Freak Heat Waves prep new LP, tell us about what they’ve been listening to in lockdown
Canadian post-punk duo Freak Heat Waves will release their fourth album, Zap the Planet, on September 7 via Telephone Explosion. Like on 2018's Beyond XXXL, Thomas Di Ninno and Steven Lind mix classic post-punk signifiers -- goth, dub, industrial, "angular" guitars -- with hip hop and other modern sounds. You can get a taste from new single "Let it Go," which manages to be both pitch black and tropical at the same time. Listen to that below.
We've been asking bands what they've been listening to during pandemic lockdown and Thomas and Steve and each given us five albums: Thomas's picks are more on the vintage side, with Steve's choices being more recent like Freddie Gibbs and Cindy Lee. Check out their picks, complete with commentary, below.
FREAK HEAT WAVES - WHAT WE'VE BEEN LISTENING TO DURING LOCKDOWN
Nina Simone - Nuff Said!
It was actually an episode of Radiolab produced by Tracie Hunte that hipped me to this album. Half the record was recorded live at the Westbury Music Fair, April 7, 1968, just three days after the death of Martin Luther King. It's a pretty heavy listen and I often find myself tearing up and fully goosebumped at moments during Nina's performance. I just can't stop listening to it. Goddam Nina Simone is truly one of the greatest artists of all time. Flawless. DAM, and her band! WTF!
Curtis Mayfield - There's No Place Like America Today
I'm a massive Curtis Mayfield fan and every time find myself digging back into his catalogue I seem to emerge with a new appreciation for an album that I thought I had exhausted and played to death. This time I got heavily back into There's No Place Like America Today! This album delivers on every level!
Curtis Mayfield and The Staple Singers - Let's Do it Again
At some point during quarantine Steve linked me to an album called Claudine, a soundtrack penned and produced by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight and The Pips. The album blew me away, and as a bonus I realized that this was just one of three soundtracks that Curtis Mayfield had wrote and produced between 74 and 76 alongside Sparkle with Aretha Franklin and Let's Do it Again with The Staple Singers. I've listened to all three records a lot over the past few months but Let's Do it Again seems to be my personal favourite.
Pat Kelly - Pat Kelly Meets King Tubby and the Aggrovators
This album is an hour and a half of solid gold. Consisting entirely of covers ranging from The Bee Gees to Wilson Pickett. I'm a sucker for covers, especially when sung by someone as soulful and sweet as Pat Kelly. The Aggrovators are such a killer band, and all their instrumentation and arrangements on this album are so fresh. Standout tracks include a wild version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" that sounds more akin to "A Whiter Shade of Pale," and a borderline disco version of Joni Mitchell's "From Both Sides."
Bobbie Gentry - The Delta Sweete
I really dig all of Bobbie Gentry's albums, lately I've been spending a lot of time with this one in particular! It's a pretty beautiful listen front to back and features some of Gentry's most imaginative and distinctive songwriting. If you're a sucker for Soft Psych and Country like I am then you're probably going to be about this.
Freddie Gibbs - Alfredo
It came as no surprise that this Freddie Gibbs / Alchemist team-up is a great one. Freddy drops some timely quarantine Netflix references to Tiger King and The Last Dance. I keep coming back to this one since it first dropped in May.
Marianne Faithfull - Rich Kid Blues
Recorded in 1971 but not released until 1985 this record is a collection of covers. The song selection is great and without exception her renditions give the original versions a run for their money.
Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty
After watching Beastie Boys Story during quarantine I went back and checked out the deluxe version of Hello Nasty. The remastered record comes with over an hour of bonus material. This record is all over the place stylistically, party jams, funny raps, heady stoner tracks, deep introspective cuts, it's such a wild and fun collection of music and really a one of a kind record.
Black Noi$e - Illusions
This is modern Detroit hip hop techno at its freakiest. Black Noi$e delivers a pretty heady record that I kept finding myself coming back to in order to unravel the many layers and dive deeper into it. Dark dystopian vibes with track titles like "Jumping Off a Building" and "Pandemic."
Cindy Lee - Cat O Nine Tails
Cindy Lee quickly followed up Whats Tonight To Eternity with a second less spotlighted 2020 release. Cat O Nine Tails unlocks another level and shows that Pat will continue to do things his own way and is showing no sign of slowing down. A somewhat limited release, 50 vinyl private press? For some reason the album can be only be streamed from Pat's Realistik geocities website.....
Zap The Planet tracklist:
1. Off Axis: 2:54
2. Busted: 4:48
3. I’m Zapped: 4:16
4. Dripping Visions: 5:24
5. Something Fresh: 3:44
6: Let It Go: 3:02
7. In Your Realm: 3:12
8. Nothing Lasts Forever: 4:14