Welcome to Buzzworthy’s “The Week In Pop,” where we round up new album releases, talk show musical guests, and TV performances by your favorite pop stars and more (so you don’t have to).
This week, Daft Punk release their highly anticipated fourth studio album, Random Access Memories, and Thirty Seconds To Mars drop their fourth effort as well, LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS (they hit “Conan” on Wednesday). Meanwhile, The National return with their sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me (catch them tonight on “Late Show With David Letterman” and on Wednesday’s “The Colbert Report”). Additionally, French Montana, The Front Bottoms, New Politics, and Air Dubai release new material, too. On TV, two morning show summer concert series launch on Friday with Mariah Carey performing on “Good Morning America” and fun. taking the stage for “Today.”
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Daft Punk, Random Access Memories: Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, the vocoder-rocking electro duo behind Daft Punk, eschew the EDM mainstream with an awesome exploration of ’70s and ’80s touchstones on their first proper album in eight years. RAM hits the nexus between technology and organic, where synths flirt with warm grooving guitars; robotic voices commingle with emotional lyrics and singing. Guests include disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder (“Giorgio By Moroder”) and Pharrell Williams vocals and Nile Rodgers’ killer funk guitar work is featured on the indelible singles “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself To Dance.” Also check out “Instant Crush” with The Strokes singer Julian Casablancas, “Doin’ It Right” featuring Animal Collective’s Panda Bear, and the space-out euphoria of “Touch” featuring Paul Williams.
+ Thirty Seconds To Mars, LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS: Thirty Seconds To Mars go to great lengths for their fans with their fourth studio album, from playing free shows at churches for their “Church Of Mars” dates to as far as outer space, where they launched the first copy of their single, “Up In The Air.” Their “Conquistador” lyric video looks to the heavens as well, with clouds, thunderstorms, and Aurora Borealis providing the visual backdrop. Jared Leto, his brother Shannon, and Tomo Milicevic do eventually head back to earth, though, for “The Race” lyric video, which plays like an allegory for our animalistic pursuits, with actual wild animal footage.
+ The National, Trouble Will Find Me: On their sixth LP, the Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati group The National enlist guests instrumentalists Sufjan Stevens and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, and vocals from St. Vincent’s Annie Clark and Sharon Van Etten. Check out “Demons,” where singer Matt Berninger’s laconic baritone wistfully confesses: “I am secretly in love with/ Everyone I grew up with.” While the band continues to create moody, paranoid compositions with wry lyrics, there is also some sweetness, such as on the yearning “I Need My Girl.” Also check out upbeat driving rockers “Sea of Love” (which houses the lines from which the album’s title is derived), and the skittering “Don’t Swallow The Cap.”
Check out more new album releases, upcoming TV appearances, and performances after the jump.
+ French Montana, Excuse My French: The Bronx-bred Bad Boy rapper finally sees the release of his debut studio album after numerous successful mixtapes. Among the tracks on the 13-song set are the 2012 summer banger “Pop That” featuring Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil Wayne, the reggae-tinged “Freaks” featuring Nicki Minaj, and the marauding, sexy “Gifted” featuring The Weeknd. The hot fire continues on the deluxe edition, with bonus tracks like “Ocho Cinco” featuring French’s label boss Diddy, MGK, Los, and Red Cafe and “Marble Floors” featuring 2 Chainz as well as familiar faces Rick Ross and Lil Wayne.
+ New Politics, A Bad Girl In Harlem: MTV PUSH alums New Politics return with their sophomore album. Originally from Denmark, the trio now reside in Brooklyn, which may explain some of the city titles found on their 10-song set, such as “Goodbye Copenhagen,” “Berlin,” and the album’s name itself. Check out the clip for the peppy “Harlem,” which features some fly break dancing, and stream the entire album here at MTV Buzzworthy.
+ The Front Bottoms, Talon Of The Hawk: Last we checked in with New Jersey duo The Front Bottoms, they made Buzzworthy’s Most Criminally Overlooked Artists Of 2012 and had released the fun video for “Looking Like You Just Woke Up,” which showcased their eclectic They Might Be Giants-meets-Thermals quirky style. Their sophomore album features a similar vibe, but they also augment their sound with the addition of a synth/trumpet/guitar player and a bassist. Check out the acoustic led “Twin Size Mattress” and the catchy “Skeleton.”
+ Air Dubai, Warning: The Denver group’s debut five-song EP features a genre blend of hip-hop and pop, which is fitting as the band originally began as a hip-hop duo that grew into a full-fledged sextet. Check out their video for the title track “Warning” featuring Patricia Lynn.
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, May 20
“Late Show With David Letterman” — The National
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — The-Dream & Kelly Rowland
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Ahmir
“Last Call With Carson Daly” — Grape St.
“Conan” — The Black Angels
“Live With Kelly And Michael” — “American Idol” winner Candice Glover
“The Voice” — “Live Top 10 performances,” Cee Lo Green will guest mentor. Featuring coaches Adam Levine, Shakira, Blake Shelton, and Usher with advisers Pharrell Williams, Sheryl Crow, Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden, and Hillary Scott.
Tuesday, May 21
“Late Show With David Letterman” — John Fogerty
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Thompson Square
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — J. Cole, PJ Morton
“Last Call With Carson Daly” — Milo Greene
“Live With Kelly And Michael” — Psy, “American Idol” runner-up Kree Harrison
“The Wendy Williams Show” — Ray J, Trace Adkins
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Ed Sheeran
“The Voice” — “Live Eliminations,” Cee Lo Green will guest mentor. Featuring coaches Adam Levine, Shakira, Blake Shelton, and Usher with advisers Pharrell Williams, Sheryl Crow, Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden, and Hillary Scott.
“Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life” — Episode 5 of Ke$ha’s documentary series airs on MTV at 11 p.m. ET.
Wednesday, May 22
“Late Show With David Letterman” — John Fogerty & Dawes
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — The Lone Bellow
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Bobby McFerrin
“Last Call With Carson Daly” — The Coup
“The Colbert Report” — The National
“Conan” — Thirty Seconds To Mars
“Live With Kelly And Michael” — “American Idol” castoff Angie Miller
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Ludacris
“The Wendy Williams Show” — Bret Michaels
Thursday, May 23
“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Shout Out Louds
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Boz Scaggs
“Last Call With Carson Daly” — The Men
“The View” — John Fogerty
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Michael Bolton
Friday, May 24
“Good Morning America” — Mariah Carey
“Today” — fun.
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — They Might Be Giants
“The View” — TobyMac
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Grizzly Bear
Photo credit: Columbia Records