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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
Teklife producer TASO has produced one of my favorite tracks of 2014 right here, and it comes off a compilation he dropped with fellow DJs Rashad, Spinn, and Manny back in March. The hooky vocal samples and rattling trap rhythms are too amped for words. There are some nutty juke-style kick drums running throughout this thing, too.
This thing is just pure visceral, rhythmic bliss. Enjoy!
R.I.P. DJ Rashad.
“Hunger of the Pine,” the lead single off alt-J’s forthcoming LP This is All Yours, was already a plenty fierce song - from its progressive, horn-adorned composition, to its prominent Miley Cyrus vocal sample, to its Hunger Games-esque music video. However, the song just got even fiercer thanks to our bold friends over at clipping., who have re-worked the song into the fourth installment of their “Story” song series (I take it the third chapter was skippable). They did a number on the track, let me tell ya – the only recognizable elements of the original are the “sleeplessly embracing” vocal cut and the horns. Damn, does Daveed sound bad-ass over that brass! But not only is “Story 4″ a glorious testament to these guys’ remixing skills, but it features what might just be their most intricate (and macabre) storytelling to date. After pieces like the first two stories and “Dominoes,” that’s saying something. Here’s hoping this gets put out on a 7″ or something!
But don’t let this overshadow alt-J’s original work, which is still a stellar tune. This Is All Yours drops September 22 via Infectious Records. Find our review of the band’s stunning 2012 debut An Awesome Wave here.
Last month, Houston-based avant-garde rapper and musician B L A C K I E announced a new studio full-length titled IMAGINE YOURSELF IN A FREE AND NATURAL WORLD. No release date yet, but this lead single “None Above” has me properly excited. The track is a crashing, kaleidoscopic wall of sound, with wailing from B L A C K I E forced to the background and just barely audible. It’s beautifully brutal. Or brutally beautiful? Whatever; it’s awesome! Check it out!