Now Hear This is a daily dive into the standout songs of the day. Today, a subset of the Toronto scene forms yet another great project, Lou Barlow covers Peter Gabriel, and Kim Gordon goes solo... finally.
Toronto multi-talents Ben Gunning and Robin Dann (Bernice) join up for POM. "Echo," the first song from their forthcoming EP, is a shimmering, crystallized R&B number bent more towards the imaginary by its mysterious synths — the cave opens up into a giant chamber lit by glowing rocks.
Gunning told us more about the project: "POM has been a really fruitful and balanced collaboration — both of us have strong opinions on harmony, form, arrangement, and sounds but I think we share most of the the same musical sensibilities, especially a desire to ensure that the outcome is attractive but not predictable. Lots of attention is paid to the details to accomplish this; the specifics of our micro-decisions might be boring and technical to a listener but I think they give the music the kind of life we want it to have."
I'll follow these two wherever; they always find magic. - Chris Hampton
Lou Barlow, "In Your Eyes" (Peter Gabriel cover)
Yes, this is the song John Cusack plays outside Ione Skye's window on the boombox in Say Anything. Here, set to a collage of tour and home videos, king of '90s lo-fi, Lou Barlow, covers the king of '80s hi-fi. The song's wistfulness survives Barlow's paring, in fact, it becomes more pronounced. - Chris Hampton
Kim Gordon, "Murdered Out"
It's hard to say Kim Gordon has laid low since the dissolution of Sonic Youth — she moved back to California, refocused her efforts on her visual art career, played in the improv noise duo Body/Head, took a few acting gigs, and, oh yeah, wrote her memoirs, Girl In A Band. But it's only now that the 63-year-old living embodiment of cool finally steps into the spotlight, musically, with her very first solo song under her own name. Ever.
An industrial noise-pop song about the act of "murdering out" (i.e. black matte spray, tinted windows, blackened logos, and black wheels) your vehicle. Part of Los Angeles' neo-car culture, it's a new beginning — "the ultimate expression in digging out, getting rid of, purging the soul," Gordon puts it.
It's not surprising that Kim Gordon's post-upheaval solo debut would carry such a concept, but what is surprising is how funky the thing is. Groovey. - Richard Trapunski