When word got out that there was a Stephen Malkmus record out there that never saw the light of day, we were immediately intrigued. The former Pavement frontman and leader of The Jicks is, by all accounts, a force in indie rock and beyond. When we found out that it was an electronic album, titled Groove Denied out in March, we were ready to find out what it was all about. The end result is that the songs are really good and steer what you think it would sound like. The grooves are definitely there with eighties synths and plenty of melodies that dance around on the first two singles off the album.
On his latest drop “Rushing The Acid Frat,” Malkmus uses guitars more like rhythmic instruments than their typical purposing. That’s not to say that there’s no actual guitar because there is, as well as traditional beats, but it should immediately solidify any doubt that Malkmus can pull this type of sound off with ease. The horns make for a nice touch as the song definitely has psych rock notes and is a catchy song that’s hard to walk away from with it not stuck in your head.
With the debut single “Viktor Borgia,” Malkmus goes heavy into eighties synths alongside a dark wave vibe. It works. Oh, it works so well. It’s so wonderful in its melodic stride, in how he keeps it all in check without trying for the song to be something it isn’t. It should remind you that Stephen Malkmus is a songwriter first, and the leader of indie rock bands second, as he gives you plenty to adore here.
You can stream the two songs on all streaming sites, you can purchase them in digital outlets or you can pre-order Groove Denied directly from Matador Records before its release on March 15. You can catch Stephen Malkmus on tour May 01 in Toronto, ON, Canada at Great Hall until June 19 in Paris, France at La Gaite Lyrique. A complete list of his tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Robbie Augsperger.