Has anyone called Big K.R.I.T. glam-trap yet? If it’s alright with everyone, that’s what I’m going to do. Displaying incredible technical prowess and a strong ear for a hook, “Cadillactica” finds K.R.I.T. comfortable in his niche. Lyrically, the song isn’t his best, essentially deriving inspiration from sexual brags and success brags. His delivery fits snugly inside a high-hat and spacey synthesizer driven beat. It’s very catchy, great weed music, and easy to listen to, but feels safe for an artist who in the not too distant past was one of the most exciting newcomers to the scene. The synthesizers on “Cadillactica,” specifically near the closing of the song, may evidence an eventual foray into cloud rap territory. Now, trap mixed with cloud beats may not seem like the most original or necessary experiment for any rapper to make at this point, but let’s not forget that not long ago K.R.I.T. was took part in revitalizing a tired southern trap scene. Who knows what he could do if he becomes willing to find inspiration elsewhere?
And by the way, if you want to watch a song about Cadillacs that can’t show a Cadillac logo, check the video above.
- Garrett Cottingham
Nobody tell Sun Kil Moon‘s Mark Kozelek about this band or this video. If he called The War on Drugs beer commercial music, I’m not sure his mind could handle a band whose video essentially is a beer commercial. alt-J channel their escapist 90s soul in this video, and combine it with a very polite but catchy blues riff that carries throughout the song. Just watching this, it’s easy to understand why this band is so controversial. Listeners that need to take their music seriously 100% of the time probably won’t understand alt-J. Sure, they don’t have teeth, Joe Newman’s vocals ape a dated rap rock style, and stereotypical “oohs” and “whoas” persist throughout the song. But you know what? It all adds up to three minutes of pleasant escapism, and that’s all they’re trying to do.
Our review of the new alt-J album:
- Garrett Cottingham
When Kendrick Lamar dropped his latest single a few weeks ago, the hip hop world felt itself once again in an uproar, potentially getting a glimpse into the music from one of the most anticipated followup albums in years. But things quickly took a polarized turn as many fans clearly stood in the camps of “I love it” or “it’s trash.” Now, K. Dot has followed up the release of the single with an accompanying video to coincide with Tuesday’s election madness. The visuals appear to be yet another old to oldschool Cali hip hop, the opening vignette featuring what appears to be a “Menace II Society”-inspired block party as Kendrick gets his hair twisted and proceeds into the dance-y, Isley Brothers-sampled, and positive message’d song. With his signature voice manipulations well-intact, Kendrick continues to gain traction for his third album–even with a less-than-stellar response to the song. And the icing on the cake is Ron Isley’s camero near the end, which goes along with the subliminal messages against police brutality, domestic violence and suicide.
Last month, Pennsylvanian noise-rockers Pissed Jeans reissued their 2005 debut album Shallow on their current label Sub Pop. Definitely check this re-release out if you’ve been digging the group’s recent output and want to witness the genesis of their “power dirge” ways. Above you can watch the music video for the LP’s second track “Boring Girls,” an amusingly uncouth love song whose visuals are part sitcom satire and part cartoony surrealist horror. Enjoy!
Ariel Pink has just shared a fittingly chilling and tragic video for “Picture Me Gone,” taken from his upcoming “solo debut” pom pom. The track might just be Ariel’s most mature and moving track yet, expressing with commendable candor the anxiety and pressure that the prospect of starting a family makes him feel. The song’s also one of his most frightening, dwelling on the matters of our ultimately ephemeral existences and our fading senses of sentimentality in the modern world. But none of that’s anywhere near as disquieting as the latex Ariel mask that appears throughout the video…
pom pom is out November 18 via 4AD. If you’re still an Ariel Pink skeptic, he also did a powerful rendition of “Picture Me Gone” recently with the PS22 Chorus that you might wanna check out. Find it here:
British alternative R&B trio Until the Ribbon Breaks (notably featured on the first Run the Jewels album) is preparing to drop their debut album A Lesson Unlearnt in January. Above you can watch the mannequin-filled video of the outfit’s new single “Revolution Indifference,” which marks another collaboration with Mike and El. The two share an expectantly strong verse, so absolutely do check out this track and video if you’re still on a kick after RTJ2 – you ought to be, given how awesome that album is. Here’s hoping Until the Ribbon Breaks has a win of their own with their debut!
A Lesson Unlearnt is due out January 20.
FKA Twigs drops some black & white visuals for the track “Video Girl,” which is one of many cuts off her stellar debut album LP1. Kudos to Kahlil Joseph on directing this thing, because it’s as gorgeous as it is unsettling. We’re essentially given images of what looks like an execution about to take place, and Twigs’ absolutely strange dance moves bring a certain surrealism to the situation. Am I to guess she is the victim of this death row inmate, and this is her ghost observing his final moments? Maybe! I think I just impressed myself for a second there. Rather than risk sounding like a completely conceded moron, I’ll stop here.
As you might recall from last week, we kind of sort of loved the new Dope Body record Lifer. It will almost certainly be considered among the very best rock releases of the year. And in the running for best rock video of the year is this Theo Anthony-directed one for standout cut “Repo Man.” An evocative portrait of socio-economic hardship in a presumably Marylandian town, the short is as thematically impressive as it is technically. It was a great idea to use “Intro” to set the stage and exponentially mount tension, and the whirlwind intercutting of the noisy VHS footage, while something of a gimmick at this point, is appropriate and tastefully executed in this case.
Having delivered here a well-struck balance of kinetic, fun, and subtly moving; Theo Anthony is well-deserving of the Vimeo “Video of the Week” Award for which he’s just been nominated. If you really dig the video, vote for it here.
Lifer is out now via Drag City.