Single Drop: The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Shania Twain & Much More

Welcome to another edition of Single Drop! This is a huge week for single releases and album announcements, with new tracks from The Killers to Rostam to Coldplay. Shania Twain has also dropped a new single, giving a taste of what’s to come from her upcoming album “Now”her first album release in 15 years. Keep reading to see what we loved, what we didn’t, and what is sure to become a summer hit. 

The Killers – “The Man”
By Michelle Guthrie

2012’s Battleborn was the last full-length album fans had heard from explosive alternative rock band The Killers (this does not include the band’s 2016 Christmas album Don’t Waste your Wishes). Now the Las Vegas natives are back with the disco-infused single “The Man,” followed with the announcement of a new album Wonderful, Wonderful, which will be released later this year.
“The Man” is a sensational, anthemic, and positively nostalgic track that brings fans back to the core of what makes the Killers so great. It’s a reflection of where they’ve come from as one of the most versatile and successful alternative rock bands of the early 2000s, and how they’ll continue to produce incredibly full-bodied alternative pop anthems. It’s quite different from the moodier vibes that lead singer Brandon Flowers was producing on his solo albums that he released in between Killers projects. Flowers is the man with the plan to launch the Killers towards a bright future.

Coldplay – “All I Can Think About is You”
By Heather Gunn

Coldplay is readying their upcoming Kaleidoscope EP, with the release of a new single, “All I Can Think About is You.” This is a bit of a return to form for Coldplay, who in recent years have strayed from their classic sound in favour of more experimental melodies and EDM influences. After A Head Full of Dreams, an album that did so-so for the band chart-wise, they seem to be taking a step back to the sound that was successful for them in their earlier years.

While still playing off of the aesthetic for A Head Full of Dreams, this EP may be going in a different direction as far as lyrical content and influence. “All I Can Think About is You” gives off strong similarities from songs found on Coldplay’s early albums such as Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. It’s the kind of song that has a slow groove and builds up seamlessly to a whirlwind, anthemic, gleaming trackmuch like the iconic hits “Clocks” and “Speed of Sound.” While it does sound like their older material, it’s not completely distant from what they’ve been working on and perfecting recently. It is a stunning combination of every era they have done thus far. If Coldplay are to make another album in the future, staying on this nostalgic kick is the way to go.

Imagine Dragons – “Walking the Wire”
By Caleb Fox

In anticipation of their third studio album Evolve’s release next Friday, Imagine Dragons have released one final single online. “Walking the Wire” is the kind of song that seems to have been written with stadium play in mind. Though it’s the slowest of the songs released from the upcoming album, it feels big and anthemic, with harmonious vocals in an instantly memorable chorus.

The music builds up throughout the track, and the chorus feels more powerful each time it’s reprised. By the time the single has worked up to its finish, it’s impossible not to imagine yourself belting out refrains of “look out down below” along with frontman Dan Reynolds at a live show during the upcoming tour. After four excellent tracks already released, Evolve looks to be another success from Imagine Dragons.

Shania Twain – “Life’s About to Get Good”
By Heather Gunn

The Canadian country music legend is finally, after 15 years, releasing a new album this September. The lead single, “Life’s About to Get Good,” is a song that sees Shania freeing herself from a bad relationship or a hard time in her life, and looking forward to what life will bring. It’s a fun, sing-a-long worthy track that had the whole crowd dancing when she performed it on the Today show this week. The song isn’t her best, but it is a great positive sound with Shania’s signature uplifting message and sassy twang. The single has a great build, and an overall modern country sound, but there are hints of the ’90’s country flair that Shania perfected.

Her last released single, “Today Is Your Day,” which came out in 2011, was allegedly going to be followed by an album, but after Shania’s continued issues with her vocal chords, that never ended up happening. The release of her upcoming album is hugely anticipated and will likely see massive success for the singer.

I saw Shania both during her Vegas residency a few years back, as well as on her North American tour that followed. She was outstanding during both, singing all of her hits and engaging the crowdeven taking some selfies in the aisle ways. Hopefully she incorporates her new material into a show with the hits, and takes the new record on the road in 2018.

