Odd Future feels like a long time ago after listening to Flower Boy. The boy known for anarchy and inciting disruption and violence (that got him banned from the UK) is a man now and while he’s still a lone wolf, he’s still anti-social and short-of-temper, Flower Boy is a mature effort. It’s the first time on record that Tyler has addressed that he’s gay, which won’t be a surprise to fans reading his tweets for the last few years but will be for anyone who knows him for derogatorily deliver homophobic slurs in his rhymes (his defence which is ignorant at least is that was ‘just another word.’). Flower Boy (or Scum Fuck Flower Boy as Tyler’s been billing it) is filled with references to his sexuality. “I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004.” / “Wonder if you look both ways / When you cross my mind/” and a song called ‘Garden Shed’ where the shed is basically the closet (“Garden shed for the garçons / Them feelings that I was guardin’ / Heavy on my mind”) are just some examples. Why does it matter? Because being gay in 2017 in rap is sadly still a big deal hence Tyler’s public reluctance to come out. Tyler’s friend Frank Ocean (who appears here twice) may have come out but Tyler had built his career on an Eminem-style world-hating characters so Flower Boy feels like the first steps of Tyler admitting who he really is.
Beyond the lyrical content, the album is lush and Tyler’s most focused album yet. The arrangements are kaleidoscopic, soulful and psychedelic jazzy. Tyler’s delivery is at his best, his tightest and his most interesting. ‘I Ain’t Got Time’ and the A$AP Rocky-featuring ‘Who Dat Boy’ is the toughest thing here yet the album is defined by a prettiness that is fresh. Guests Estelle, Jaden Smith, Steve Lacy, Kali Uchis and Anna Of The North fit into the tapestry of the album. The hooks are deep on ‘Boredom’, ‘November’ and ‘Pothole’ but there’s an overall sweetness to the tracks. Things are still complicated and divisive for Tyler but the self-discovery suggested on Flower Boy leads Tyler to his best, and most-honest statement yet.
For his first album in 11 years, Keigo Oyamada, the Japanese musician with the cult following has somewhat surprisingly picked up where his discography left off. Mellow Waves isn’t massively different from his last album Sensuous in 2006 and that’s no bad thing because no-one makes music like this quite like Cornelius. Experimental in operation but always in thrall to the meeting points of melody and rhythm, cascading layers and harmonic prettiness, Cornelius albums are singular things. Mellow Waves, as the title suggests is probably his most chilled overall yet the bright sparks that defined this bright spark remains in the sonics.
The Hollywood obsessed Lana returns to deliver an album of faded glamour like no other. Lust For Life won’t likely win her any new fans but there are new shades to the music here with appearances by Stevie Nicks and Sean Ono Lennon among them. The American songstress languishes in languid retro pop for the most part but modern pop production seeps in as do zeitgeisty guests A$AP Rocky and The Weeknd. A Lana Del Rey song title generator could have come up with the titles of ‘Beautiful People Beautiful Problems’, ‘Summer Bummer’ and ‘When the World Was At War We kept Dancing’ for sure but Del Rey knows her American obsession is one of her greatest strengths. Lana is a drag but to those that love her, her mythic sadness and heartbreak whoever or whatever it’s aimed at, is central to her appeal.
Lana Del Rey has released four albums thus far but has claimed with the release of her new song ‘Love’ that, album number five will be the first “for the fans,” and “and about where I hope we are all headed.”
It’s uncharacteristically hopeful for a singer known for luxuriating in faded glamour and summer sadness, but it’s not without precedent. Lana has the occasional burst of light in the dark. ‘Will you still love me when I have nothing but my aching soul? I know that you will, I know that you will,” she sings on ‘Young and Beautiful’.
All those songs were from her perspective. ‘Love’ is written as a love love letter to her fans. “Look at you kids with your vintage music,” the song begins. “Look at you kids, you know you’re the coolest / The world is yours and you can’t refuse it / seen so much, you could get the blues / But that don’t mean that you should abuse it.”
Lana knowns the world is a hard place for someone of a millennial age. She is aware that their prospects are less than their parents at their age. “And It’s enough just to make me go crazy, crazy, crazy.” Yet, she sees hope in them. “Don’t worry, baby,” she offers reassuringly.
Watch the video by Rich Lee.
