assume that Khan is the leader of the lost city of Atlantis, performing for its few inhabitants while his music slowly drifts to surface. - Ryan Parker
Ben Khan's new EP 1000 will be out May 11th on Blessed Vice.
Glowed-out jangly guitars, and big pounding drums roll through this Evan Weiss (of Into It. Over It.) produced track from Kent, Ohio's Annabel. "Everything" is constantly ascending, until the final 30 seconds, when singer Ben Hendricks calmly lets out the perfectly emotive "not everything needs to have a meaning," before bursting back into the final barrage. - Ryan Parker