Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks are among the latest to combine their indie rock pedigrees as the indie rock supergroup Divine Fits. As the trio prepares to step out with its Merge Records debut, the polished, synth-laced a Thing Called Divine Fits, we have to ask: What, exactly, is this thing called Divine Fits? Hive explored each member’s respective body of work to find out. Queue up this Spotify playlist and find out about the trio’s essential, pre-Fits songs.
New Bomb Turks
Although Columbus, Ohio’s New Bomb Turks had an extensive catalog before drummer Sam Brown joined in 1999, this blistering cut from 2000’s Nightmare Scenario finds the renewed lineup with its foot on the gas full speed. This is punk rock revved-up and ready to run you over. Watch out.
This classic Wire song was given the Turks’ grungy stamp of approval on album Destroy-Oh-Boy! The group turns classic punk into pure metal sleaze — “You can take your fuckin’ money and shove it up your ass!” never sounded so deliciously defiant.
There’s a slight studio sheen to the Turks’ 1996 Epitaph debut, Scared Straight, as evidenced by the tuneful refrain of “Jukebox Lean.” The grit and grime are still there, though, as singer Eric Davidson snarls about what to do with his hand full of change.
There are hints of early Rolling Stones swagger splattered all over New Bomb Turks’ 1998 LP A Rope’s End. On album standout “Defiled,” messy bursts of brass highlight this sexy, adrenaline-fueled rocker.
“Everything Hits at Once”
Austin, Texas heavyweights Spoon have been the poster boys for digestible college rock for nearly a decade. An early standout from the group’s 2001 album Girls Can Tell, “Everything Hits At Once” creeps along with a particularly mellow groove, as singer/guitarist Britt Daniel employs his best raspy vocals.
“The Way We Get By”
This is Spoon at its most standard, which is, fortunately, a good thing. A catchy-as-hell piano-led ditty that helped put the group on the map with its breakthrough 2002 effort, Kill the Moonlight.
“Don’t You Evah”
The creative spelling in the song title can only mean one thing – attitude. Spoon gets funky on this bass-heavy, maracas-shaking number from the album Ga Ga Ga Ga. Try not to tap your feet.
“Quincy Punk Episode”
A kicked-up tempo, scrawling guitars and Daniels’ feedback-drenched vocals prove the group could rock it in the band’s early days (1998’s A Series of Sneaks), yet hand claps in the background make this signature Spoon.
“Shine a Light”
Wolf Parade’s debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, put on full display the talents of Canadian songwriters Dan Boeckner (also of Handsome Furs, Atlas Strategic) and Spencer Krug (Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown). “Shine a Light” serves as Boeckner’s standout contribution to the set — a chugging, steady rocker that’s an instantly memorable introduction to his work.
“Language City” is an exercise in varied keyboard and synth production, as tempos vary and crescendos build to make this album highlight off Wolf Parade’s sophomore effort, At Mount Zoomer. Another of Boeckner’s shining moments.
Wolf Parade gets edgy. Electrified, gritty guitar lines and punctuated keyboard notes find the group exploring darker territory with “Ghost Pressure.”
“Semi-Precious Stone” was one of two new songs Wolf Parade released after the group’s last full-length, 2010’s Expo 86. The song is an example of where the band, now on semi-permanent hiatus, was headed — a deeper, expansive track mining a more rock-oriented territory that the band, sadly, may not visit again.
Another of Boeckner’s musical projects was the now-defunct electronic band Handsome Furs, formed alongside wife Alexei Perry. As steady as it is disorienting, “Damaged,” off the group’s third and final album, Sound Kapital, finds the pair frantically tearing up the dance floor at a heart-racing speed.
Divine Fits’ A Thing Called Divine Fits is out 8/28 via Merge. Stream the album at NPR.