Downtempo rhythms and organic hip-hop create a wonderfully drab atmosphere to crawl into on Psymun‘s new album, Pink Label. Taking cues from the recent emphasis on texture in wonky and instrumental hip hop, Psymun creates neverendingly interesting soundscapes that seem to inhabit a dark, yet livable space.
Album standout “ok” also wanders into the world of ethereal guitar permeating the alternative world at the moment. Think of it as an even drearier version of the Zoo Kid’s “Out Getting Ribs” without vocals. While at times the album’s musical inspirations can feel too directly plucked from their sources, the styles that are mashed up here fit so well together and have been blended so little that the album never feels derivative.
Under the handle Hail Mary Mallon, infamous wordsmith Aesop Rock teamed up with the up-and-coming Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz for a rather muddled debut album in 2011, but the trio is back with a vengeance for its bassy, creative and crazy sophomore effort. Apart from the comedic theme of a fundraiser concert for a bowling alley tied into the more abstract tracks, the album doesn’t have much else in terms of a concept. But constant record scratching, throbbing bass lines and some of the rap duo’s illest flows of their respective careers make this album memorable and a great gateway to some of the world’s weirder progressive hip hop developments.
“Jonathan” and “Krill” introduce the album in a heavy, raw, baptism of fire, whereas “Hang Ten” and the satirical “Whales” provide necessary contrast – the former boasting a quirky Middle-Eastern melody. I expected Aesop and Sonic to deliver some slick lines, so it was mostly down to DJ Big Wiz to deliver the beats, and while there might be a slight predictability when it comes to his bass-heavy and peculiar approach to boom bap, each song has its own unique print that makes every track inspiring. The future for this project looks bright.
- Fin Worrall
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.
Stream this nearly indescribable album from Czech music duo DVA titled NIPOMO. It seems to mix elements of jazz, noise, and indie pop with and a general sense of absurdity that makes this collection of tracks a fun listen. And as over-the-top as they may be, I find the vocals really cute at points. It’s like DVA has been able to embrace the quaintness of Belle & Sebasian or kawaii j-pop without losing sight of adventure. Enjoy!
Finnish rock group The Scenes evidently feel anorexia is boring, but thankfully their music is anything but. This song is catchy, catchy, catchy. The “twiggy” guitar tones, that “woohoo-ooh” falsetto vocal, and my gosh that finale! – they all add up to an unlikely earworm. And of course there’s a good, powerfully-delivered message here: anorexia blows; lead a healthy lifestyle and be cool with your body, y’all. Check the track and its simple B&W music video out above.
“Anorexia Is Boring” is taken from the band’s upcoming LP Beige, which is due out in April via Sound of Finland. Be on the lookout for it!
Alternative hip hop artist Hopsin is scheduled to release his third studio full-length Knock Madness on November 26th via his label Funk Volume. This week, he shared a new song from the project, “Ill Mind of Hopsin 6,” in which the rapper ruminates in the loss of a close friend to meth. It’s a powerful, focused tale and it’s accompanied by a music video that is just as directly and emotionally affecting.
The band’s new 7″ can be streamed via the widget above. There’s almost a spastic variety to these three tracks, too. The opener has a vintage pop to it, “Mandibles” reminds me of the Feelie’s fast and punk-y aesthetic, and the closer reminds me of something I might hear from a Parquet Courts record. Enjoy!
Indie rock legends Pixies release their first new music since 1992, the rocky cut “Bagboy.” At the time of this blurb’s writing, the top comment on the Youtube video is from user ExLionTamer13 and reads “First minute: “Oh no, I don’t like this.” Next 30 seconds: “Okay, this isn’t so bad.” Next three and half minutes: No more thoughts, just rocking the fuck out.”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. This track may be without Francis Black’s usual vocal acrobatics and Joey Santiago’s jerky guitar riffage–and Kim Deal, too–but they make up for it with as much youthful energy as they still have. The video reflects that, showing a zitty 16-ish year old boy creating the havoc that most only dream of. Enjoy!
Some twisted visuals coming through on the new Queens of the Stone Age video for “I Appear Missing,” which is a newly released track that’s set to be released on the band’s next album, …Like Clockwork. Enjoy!
Singer-songriter Jenny Hval’s sophomore full-length has its share of jumbled ideas with obvious inspirations, but sometimes her vocal expressions and songwriting are just enough to keep this album intriguing and somewhat moving.