The Bug – “Mi Lost” ft. Miss Red

If there’s a way to hold attention, it’s to hint at a payoff that never arrives. The Bug’s trap-dub influenced beat swells quite a few times throughout the, but the song dissolves into a formless chorus before any kind of release is ever achieved. Miss Red’s vocals are a prime example of the childish delivery that has become omnipresent in British electronic music. They are passable at best and verge on grating at points. Nevertheless, The Bug’s masterful manipulation of tension alone makes the song worth a listen.

Check out a review of the latest Bug album right here.

- Garrett Cottingham

Young Fathers – Dead

After two electrifying tapes, Scotland’s Young Fathers come through with a huge sound on this latest album of theirs, Dead. I’m not as crazy about the songs, though.

Young Fathers – “Romance”

The UK’s Young Fathers have dropped some visuals for their reggae-infused track “Romance,” which came off the group’s recently reissued TAPE ONE. I reviewed it a while back very positively, and I’m still convinced it rules, but I’m patiently waiting to hear some kind of followup–especially since they’re now on Anticon!

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Bad Brains- Into the Future

The future is looking a little grim.

WATCH THE REVIEW

Courtney John- “Love Is”

Check out the new single from reggae artist Courtney John above. The concept of the track kinda boils down to one lyric in the hook: “Love is the one thing that’s never out of season.” Well, ain’t it true? When has love gone out of style? I can’t remember a time. Pretty sure people are still singing about that stuff.

But “Love Is” is a song about loving love, not just another person. The positive vibes are infectious, and get carried in the simple, catchy reggae instrumentation that backs the song. The Junior Murvin-esque falsetto vocals fronting the track are great, too. Very sweet and passionate.

If John is successful at anything with this track, it’s that he’s created something wonderfully universal. Who can’t this song appeal to? Hateful people? Turn that frown upside down. Life’s too short.

You can find John’s new album, From Letters to Words, on FiWi Music.

Young Fathers- “Way Down In the Hole”

UK trio Young Fathers drops a new track via its YouTube channel, heading further in the direction charted by Tape One, which I gave a glowing review to earlier this year. “Way Down In the Hole” features a shimmering, soulful into that quickly durns into something dark and dirty just before a few icy rap verses come into play. Lots of intensity and character.

Peaking Lights- “Lo Hi”

First single from Wisconsin dub duo, Peaking Lights off their upcoming LP Lucifer. This track brings a real spacey atmosphere to the reggae style of music they are presenting. The song has the classic expected flow to a reggae song with a real groovy bass line, but they layer it with countless synthesizers, echoed vocal tracks, and samples giving it a more psychedelic feel than most songs in the genre. It runs for 7 over minutes and by the end the psychedellic nature of the songs takes control.

Lucifer is set to be released June 18.

Young Fathers- Tape One

Young Fathers’ debut tape, Tape One, is as pretty fun, freaky, and lo-fi mix of hip hop. African music, and reggae. Though the release is only 20 minutes long, these tracks make up for it with lots of personality and catchy hooks.

WATCH THE REVIEW

The Young Crooks- “Wasting Time”

The Young Crooks are a new trio with a new EP, which is titled Phone. And I’m sure the “young” in their name isn’t a lie. These guys sound very young. The group’s lyrics about partying and doing drugs are a giveaway, but only someone under the age of 20 could have the guts to combine ironic rap verses with the sounds of pop and reggae–these guys clearly aren’t worried about any Sublime comparisons, which could be due to a generational divide.

But despite any premonitions of corniness, Young Crooks have a pretty loveable sound. What makes it so interesting is how they present their their style. The lyrics touch down on things the band was probably doing yesterday, but the stories are looked back upon with an old-world sentimentality. The light, dreamy, lo-fi sound only adds to the effect.

On “Wasting Time,” lead vocals sing about “kids these days” as if the narrator were fifty years old, looking back fondly on memories of spliffs, girls, parents, and growing up.

There’s something about it that reminds me of the Strokes and Vampire Weekend a little bit, too. Of course, that’s a good thing.

Download Phone for free at Young Crooks’ Bandcamp page. Here is a somewhat decent-sized picture of the EP’s cover: