Mass Appeal signee Bishop Nehru might be a fresh face in hip hop right now, but the ambitious 17-year-old MC has already been working on a full-length collaboration with MF DOOM, slated for release later this year. Above you can check out the project’s first single “Darkness (HBU)” and its video. Enjoy!
“Queen,” the lead single off Perfume Genius‘ forthcoming third LP Too Bright, is without a doubt singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas’ most extravagant song to date. This time around, he is forgoing the spartan piano arrangements we’ve found powerful in his prior releases in favor of bright synths, punchy drums, and comparatively pristine production. But the emotion that came with his sparse, reverb-y work of the past has not dissipated with this more ornate compositional palette. Hadreas’ vocals are assured, forceful; giving “Queen” the last of the makings for a great pop anthem. While I’ll admittedly miss the forlorn piano melodies should the album entirely go in this glitzier direction, this is a pretty interesting change of pace for Hadreas and a plenty evocative piece in its own right.
Too Bright is due out September 23 via Matador.
So much hype surrounding Half Japanese’s upcoming record Overjoyed – it’s their first full-length thing in 13 freaking years! It’s not so hard to see why all the excitement: the band’s DIY sound was groundbreaking throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s and was influential to countless notable alt/indie rock artists, including Kurt Cobain and Daniel Johnston.
Now it’s 2014, and with lo-fi music so readily accessible with the web, I can’t really imagine this new single “In Its Pull” being mind-blowing for most listeners. That being said, Jad Fair still knows how to write the hell out of a song, so this is a pretty killer track all the same. It sounds in-the-moment like the group’s best work and I dig the raw production Deerhoof’s John Dieterich brings to the table. Thankfully, it looks as though Overjoyed will be a plenty enjoyable comeback that will be just offbeat enough. We know too well that sometimes even that is too much to ask for…
Overjoyed is due out September 2 via Joyful Noise Recordings.
Magazine/label Mass Appeal recently announced a compilation album with the goal of highlighting a number of the hottest MCs at the moment, including Pusha T, YG, and Mac Miller; as well as showcasing the talents of some of the imprint’s up-and-comers. “Old English” is the first track off this forthcoming all-star effort, and it certainly has us looking looking forward to hearing the rest. Young Thug, A$AP Ferg, and Freddie Gibbs are freaking fire on this thing and producers Salva and Nick Hook turn out a top-notch, banging beat. Hear it above and enjoy!
Mass Appeal Compilation Vol. 1 is due out September 2 via Mass Appeal Records.
Stream: Orenda Fink – “You Can Be Loved”
Omaha-based songwriter Orenda Fink, one half of Azure Ray, is getting ready to release her third full-length solo album. She already showed us first single “Ace of Cups”, and now a new one has arrived: “You Can Be Loved,” a dreamy, soft piece of pop. With slightly twangy, stringy guitars, and Fink’s perfectly understated voice (which she also uses to harmonize nicely with herself), the song establishes itself to be very much in the same vein as “Ace of Cups,” while also deepening the sound and showing a different shade of what is one of my most anticipated records of the year.
Blue Dream is out August 18, via Saddle Creek.
London-based singer-songwriter/producer FKA twigs came out with a short, but pretty awesome, EP last year entitled EP 2, the follow up to her debut EP (whose name you can probably guess). And now she is finally gearing up to release her highly anticipated debut full-length, fittingly titled LP 1. And with this announcement comes a new video for first single “Two Weeks.”
Where FKA twigs has before seemed mystical and ethereal and vulnerable, here she takes all the reins. “Two Weeks” is one of the most explicitly lustful and sexually upfront songs to come out this year (think along the lines of Beyonce’s self-titled record, but more interesting to listen to). With lyrics like “My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in”, and “You say you want me / I say you’ll live without it / Unless you’re the only one who instigates / Got your mouth open”, twigs is taking no prisoners. Of course, this is all delivered in her increasingly-impressive production and gorgeous falsetto.
The video is a nice counterpart, featuring a single take that slowly reveals twigs as some kind of goddess, pouring water into the mouth of her dancing servant. This is a head-turning hooky single, hitting at all the right moments, and brazenly confident. It’s this kind of eye-widening track that really gets me pumped for this record.
Look for LP 1 on August 12 via Young Turks.
After changing its name earlier this month, Code Orange (formerly Code Orange Kids) announced it will be releasing its sophomore album in a couple of months. It’s called I Am King, and above you can watch the video of its savage title track. Backed by a caustic hardcore soundtrack, the visuals depict some poor guy getting the letters “TOTH” carved into his back. I don’t know what that’s all about, but it’s clear Code Orange isn’t fucking around. This being the intro to the album, it is looking as though I Am King will be every bit as heavy and ferocious as its predecessor, if not more. Glad to see Converge’s Kurt Ballou reprising his role as producer.
Look for the single on Domino Records this August.
New York-based folk singer-songwriter Matteah Baim is releasing her third full-length record, Falling Theater, this week, and with it comes this video for one of its songs, “Dude.” A series of screen-tests of various dudes – both men and women – inspired by the classic Andy Warhol series, the video has a minimalistic, rhythmic vibe to it. It’s interesting watching the different kinds of people that the video’s creators (Matthew Nelson-Love, Jack Schurman, and Baim herself) were able to squeeze into the single day of shooting. Everyone gives the camera a slightly different expression: whether it’s a tiny smirk, a dead-serious stare, or a rather blank gaze. Baim pops up toward the end as the only person who removes a piece of clothing, and that feels appropriate: this album of hers is her clearest yet, with rich production values and Baim’s voice really rising out of the occasional murk of her previous LPs. As reflected in the first line of the song, “He is a kind-hearted person,” the video is simple but full of a subtle joy.
Falling Theater is out this week via Dream Drive/Kobalt.