Nic Harcourt’s Best New Music: Chicano Batman + More


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It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and legendary L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment. Below, he shares his newest picks added to his Spark Radio playlist and shares a spotlight on his favorite earworm of the week.

New adds this week:
Lady Wray: Games People Play
Chicano Batman: Dark Star
Big Red Machine, Taylor Swift: Renegade


LA’s Chicano Batman returns with a new single “Dark Star” and its B-side “Pastel Sunrise”, the band’s first new music since their breakthrough 2020 album Invisible People. The group’s frontman Bardo Martinez said in a press release that “The music came together in John Hill’s studio where the band met up, and we immediately started riffing on ideas, Eduardo and I were talking about J Dilla, the bassline came, the usual chords popped up, melodies and song construction became the focal point once the groove was established. Gabo laid down that steady 16-note high hat magic with that classic yet always wonderfully crafted beat. Carlos was busy on the wurli crafting a vibe that eventually became the bed for the chorus. The track came together super organically, while John whipped up the nasty sounds.

“The hardness of the track lended itself to a more ominous meaning,” he adds. “The lyrics are multidimensional, in America there are so many layers of trauma that we all have to deal with that seep into our everyday behavior and attitudes towards each other. Genocide and slavery are embedded within the DNA of American culture and the social strife gripping America today exemplifies this. ‘Dark Star’ is about an honest feeling that seeks to break the status quo, tear down the physical and mental walls that hold us back from simply being ourselves.”

The song comes with a video directed by Anders Ericsson. The band’s guitarist/keyboardist Carlos Arévalo:I suggested Anders to direct the ‘Dark Star’ music video after enjoying his surreal direction for a Deerhoof music video,” says. “I liked the perceived subjective nature of his work and how the visuals could stand on their own without the music if it was taken away. His playful and beautifully strange style immediately compelled me to look him up on social media because I was convinced he should direct our next video. Thankfully, he was game and the results are a piece in which he summarizes as: ‘Everybody feels lonely, squished by the world. Always compromised by big forces above us. How/Where to connect with others? When to leave your silo?’”