Here are the best new songs we’ve heard in the past week, tried, tested and ready for your ears.
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American nu-R&B artist Daniel Caesar continues on the path down psychedelic production aesthetics on his new LP CASE STUDY 001. The mixing engineer is akin to the proverbial fifth Beatle throughout this album. It’s opening track ‘Entropy’ is the perfect example. Filters sweeps, delays and reverbs all work in tandem with a soulful instrumental to warp and distort form and structure. Weird vocal snippets, referencing Hindu scripture, only serve to reinforce the vibe on this very dreamy single.
Freddie Gibbs X Madlib
Palmolive (ft Pusha T & Killer Mike)
Those who thought Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s second collaborative project would birth anything other than straight up lyrical hip-hop have not been paying attention. Bandana feels like a culmination of the prolific work Gibbs has been putting in over the past decade, pitted against Madlib’s signature soulful production. ‘Palmolive’ features guest appearances from Killer Mike and Pusha T, three giants of a hip-hop generation.
‘The Axe’ is the most dystopian and oblique track on Yorke’s Anima – an album with plenty of material that falls into those two categories. Some very icy synths, sounding only to recede into the ether thanks to a healthy dose of delay, and the opening chopped vocal snippets create an ambience. Yorke’s vocals are perfect. The only human element in an otherwise artificial mix.
Australian lo-fi indie rock artist Carla Geneve has just released her debut EP, entitled Yesterday’s Clothes. We’ve highlighted the opening track here. It’s a compelling performance, built upon Geneve’s off-key coloured vocals and some very nicely overdriven guitar parts. Some clever songcraft, false stops and intuitive dynamics, make ‘Yesterday’s Clothes’ stand out from the crowd.
Ah yes, the return of British producer Bonobo. Simon Green has been consistently great in his released material over the past 10 years. Black Sands in 2010 and Migration in 2017 were both superb, cutting edge examples of modern electronica. On ‘Linked’, Bonobo again threads the fine line between detailed ambient and progressive house music. How good is that bass sound circa the three-minute twenty-second mark?
Kokoro Disco San
Barcelona producer trio Kokoro Disco San come through with some superb nu-Disco on ‘Isla Fantasía’. Released through Rocafort Records. Drenched in nostalgia, this is a fantastic throwback to a time past.
Closer To You
While I’ve maintained a degree of scepticism regarding American recording artist Clairo’s previous material, her new single ‘Closer To You’ offers an exciting glimpse into a pop voice with its own distinct identity. This single marks a significant departure from the bedroom indie-pop sound most associated with Clairo. ‘Closer To You’ is a stripped down, hip-hop inspired track. 808’s, pad synths and tight hi-hat patterns make up most of the arrangement.
The real golden factor to this new single is the warped vocal harmonies the artist layers atop one another during the choruses and refrains. I’m reminded strongly of Lykke Li’s Sex Money Feelings Die. An excellent song.
From Another Planet
That’s Life (ft. Sia & Mac Miller)
Listening to Mac Miller’s voice isn’t easy in light of his passing. His opening verse on 88 Keys’ ‘That’s Life’ is a reminder of how gifted a lyricist the American MC really was. Double entendres, run on lines and earworm flows comprise Miller’s contribution, a meditation on the excesses of fame and the moral trappings that come with them. The gospel/ soul instrumental is a real bonus. “Everybody lives & Everybody dies one day”, as sung by Sia, makes it all the more bittersweet.
Closer To You
Some Latin jazz fusion straight out of Columbia. ‘Closer To You’ is a sunshine groove, laced with tight horn sections and gorgeous melodies. Written and performed 10+ member band La Boa, I guarantee you won’t hear a better jazz tune this week than ‘Closer To You’.