Holy hell, so much amazing new music this week, and with the new global release date now being Friday, it’s been difficult trying to digest all of it properly. I didn’t even manage to include a track from Death Grips’ new album this week, mainly because I’m trying to wrap my head around its intensity. Go listen to if it you can though, and check out the latest albums released by a load of artists on this week’s playlist. This is gonna be good. Enjoy.
1. ‘HUNGRY’ – White Lung
An incredibly anthemic and catchy track from Vancouver-born punk group White Lung. Taken from their fourth album Paradise, ‘Hungry’ carries a great deal of pop sensibility and woke me right up on my commute this past Friday. Paradise is full of brilliant songwriting, and ‘Hungry’ is a notable example of that.
2. ‘LIMOUSINE’ – Beach Baby
Although Beach Baby have released new tracks since their 2015 release of ‘Limousine,’ it still holds up as probably their most popular track. With characteristics of classic indie and alternative pop-rock, it opens with a crunchy bassline and solid beat, then opens the floodgates to trippy guitar lines and lovely harmonies. A few of my friends were lucky enough to interview Beach Baby last week, and I’m excited to see the results.
3. ‘WATCH ME’ – Anohni
Not long ago, Anohni made massive waves when she released the track ‘Drone Bomb Me,’ and has followed that up with an outstanding debut album under her new moniker. Previously releasing music with Antony and the Johnsons, Anohni has found new ground with HOPELESSNESS, exploring dreamy electronic soundscapes and poetic lyrics. ‘Watch Me’ is haunting, its swelling synthesisers bringing a sense of dread to the listener.
4. ‘FAULTLESS’ – Grace Lightman
A delicate, yet intensely ensnaring voice makes ‘Faultless’ a track that will keep drawing you back. Grace Lightman is new, has a beautiful voice and clearly a knack for songwriting. Some have compared her to Lana Del Rey, and it’s possible to make that link with the soft electronics accompanying her singing style, but Lightman is clearly a brilliant musician in her own right. I’m looking forward to hearing more from her.
5. ‘BLUE VELVET’ – Bobby Vinton
Seeing the link between Grace Lightman and Lana Del Rey reminded me of one of my favourite tracks by the latter; ‘Blue Velvet.’ It just so happened that I heard Bobby Vinton’s version on the radio the other day, and I had to put it in this week. Simply brilliant.
6. ‘YARDBIRD SUITE’ – Charlie Parker
The ‘Yardbird’ himself displaying exactly why he is hailed as one of Jazz’s greatest. In this typically up-tempo track, Parker displays the skills that many try to emulate and many envy. It’s not just the speed that is impressive, but also the melodic lines and harmonies that Parker explores that truly show his talent.
7. ‘STAY THE COURSE’ – DJ Shadow feat. Posdnuos & Talib Kwelli
I’ve never listened to any of DJ Shadow’s work, but I really wish I had. I heard ‘Stay the Course’ on the radio last week, and immediately added it to the playlist. Featuring great flows from Talib Kwelli and Posdnuos, the track stays brings with it a funky backing beat that keeps adding new elements throughout, culminating in musical brilliance.
8. ‘CORN ON THE CURB’ – Skepta feat. Wiley
Grime. You monolithic, enigmatic beast. Why can’t I love you like I want to? I’ll never know. Skepta released ‘Konnichiwa’ last Friday, and I gave it a couple of listens, trying really hard to get into it. The majority of it wasn’t for me, but ‘Corn on the Curb’ was right up my alley. Intricate lyrical flows, a heavy backing beat, and just an overall enjoyable listen. Having said that though, I know nothing about grime, so don’t trust my judgement. I love hip-hop, but Grime isn’t my thing. There is no denying the incredibly massive impact its had on music and culture in the UK, and it’s exciting seeing artists like Skepta and the BBK collective make such huge waves independently.
9. ‘CHUM’ – Earl Sweatshirt
Earl Sweatshirt has been a favourite of mine for a while now, and ‘Chum’ is Sweatshirt at his most honest and emotionally open. Discussing ideas of being fatherless from a young age and confused about his own identity, ‘Chum’ is a great addition to Earl Sweatshirt’s repertoire and the Odd Future collective as a whole.
10. ‘KILL THE LIGHTS’ – Alex Newell, DJ Cassidy, Nile Rodgers
HBO’s Vinyl was a great show, not only because of the story it told but also because of the music it contained, some of which has been included on previous playlists. After including The Jacksons’ ‘Walk Right Now’ in last week’s list, I had a hankering for some more Disco. Towards the end of Vinyl’s run, Disco is discovered through the (fake) band “Indigo,” and this track which becomes huge in the underground. Recorded by Glee cast member Alex Newell, DJ Cassidy and Nile Rodgers, this isn’t a real track from the late 70s, but encapsulates the elements of disco wonderfully. I’ve been listening to it far too much.