Music we like: Justice, Vampire Weekend & more

Spring forward with this KHOL playlist of new songs that will get you moving and grooving.

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Music, New Music, Sounds of Now

Spring is nearly in the air! With all the late-season snow here in Jackson it’s easy to forget winter’s end is in sight. With about a month left of winter feels, March is a great time to pause, take a breath, and dig into some of the great new music that’s been pouring into KHOL since the beginning of the year to help propel you to the finish line. 

We have a strong focus on music discovery here at KHOL and there are a lot of exciting releases already available or coming soon. We’ve got a bunch of them for you to enjoy in our new “Top Tracks of 2024” Spotify playlist.

Below you’ll find the entire playlist along with my thoughts on a few standouts.  



Follow us on Spotify to keep up with our recent favorites.

Justice – One Night/All Night feat. Kevin Parker

When two impressive creative forces come together the results are typically lukewarm or scalding hot. Thankfully we are treated to the latter on the new Justice track “One Night/All Night” featuring Kevin Parker, the musical mastermind behind Australian psych-pop-rock band Tame Impala. The French duo Justice, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay, has been announced as a topline performer at this year’s Coachella Music Festival and “One Night/All Night” serves as the lead single to their upcoming LP “Hyperdrama,” their first studio album since 2016. 

Teaming up with Parker is a match made in heaven as the pounding bass line and swirling synths of Justice’s disco-house production complement Parker’s psychedelic electric falsetto perfectly. 

“We wanted this track to sound as if a dark/techno iteration of Justice had found a sample of a disco iteration of Kevin Parker,” Justice’s Gaspard Augé said in a press release. 

“This song oscillates between pure electronic music and pure disco but you never really get the two at the same time. This very idea of switching instantly from a genre to another within a song runs through the whole record, and is maybe showcased the clearest in ‘One Night/All Night.’” 

Vampire Weekend – “Capricorn” b/w “Gen-X Cops”

In advance of their first album in almost five years, indie-rock darlings Vampire Weekend have released two singles from the forthcoming “Only God Was Above Us.” The album is said to be inspired by 20th-century New York but was also recorded in Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo. 

“Capricorn” and “Gen-X Cops” are distinctly different sonic offerings that inherently feel like pieces of the same whole. 

“This record, as most of our records do, took a while to make but that’s because we like to take time off in between and think about what we’re doing,” frontman Ezra Koenig told BBC6. “It’s definitely getting into some new territory for us, it feels like Vampire Weekend but you’re hearing some tones and some vibes that we’ve never really explored. It’s been a lot of fun mixing some new sounds in.”

“Capricorn” begins with an unorthodox rhythm and Koenig’s ethereal and introspective lyrics that ponder life’s purpose in a world that’s constantly changing. The chorus then bursts the song open with a whirlpool of distorted guitars, orchestral elements and kinetic drum fills. “Gen-X Cops,” named for Benny Chan’s 1999 Hong Kong action crime comedy, kicks off with a punk-inspired frantic guitar line that eventually rides atop a hyperactive beat concluding in an anthemic refrain of “Each generation makes its own apology.”

Both songs are accompanied by retro-style videos built around vintage footage of New York circa 1988 by “Only God Was Above Us” album art photographer Steven Siegel

The new album seems like it will be worth the wait. 

Mildlife – Musica

Melbourne, Australia’s Mildlife is a four-piece with no designated leader, only a unified theory of groove. Their third album, “Chorus,” is a sonic love letter to the band’s infatuation with 70s psychedelic and cosmic sounds. It features a cornucopia of warm bass lines, radiant guitar riffs, enticing vocals, spiritual rhythms and percussive tapestries.

“Chorus is about a coming together of disparate elements. Not in some sort of utopian aesthetic where everything works perfectly, but in the natural flow and state of things,” said drummer Jim Rindfleish in a press release. “It’s about cosmic compatibility and chemistry: what makes things work? Not just what makes the band work, but what makes good music, art or love? It’s the rhythm of nature.” 

At each of Mildlife’s shows, the band dedicates ample space in its encores for extended improvisational jams which led directly to the new album’s nucleus, “Musica.” For guitarist Adam Halliwell, the track was especially significant as his Italian heritage became a large part of the song’s DNA. 

“When my nona passed away, I realized I didn’t really know anything about my culture. “Musica” started with ‘mi da la carica’, which means ‘gives me energy’. Some of the lyrics were written in Italian and then translated back to English a bit askew – almost like writing a song for Eurovision where the lyrics are not quite right,” Halliwell said in a press release by their record label Heavenly Recordings.

Yard Act – Dream Job

Following their much-lauded debut “The Overload,” Leeds-based four-piece Yard Act ​​has spent the past two years traveling the world and racking up scores of critical acclaim along the way. The band’s new effort, “Where’s My Utopia?,” was written in between dates on that massive tour. And although physically demanding, the process of piecing things together turned out to be a joyous one for the band that comes through in the playful nature of the songs. 

Whereas “The Overload” was written by frontman James Smith and bassist Ryan Needham in their pandemic-influenced separate quarters, “Where’s My Utopia?” is a communal four-way effort built on comedy, chemistry and the trust to challenge and push each other creatively.  “Musically it still pretty much always starts with us trying to make each other laugh,” Smith said in a press release from the public relations firm Boogie Drugstore.

The track “Dream Job” is a fitting example of the themes explored in “Where’s My Utopia?” Its sauntering bassline, soaring guitar, and funk-pop production are a contradictory backdrop for Smith’s biting lyrics lamenting the necessary evils he says are spread across the music industry, while also scrutinizing himself for being ungrateful following the band’s tremendous success.

Lime Garden – Mother

Brighton, England indie-pop rock quartet, Lime Garden, takes us on a coming-of-age journey into womanhood on their debut album “One More Thing.” The four female band members are best friends which leads to the album exuding a strong familial connection. 

“I think because we’re so close it creates a very open environment to make music where we can say whatever we want, and we won’t be judged for it,” drummer Annabelle Whittle said in a press release from their record label So Young

That freedom to express themselves is evident in the collection of well-crafted and edgy songs raging against the mundane realities of a 9-to-5 lifestyle with a light, hopeful and sarcastic tone.

The track “Mother” was born from a conversation between lead singer Chloe Howard and her mom. It deals with that poignant life moment where one realizes their parents are not these God-like figures able to offer sage advice at the drop of a hat. The song kicks off with a plucky, playful bass line that compliments Howard’s thoughtful lyricism and guitarist Leila Deeley’s screeching, angular riff. “Mother” then soars into a larger-than-life chorus full of regret and giving up what you once were.

Orgōne – Parasols

Los Angeles-based Orgōne has been a staple of West Coast soul music for more than a decade. The group’s intensity, playing style, and undeniable chemistry have them considered to be one of the tightest outfits in the modern funk genre. Their latest album, “Chimera,” takes its name from a mythical beast with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent. The title suits the album’s contents as it’s a tantalizing combination of infectious grooves, heady dance rhythms and diverse vocal performances. 

“The album really took form organically,” Orgōne co-founder Sergio Rios has said. “It’s raw and dark with a hopeful thread throughout that’s highlighted by the incredible soul singers we work with. There’s a looseness to most of the cuts, giving the album the feeling of a shadowy dream.”

The New Orleans-inspired jam “Parasols,” stands out with a melodic gospel-tinged organ leading the way on a punchy, drunken rhythm that’s reminiscent of legendary group The Meters band’s early 70’s period. A great slice of funk to compliment the warmer days ahead.

Listen to KHOL’s Top Tracks of 2024 playlist on the embedded Spotify player above.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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