Steel Phantoms Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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Last month we shared Brooklyn duo Steel Phantom’s garage jam “Curtain Call,” which is off their upcoming self-titled EP coming out July 16. The fellas, Aaron Harris and Jesse Newkirk, recently brewed up a hot ten-track mix tape for us over here at MAGNET. The tape covers the old and new, the hard and soft and, well, Van Halen. Also, if you haven’t heard their track “Matt LeBlanc” yet, it is available for a free download below.

“Matt LeBlanc” (download):

B52’s “Roam”
Aaron: Aren’t they just having a gas in this video? This is one of my favorite summer songs. It makes me feel like I’m in a ’90s movie montage every time I hear it. Perfect for long windows-down summer road trips. Video

Beach House “Wishes”
Aaron: One of the best videos I’ve seen in recent memory. I love that Beach House doesn’t take themselves too seriously. It makes me love them all the more. Video

Holy Ghost! “Wait & See”
Aaron: Another perfect summer jam. And those are their actual dads in the video. Genius. Video

Public Image Ltd. “Rise”
Aaron: I’ve been listening to PiL pretty much non-stop lately, and there’s really no better feeling than blasting this track on my headphones while knocking over European tourists on my way to work in the morning. Video

Santo And Johnny “Sleepwalk”
Aaron: This is the perfect song to play on long, hot summer nights. It’s so lush and comforting while still being totally eerie and beautifully lonely. It’s always been my song of choice for late-night summer sessions. Video

Arcade Fire “I’m Sleeping In A Submarine”
Jesse: One reason I was originally so jazzed to play with Aaron was his connection to Montreal rock. I first got into it via the Arcade Fire EP, which remains my favorite record of theirs. As a music undergrad at the time, I loved how well composed this short piece was, including watery, eerily kitschy dissonant chords, smooth strings contrasted with nasty background vox, stirring cadences and a singer who I swore was Björk. Video

Van Halen “Mean Streets”
Jesse: What my notes sound like is just as important to me as which notes I play. I never thought I’d like Van Halen ’till I got into guitar tone in high school, and then became obsessed with Eddie’s “brown sound.” Every pluck, every sustain, every accent is so rich! Like him, I grew up with a strong sense of synesthesia between musical timbres/textures and visual colors, but to me, Eddie’s sound is more like fiery orange. Video

New Order “Love Vigilantes”
Jesse: In addition to filling San Diego’s airwaves and my memories, this song is a great example of the kind of chorused, slightly driven, reverberated guitar I’m always going for. Sumner’s sound here, and with Joy Division is a prime ingredient for Steel Phantoms. Plus I sing these lyrics in my head constantly. Video

Oingo Boingo “Dead Man’s Party”
Jesse: Danny Elfman is a natural-born genius, a pinnacle of talent. No music school needed, yet he’s still given us film and TV scores that will last forever, scores that made avant-garde melodic intervals into the sound of excitement and adventure for virgin ears like mine circa 1989. And his voice, along with every other element of Oingo Boingo, will always be definitive of 1980s Southern California alternative rock. Video (But you gotta go buy the record to hear the full version.)

PJ Harvey “Written On The Forehead”
Jesse: My favorite song from one of my favorite new albums in years. The layers of violet-blue guitars and verb look like land and water flowing through a Renoir. And when the chords turn at the first singing of “Date palms and orange and tangerine trees,” my whole body is wrenched as though I’ve reached the final climax of a great film—or symphony. Then I’ve got two solid minutes of bittersweet heaven to follow before the song is up. This song really gets to me for some reason. Video