Hanz – “Count”

Experimental dance vibes aplenty in the new single from the previously mentioned, Hanz.

Beginning with an introduction that sounds like a sample grabbed from Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, and continuing into a deep, eerie synth groove that Hanz adds and takes samples away just as quickly. It’s as if he wants to just tease various ways the song into a full electronic dance jam. Instead the dark vibe continues steady while these flashes of drums, vocals, and layers add atmosphere rather than full on evolution. Then there is sudden change where the base layer of the song changing to a more drum rattling variation. All new samples continue to have elements a song with brimming over the top with layers, instead there are only flashes of these and taking them away adds an extra emphasis on the stripped down nature on “Count.”

The Felice Brothers – “Cherry Licorice”

Summer is near and the latest single from folk/country band The Felice Brothers has it coming a little nearer with ‘Cherry Licorice”.

Accompanied by some twangy vocals akin to Bob Dylan at closest example. The real stars of the tracks are the fun loving vibes that are altogether silly and full feelings of young love of life. The Felice Brothers deliver on a distinct feeling of a band you’d want to see live on an outdoor band stand on a brutally hot day their music acting like a cool breeze. For all the happy feelings the song brings, the lyrics bring an unsuspecting dark edge talking of the roughness of the past; the message really comes down to wanting only the sweet things in life like cherry licorice.

Swans – “Oxygen”

“Oxygen” is the second single to drop from Swan’s latest epic To Be Kind (after last month’s stellar, staggeringly funky “A Little God in My Hands”), and it is among the fiercest and most thrilling moments of its two-hour-plus runtime. It is certainly the most thoroughly noisy piece on the project, built on an unwavering no-wave bass groove and skittering drum line – guitars, lap steel, and finally brass falls piling on, amounting to something paradoxically crushing and danceable.

But the icing on the (dense, dense) cake is frontman Michael Gira’s vocals, which are at their most manic here, ranging from caveman-esque grunts on the bridge to a nasally call progressing into the second verse – “HEY THEEEEERRE.” It’s all just so cathartic; as a listener, you get release just from hearing these guys belt this thing out. It’s a sort of vicarious thrill that Swans has pretty consistently provided over the course of its now three-decade-long career.

And there’s also something to be said of the excitement this song manages to inspire despite the fact it has been kicking around for years in a number of iterations, in Gira’s solo acoustic sets, and then the live version that appeared on the limited edition live album Not Here/Not Now late last year. The band’s promotional/funding approach for these last few releases has been quite genius, as it has allowed the band to give glimpses of new content as they develop it – tiding us over, but allowing for plenty of surprises on the finished product. For instance, the glorious addition of brass here!

To Be Kind drops May 12 via Young God and Mute. A gentle reminder we loved their last one.

Kid Smpl – “Silo Tear”

Kid Smpl has premiered the title song off of his upcoming Silo Tear EP, bringing a moody atmosphere with low humming synthesizers and white noise layered over.

“Silo Tear” has a distinct coldness to it as the song grows and progresses it builds with mechanical synths as well as some light drum samples to begin with. Even as the track flourishes with all these layers of sound it holds true to that sensation of emptiness, akin to a grey desolate building complex like the one depicted in its album artwork. The tracks greatest achievement is just how well it flows while encompassing a number of different textures never breaking its delicate atmosphere in the name of progress.

Silo Tear will be released May 5th via Hush Hush records.

Aesop Rock – The Blob

Out of the damn blue, Aesop Rock drops a 30-minute collection of unreleased beats, loops, and sonic oddities that haven’t made his commercial releases. It’s a pretty colorful collection of tracks, honestly. It’s just as lo-fi and idiosyncratic as I’d expect. It’s kinda like a Tobacco or Black Moth Super Rainbow album, but without the incessant psychedelia vibe. Enjoy, and download the Blob here.

Flatbush Zombies – “Red Light, Green Light” ft. Espa (prod. The Architect)

New York’s Flatbush Zombies drop another song in a recent string of track’s they’ve been putting up on YouTube for a few weeks now. This particular one features some really pretty, atmospheric beat. As usual, Meechy Darko and Erik Ark Elliott prove to have two of the most gripping voices in the underground right now.

Hopefully, all of these songs lead up to a mixtape that’s just as enthralling as last year’s BetterOffDead! Enjoy!

Markabah – Moloch

Noise, progressive rock, and jazz come together on this new Merkabah album, Moloch. I’m just starting to listen to this thing, and am pretty stunned by how tight, twisted, and volatile these songs are. There’s some serious excitement in these tracks. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

Gridlink – Longhena

I’ll say it again: I’ve never been a huge fan of incredibly dense, cleanly produced metal. But I’m always ready to make exceptions for the right album, though. I think this new Gridlink LP is one of those moments. Man, is this thing brutal. The drums and vocals are absolutely relentless. This record brings Grindcore to a new level of shrillness and intensity.

While I know there are people–or goats–that’ll totally get off on how loud, extreme this record is, what I’m attracted to the most are the rich, melodic guitars. They’re complex, dizzying, and bring a lot of personality to the table. They really enhance the incredible rhythm section this album has backing it. Enjoy!

tUnE-yArDs – “Wait for a Minute”

tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus is no stranger to bombastic, twisted, cacophonous, brazen pop songs that explode out of the speakers. She is no stranger to odd flourishes that sound at first out of place and then perfectly correct. The first single from her upcoming album Nikki Nack, “Water Fountain”, fit all of those signifiers more or less on point. This second track, “Wait for a Minute” feels like a slightly different beast (there’s no “WOO-HA” to be found here).

The track rides a very simple groove, and has no hugely clever tricks up its sleeve. It is a tUnE-yArDs slow-jam, guided by Garbus’ most potent instrument: her expressive voice. By constructing a song that isn’t as knotted up as usual, she gives herself ample room to show off that wonderful instrument. There are still tenets of her sound that peak through here – check those so-damn-close-to-off-beat “huh” sounds she makes in the chorus – but it all congeals to produce a soft, infectious, and still a little off-beat song. Definitely looking forward to this one.

Nikki Nack beams down to Earth on May 6 via 4AD.

Freddie Gibbs – “On Some G Shit” ft. G-Wiz (prod. Lifted)

Indiana MC Freddie Gibbs is dropping some new stuff already? He just released an incredible album with Madlib titled Piñata, and he’s back with “On Some G Shit,” which features an introductory verse from a member of Gibbs’ crew, G-Wiz. It’s a grimy, hard-nosed track that brings a trap instrumental to the vivid street imagery Gibbs has been delivering all along. Enjoy!

Oh, and I guess these visuals come from a True Detective episode. Go figure.