Kathryn Calder – New Millenium (Stream)

kathryn calder
Photograph by Rachel Anastasia

Every once in a while there’s a song that comes along that blow the hinges off what we’ve come to expect from an artist based on their previous body of work. Traditionally, my favorite songs to fall into this category have fallen into a scuzzy mode of ferocious, tattered punk-leaning offerings. Death Grips unleashed one earlier this year in the towering “On GP” and St. Vincent wound up with two of the best songs in her discography when she went this route for her incendiary 2012 Record Store Day 7″, Krokodil b/w Grot. Now, solo artist and long-time New Pornographer Kathryn Calder is joining their ranks with the unlikely, bristling “New Millennium”.

Earlier this year, Calder released a lovely, underrated self-titled effort that almost exclusively consisted of pensive indie pop gems. The few times Calder let loose on that record- as was the case on “Take A Little Time“- injected it with a necessary shot of adrenaline that was key to establishing a sense of naturalism in its pacing. Yet even those songs couldn’t have been sufficient preparation for the onslaught of “New Millennium”, which falls closer to the likes of White Reaper than anyone could have possibly predicted.

Leaning on an incredibly informed pop sensibility and amplifying her punk tendencies to their absolute maximum, Calder throws every ounce of energy she’s got into “New Millennium”, which coasts by on fuzz and bursts of synths in a colorful chorus figure. This isn’t just the most immediate song of Calder’s career, it’s also one of the most accessible. Coasting on a sunny melody while diving headfirst into previously unseen grit, Calder’s landed on something that’s nothing short of exhilarating.

While “New Millennium” closes out near the three minute mark, it feels like half of that time’s elapsed when it fades out. Blistering guitar solos, a sunny disposition that recalls La Sera’s excellent Hour of the Dawn, and a wealth of hooks all combine to make “New Millennium” an unlikely candidate for the summer’s best basement pop song. Sharp, lively, and more than a little serrated, this is a song that doesn’t just demand attention, it’s one that deserves it. Don’t make the mistake of letting it go unnoticed.

Listen to “New Millennium” below, hope against hope it finds a physical release, and purchase it from File Under: Music’s bandcamp.