Now Hear This is a daily dive into the standout songs of the day. Today, A$AP Rocky goes psychedelic, Nap Eyes try to get their drinking in order, and Tough Age play dress-up with power pop.
A$AP Rocky, “LSD"
You walk out your door at 3 a.m. The streets are quiet and the sky is black. The traffic lights are flashing and every car is frozen still on the road. It resembles the apocalypse, but it’s more beautiful and peaceful than that. Everything is glowing and serene. You pause in the centre of an intersection, lie on your back, and stare into the night sky. The psychedelic beat of “LSD” flows in and the sky opens up, brightens, and the clouds start changing colour. The latest from A$AP Rocky is patient, freeing, chromatic, and doesn’t invade your space — instead, it floats around you. - Ryan Parker
A$AP Rocky's At.Long.Last.A$AP is out June 2 on ASAP Worldwide and RCA Records.
Nap Eyes, "Dark Creedence"
The first thing you'll notice about Halifax's Nap Eyes is that voice. Principal songwriter Nigel Chapman is one of those hyper-literate punkish preachers (think Jonathan Richman or Mark E. Smith) — a whip-smart, maybe generational sort of poet who doesn't so much intone a melody as beam high-concentrate pathos. "Dark Creedence" represents a moment of existential reflection, stitching together a Christmas Eve church service, the worry of a drinking problem, the end of everything. And then, the start. - Chris Hampton
Nap Eyes' Whine of the Mystic is being reissued July 10 through You've Changed Records.
Tough Age, "Warm Hair"
Toronto/Vancouver fuzz rock act Tough Age belongs to an indie tradition — typified by Times New Viking a decade back, GBV before them — that's taken arena rock songwriting and costumed it in garage clothes. "Warm Hair" is ostensibly a power-pop song (maybe the lead on the chorus leans a bit surf-wards), but modulated through all the circuits and doodads they shoot the thing through, then captured by way of some decidedly lesser fidelity, the sheen, especially of that main riff, is made hazy, stoned-up by a haul or two, and, damn, doesn't it feel fine? - Chris Hampton