SOPHIE – “LEMONADE” / “HARD”

Pure insanity coming from these two major tracks from anonymous producer SOPHIE, and both of these songs are out now via Numbers.

Between all the vaporwave and trap out floating around the Internet right now, there’s no shortage of zany electronic music at the moment. SOPHIE seems to embrace a lot of the tenants of TNGHT, Rustie, and post-modernists such as Daniel Lopatin; however, these sensibilities are unabashedly fused with commercial pop, a flavor that reads strongest in the often squeakily pitched melodies and lead vocals. There’s just something about the melodic shift at 0:39 that sounds like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Someone on Twitter went as far as to say the groove on “Hard” resembles that of a Death Grips track, and I have to nod in agreement on that comparison.

Despite the obvious present-day influences, something about SOPHIE’s productions thus far feel as if they’re coming from at least ten years into the future. Their energy is incredibly hyper, their accessibility is high, but there’s something sort of avant-garde about these tracks as well. Maybe it’s sort of short-sighted to assume that songs like “Hard” could become the norm in a decade, but I certainly get the sense that I’m catching up with something ahead of the curve when I put these beats on.

Börn – Self-Titled

Some twisted, eerie, raw, nasty, and misbehaved post-punk coming from Iceland’s Börn. Definitely a record for those who dig their rock on the dark side of things; because this record reeks of goth rock.

The guitar chords run pretty dreary, but the vocals are sharp, wailing, and strange. Nice contrast on there, and some great punk-y grooves are running throughout these tracks, too. Enjoy!

Death From Above 1979 – “Government Trash”

Few musical comebacks have been as hotly anticipated as Death From Above 1979′s. A few years after the Ontario duo’s electrifying debut album dropped, they splintered and began working on other projects instead. I vividly remember being disappointed upon first hearing this news, because You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine left such a strong impression on me–and most of the independent rock world, too.

To hear that Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler were getting the band back together a few months ago was exciting, and it’s tracks like “Government Trash” that make it feel like the hiatus never happened. The track’s riffs are the sonic equivalent to an adrenaline shot, and the vocals could be more on point, too!

Look for The Physical World on September 9th via Last Gang Records.

Alt-J – “Every Other Freckle”

Previously loved UK art pop outfit Alt-J drops yet another song from their forthcoming LP, This Is All Yours. The release date: September 22nd via Infectious.

Unlike the previously released songs off this new album, “Every Other Freckle” seems to be more in line with Alt-J’s previous output. There’s a heavy bassline matched with some equally lumbering drum beats, and atop that are the odd, soulful vocals of guitarist-vocalist Joe Newman.

The hook is great, and as the song progresses, the band manages to build the intensity up with more percussive and melodic layers. Alt-J writes catchy, upfront tracks, but their refined approach to arranging their instrumentation is what continues to keep them interesting.

My Brightest Diamond – “Lover Killer”

It isn’t all the time that a My Brightest Diamond song begins with a steady, groovy bass-and-drum pattern. But so be it, because it sounds great! Shara Worden and company are following the great first single “Pressure” which the slightly more subdued but no less exciting “Lover Killer.” The multi-tracked Sharas work wonders while the eventual horns add a funky splash of head-bobbing swagger. Shara, of course, still shows off her incredible voice, but everything is more reigned in and direct, and less esoteric, than on previous MBD releases, and the climax hits a little harder because of it. If this and “Pressure” are any indication, their new LP is going to find the group on a lovely new path.

This is My Hand is out September 16, via Asthmatic Kitty.

Electric Würms – “The Bat”

(via Billboard)

Among next week’s most exciting new music releases is the debut LP from Flaming Lips side-project, Electric Würms. The amusingly titled Musik, die Schwer zu Twerk finds the Steven Drozd-led outfit delivering a set of vibrant and surprisingly condensed prog/kosmische tunes that balance whimsy and weightiness. The project’s virtues were put fully on display earlier this summer with lead single and album closer “Heart of the Sunrise” (a boldly truncated Yes cover). If that track left you intrigued or perhaps unconvinced, take one more glimpse via “The Bat” above. Enjoy!

Musik, die Schwer zu Twerk is due out August 19 on Warner Bros. But that’s not all! The Flaming Lips are doing yet another one of their full-length cover albums, this time for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and that is expected for October 28. Set to feature a wide array of guests including Miley Cyrus, Maynard James Keynan, Julianna Barwick, and Chuck Inglish; that sounds like it’s gonna be freaking nuts! You can stream their take on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” here:

Sudanim – “Pleasure Flood”

A piece of chilling auditory excellence from producer, dj, and co-head of Her Records, Sudanim. The track is absolutely freaky, and manages to stir some really frightening emotions in its 3-minute runtime.

I’m loving the metallic, primal rhythms, for one. It’s like a combination of a factory floor machinery and the kind of drum circles you’d only find in the thickest of jungles. On top of this, Sudanim lays some incredibly twisted, high-pitched wails that I could even begin to guess the origin of.

I’m not sure where all of this is coming from, but hell is clearly where it’s going! Enjoy.

/via/

Mick Jenkins – “Jazz”

Husky-voiced Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins drops a moving and metaphorical video for his upcoming project titled The Water[s]. It’s officially out August 12th.

“Jazz” features a beautiful, minimal beat that’s guided by what I think are some gleaming vibraphone melodies. I love the way the chorus swells, and Mick’s hook is laid back, but monstrous! Like usual, his bars are thoughtful and interesting.

I can’t wait for the 12th!

Wild Birds & Peacedrums – “The Offbeat”

Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums drops a new track titled “The Offbeat,” which looks like it’s going to be landing on the duo’s next full-length album, Rhythm. Not a surprising title from this band considering much of their past material has featured nothing but vocals and drums, and that’s exactly how this new track feels. Aside from a few spare “plinks” and glitches hanging in the background, Mariam Wallentin’s voice passionately rides the building drum work of Andreas Werliin.

Despite the lack of accompaniment, once again, Mariam and Andreas sound great. Mariam’s vocals continue to be a powerhouse of passion, and the Andreas’ grooves really keep the tension up.

It’s nice to hear W&P get back into the swing of things after the release of Mariam’s debut solo album, which I loved last year.

Look for Rhythm on November 3rd via the Leaf Label.

Joey Bada$$ – “Big Dusty” (prod. Kirk Knight)

New York MC Joey Bada$$ brings the first single from his highly-anticipated commercial debut, B4DA$$. A lot like a song or two from his last tape, Joey is coming off aggressive on this new single, “Big Dusty.” Very aggressive! I’d go as far as to say there are moments where his flow reminds me of the late Capital STEEZ.

Aside from that, I’m not finding anything too exciting about the single. Joey’s bars are sharp as usual, but the hook is pretty underwhelming, and I can’t say that Kirk Knight’s ethereal production matches the tone of Joey’s delivery that well.

Still, I’m looking forward to seeing how big Joey does it on this new LP. I guess my biggest fear is that he’ll spend too much time in his comfort zone, which I think he does to a degree on this track. The biggest surprise this track offered was a beat change on the bridge, which was paired with a pretty ominous mantra: “Cause bitches lie, niggas lie, numbers, too.”

At this point, it’s pretty clear Joey has no intention of giving this album a commercial sound, which is fine, but he seems hesitant to take the kind of adventurous or experimental plunge his underground status allows him to.