‘LOVE’ is the first track to be taken from her forthcoming album, later this year. The album is a body of work created by Lana and her longtime producer and collaborator Rick Nowels. Producers Benny Blanco and Emile Haynie also participated on ‘Love’. The album is to feature some guests.
I’ve made an Electric Picnic DJ Mix every year since 2008. It’s always been a blast to make and a highlight of the site for me personally. 2016’s mix features 22 artists on the Electric Picnic lineup over 20 songs in just under 55 minutes.
It’s for bumping for your festival prep for the next week or in the car on the way down to Stradbally. Last year’s mix.
Family Weekend camping tickets are sold out. Sunday day tickets are sold out. Campervan/Caravan + Car passes are sold out. Family Campervan/Caravan + Car passes are sold out.
Phone and Internet bookings are subject to 12.5% service charge per ticket (Max €6.10).
Alternatively, You you can register to cycle or run to Electric Picnic. See RaboDirect Tour De Picnic 2016 . It’s a €50 deposit to secure your place for a ticket to Ireland’s biggest and best festival this way and then you fundraise a minimum of €380 for charities: ISPCC, Headway and The Jack & Jill Foundation.
One of the many amazing things that happened at Drop Everything, the cultural biennale on Inis Oirr on the Aran Islands in among the DJ sets, the dolphin swimming with people in the bay, the 8 minute flight to Connemara, the light and sound installation on the beach, the Ard Bia cocktails, the live music, the people and the Sunday knees up was this, a song introduced to me in my hotel bedroom by my friend. This tune blew me away. Amazing video too. It’s the little things.
Jeremy Hickey’s talents have been recognised by a contingent of musicians in France including Bo’tox, one of Justice and DVNO but before we hear what the latter will sound like, a third R.S.A.G. album is on the way and this track, a darker electronic cut points the way.
9. Lana Del Rey – ‘Shades Of Cool’
There are certain artists, after a while, that you lose interest in, as what drew you to them quickly becomes their schtick. I was tired of Lana’s musical and visual aesthetic of the faded American glamour puss. Then I heard the soaring chorus of ‘Shades Of Cool’ the wah-wah-assisted string chorus and I heard something fresh and classic all at once. From LDR’s second album Ultraviolence out on June 13th.
Toronto jazz hop live band trio Badbadnotgood have been known to play live with rappers, most notably with Tyler, The Creator. Here they team up with two of the best in the biz -Ghostface Killah and Danny Brown, for a limited edition single on Lex Records.
Lana Del Rey’s newest single ‘West Coast’ is a snakey bluesy guitar song (good job Dan Auerbach), a perfect match for her faded glamour.
Four Tet’s new remix however, naturally, has none of that. Instead, Del Rey who on the original sounds in control and sultry sounds frustrated and full of longing thanks to Hebden’s emphasis on percussive tautness.
Marie Celeste, the debut EP from Dublin duo Terriers, Peter Ward and Ronan Downing has been creeping under my skin for the last couple of weeks. Its three tracks are unassuming enough, the kind of songs that permeate slowly into your consciousness. ‘Crave’ has a Boards Of Canada-esque psychedelic shuffle, ‘Blue’ growls with low end and ‘Truant’ is a head-nodding “fuck-it” with a “let’s go get high” Lana Del Rey sample.
Ward and Downing credit their inspiration to “admiration of atmosphere, the grimey disarray of Dublin city and their overall love for melody and underground bass tones” and there’s a smirky smoky vibe to their relatively bare tracks that could perceivably conjure up Dublin’s dark spots or if you’re feeling sinister, the littered floor of Rick’s Burgers on a Saturday night.
I’m beginning to think Lana Del Rey will work best on other people’s records. She appeared on Bobby Womack’s album last month and here, after the mehtastic video for ‘National Anthem’ where she appeared in a JFK-themed video with A$AP Rocky, the pair team up for ‘Ridin’ a song from A$AP’s forthcoming LongLiveA$AP album out in September. Somehow, Lana’s glamourpuss is better suited to the hyperreal world of hip-hop.
There’s a bit of a jarring effect to Lizzy Grant’s voice in this performance for me but for many (judging by the trending on Twitter at least) it’ll be a perfect introduction with just the right amount of intensity and filmic fragility. Previously.