Rostam – “Bike Dream”
By Michelle Guthrie

Former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij has been kicking up a storm of incredible music since leaving the New York-based band he helped found. In March of 2016, he released solo track “Gravity Don’t Pull Me,” followed with four other singles throughout the year: “Gwan,” “EOS,” “Don’t Let It Get To You,” and “Wood.” He also collaborated with Hamilton Leithauser on I Had a Dream that you were Mine, which contained the explosively passionate single “A 1000 Times.”

This week Rostam released a new solo track called “Bike Dream,” accompanied with an announcement that his debut album Half-Light at long last will be out on Sept. 8. “Bike Dream” is reminiscent of Vampire Weekend at its very core and beat. Rostam’s vocals sound gritted and frantic to the staccato of the beat. It has fluttery lyrics that are grounded by heavy drum beats, and come off as a quick streamline of thought. Fans of Vampire Weekend are sure to enjoy this track, as well as everything that Rostam has created thus far.

Hedley – “Love Again”
By Heather Gunn
Ever evolving Canadian pop-rock group Hedley has released “Love Again,” a single that leans more towards generic electronic pop than anything remotely rock. This song will be a huge disappointment for fans looking for that distinct, original Hedley sound (though, that has changed quite a bit over the years). It’s a mid-tempo, heavily electronic song that goes nowhere as far as the melody, with lead Singer Jacob Hoggard restraining his usually quirky vocal persona. In all honestly, this track could have been a song Maroon 5 passed up, which is saying something since Maroon 5 hasn’t released anything revolutionary for the past couple years.
On the bright side, this is sure to do decently well on pop radio because of its chill (*cough* boring and repetitive) vibe that sounds similar to other hits that are currently on rotation. It’s almost jarring to hear how much this band has strayed from their original sound off of their first record, which had immense promise in cementing the band as future rock and roll heavyweights. While the band’s music has gotten increasingly pop-focused as their career has gone on, this new single is so mainstream and dare I say “sell-out”-ish that they have really nowhere else to go – other than back to their roots of course, if they ever find their way back to that place.

Arcade Fire – “Creature Comfort”
By Caleb Fox

This is the second single released off of Arcade Fire’s upcoming album Everything Now in as many weeks, and the track is something of a mixed bag. It starts off with a heavy focus on electronic elements, and establishes a catchy, upbeat melody that has a nice groove to it. It’s the kind of sound that one would expect from the Canadian alt-rockers.

But once the lyrics kick in, the song takes a much different, and darker, turn than expected: “Some boys hate themselves / spend their lives resenting their fathers / Some girls hate their bodies / stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback / Saying ‘god, make me famous / if you can’t, just make it painless.’”

Vocalist Win Butler goes on to sing about even darker themes such as suicide and self-harm. Of course, this isn’t the first time that dark and serious lyrics have been set to upbeat and bright music before; it happens frequently. But whether or not it’s effective here remains to be seen. On one hand, the songs very enjoyable and a lot of fun to listen to. On the other hand, the contrast between the lyrics might be a bit too extreme, causing the serious themes to get kind of lost in the music. Then again, maybe it’s just a song that will catch you off guard.

One thing’s for sure though, Arcade Fire has never subscribed to conventional songwriting, and likewise have never been afraid to experiment with their sound. We’re eagerly waiting to hear what they’ll do next.

Macklemore – “Glorious” feat. Skylar Grey
by Heather Gunn

In a lengthy Facebook post this week, Macklemore wrote an insightful and honest note to fans where he announced that he and Ryan Lewis are taking a break from making music together. Macklemore’s upcoming album will be solo, and “Glorious” is the lead single.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ last release didn’t see nearly as much success as their smash hit record The Heist (2012), so their decision to step back and make solo material may be a good move for them right now.  Macklemore also has a young daughter who he raising along with his wife Tricia, so this break from heavy touring with Lewis is probably to focus more on his family. On “Glorious,” his first solo single since “Wednesday Morning” (a poignant, jarring song about the day after the US Presidential Election), Macklemore is reflecting on his career and the difficult times he’s struggled through. He’s coming to realize that his place in life right now is just as the title suggests: glorious. His flow on this track is effortless as usual, and Skylar Grey brings the chorus to life with her wide-ranging vocals.

 

 

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