Johnny Marr's latest musical projects comes via an intriguing concept that has paired him up with four indie acts. As part of something called Ray-Ban Raw Sounds, the former Smiths guitarist was asked to provide the bands with five different ideas or objects that would serve as the inspiration for a new song. He got to hunting down various materials that he hoped would tie together his native England, the continent of Europe, and the U.S.
And in the end, Marr provided a poem, a photograph, a piece of a Strum and Drang guitar, a quote from German philosopher Friedrich Schiller, and an old map of Lower Manhattan, N.Y. He then handed them over to Best Coast, Tom Vek, Au Revoir Simone, and Mona. They then all wrote new songs based on the materials, which you listen to right now at SPIN. My favorite? Best Coast's "In Your Sleep."