Earlier this year, T-Pain said he used Auto-Tune to sound different way back in the mid-2000s, not because he couldn’t sing. Dude was telling the truth. His live rendition of the National Anthem is utterly soulful. When you’ve come down off that musical high, charge right into the new album by Alabama Shakes’ frontwoman, a soundtrack of previously unreleased Elliott Smith songs, SpongeBob Squarepants‘ star-studded musical contributors, a live Animal Collective LP, music icons stepping behind the fashion lens, and new singles from Bikini Kill and Battles. Now let’s go listen!
When T-Pain steps onto a baseball mound to sing the National Anthem, few people expect a bold, warm, crystal clear voice to come belting out. The folks at the Dodgers stadium certainly didn’t. If you’ve seen his NPR Tiny Desk concert, then maybe it isn’t such a surprise that T-Pain delivered an original performance full of interesting pitch choices at this August 31 baseball game. We’re not saying it’s certain, but he may or may not have had a hand in their win that evening. [Vulture]
If we’re being honest, the best part about Alabama Shakes‘ music is the intensity of frontwoman Brittany Howard’s screams. Now the powerhouse is making an album on her own. Dawning the ridiculously epic moniker Thunderbitch (!), Howard is dropping a 10-song self-titled LP that you can stream right now. If you want to hear it blasting from your car speakers, snag a physical copy here and let the thunder roar.
Earlier this year, an intimate Elliott Smith documentary titled Heaven Adores You screened in select theaters. The film, which observes Smith from his childhood up until events after his death, featured an endless pile of rare footage and previously unreleased Smith music. Turns out the film’s soundtrack will be out later this year with some of those songs included. According to the film’s producer, Kevin Moyer, only four or five songs of the 20-track disc will be previously released songs. Talk about a rare find. [Pitchfork]
That SpongeBob Squarepants musical that’s in the works got way, way, way better (as if the idea alone wasn’t already heavenly). Tony-winning composer Tom Kitt is providing music supervision for the play, and he’s got quite a group of contributors in his hands for molding. David Bowie, The Flaming Lips, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, and T.I are all providing music. How that’s not an April Fools Day trick is beyond us. [Nerdist]
New Animal Collective music comes out this Friday, but it’s not the material we told you they were recently in the studio recording. This album, Live at 9:30, is made entirely of live audio from their June 12th, 2013 show in Washington, DC. If you order a physical copy, it will be a limited edition hand-numbered triple LP box set.
Kanye West isn’t the only fashion-conscious musician out there today. Grimes, the Weeknd, Haim, Lykke Li, Alice Glass, A$AP Rocky, and more have all signed on to promote Alexander Wang’s new fashion line–a joint campaign with Do Something. The line of T-shirts and hoodies aim to push younger generations towards social change. The photos, a compilation of intense black and white shots, were done by Steven Klein. [Pitchfork]
We already know Bikini Kill is releasing their 1991 demo tape Revolution Girl Style Now on September 22. What we didn’t know was how punchy previously unreleased track “Ocean Song” would be–though we could have guessed. The slow rolling number is self-described as a “freak feminist anomaly” by Kathleen Hanna, who also notes her inspiration from SafePlace shelter stories about sexual abuse and domestic violence in the song.
In two weeks, experimental math rock trio Battles will drop their highly anticipated third LP, La Di Da Di. We’ve already heard “The Yabba”, a wonky opening number, and now get to check out “FF Bada”, an equally puzzling dance track that scrapes up tropical notes with a focused fury. Give it a listen above. [Stereogum]
Swing back around on Friday for another Music Dispatch. We will catch you up on today’s best music news!