One of the many, many records I'll have to go back and listen to again before it comes time for all the regular year-end madness is Wolf Parade's Expo 86. At the time of its release, I was struck with the fear that each of the main songwriters, Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, had started holding onto their best songs for use in their side projects, Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, respectively. I've heard it a few times in passing over the past few months, though, and I've been caught off guard by how much I like it.
As it turns out, I'm also quite fond of the two new songs they released out of pretty much nowhere via iTunes yesterday. From Krug, we get "Semi-Precious Stone," a typically unsettling, darkly danceable track with a defiant, near fist-pumping refrain of "This is the sound I choose to make." Boeckner's contribution, "Agents of Love," is a considerably higher-energy affair than much of Expo, a propulsive romp with snaking synth lines and, given all the different elements at play, a surprising amount of negative space.
Both of these songs were reportedly recorded for the album, but then left off. If they're any indication, we should all cross our fingers for an album of outtakes. Or we could just get on the subway and then the PATH and then maybe a bus and a boat and a helicopter and go see them tonight at Welmont Theatre, in hopes that they'll play even more new stuff. Staying home and crossing your fingers will also work just fine, though, honest.