By Eric Gasa
Weezer – Pacific Daydream
Weezer are back with a follow up to last year’s White Album. Pacific Daydream, their 11th record, is due out October 27 with an extensive summer tour heading far into 2018. Originally suspected to be the long awaited Black Album, Pacific Daydream came to be as the songwriting process shifted from darker elements to “reveries from a beach at the end of the world,” according to a press release.
Pacific Dream’s first single, “Feels Like Summer” trades the pop-punk guitars for a bouncy electronic pop beat ala Imagine Dragons or 21 Pilots. Frontman Rivers Cuomo shouts about youthful insecurities despite being 47 years old but still sings like he’s 24 again. It’s a far cry from 90’s classics like “Sweater Song” and “Buddy Holly” but “Feels Like Summer” is sure to be heard blasting at a beach somewhere.
The more traditional “Mexican Fender” finds the band doing what they do best; singing about girls, guitars, and nerdy idiosyncrasies. Fitting to the title, Pacific Daydream is still stepped in Weezer’s signature sunbaked, California style. Check the charming video for “Mexican Fender” starring a lovesick seagull.
Robert Plant – Carry Fire
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant delves into his love for blues and acoustic guitars on his newest single, “The May Queen”. The song is the first from his forthcoming record, Carry Fire, which is due out October 13 via Nonesuch Records. On “The May Queen” the fiery singer takes a break from the heavy rhythms to deliver a softer, sweeter slice of his songwriting. Think more “Stairway to Heaven” or “Going To California” than “When The Levee Breaks” or “Immigrant Song”.
Some Zeppelin fans will notice the sly “Stairway to Heaven” reference in “The May Queen” but this song could not be more different from his original work. Regarding the recording process, Plant says that he prefers “mixing old with new”.
“The May Queen” is especially unique wherein we see Plant take a twangier approach reminiscent of Paul Simon and acoustic world music. Country-style fiddles permeate the song alongside slide guitars and a choir. If “The May Queen” is a primer to Carry Fire then fans should expect a warmer side of the former frontman.
“Out here the fire’s still burning so long into my night,” Plant sings, “Still captive and still yearning/Surrender to your light.”