Featuring Sufjan, Drake, Aby Coulibaly, Coucou Chloe, Walker, English Teacher, Lil Yachty, J. Cole, Earl Sweatshirt, The Alchemist, Enola Gay, Mount Palomar, Amadou & Mariam, Vieux Farka Touré, Songhoy Blues
Today is New Music Friday, which means there’s loads of new songs in the world.
Here are 10 songs released this week I loved from my listening this week, along with fresh ones in the New Music section.
See the end of the post for the Spotify playlist featuring much more than 10 tracks released this week, updated weekly.
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A Running Start
Sufjan’s new solo album features a clutch of songs that return to his most loved sound – the richly arranged and acoustic music of 2005’s Illinois, as heard on this album highlight ‘A Running Start’, that moves from gentle guitar to full-throated soar.
Sufjan has just been discharged from hospital and is learning to walk again after contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome.
8AM In Charlotte
Drake dropped his new album For All The Dogs and among the Frakn ocrean Sample, SZA and Bad Bunny features, ‘8AM In Charlotte’ is just a pure rap cut (admittedly, with some trademark corn bars) with a fine soulful sample.
The video features his son Adonis explaining the artwork for the album he drew.
I got these cats tuckin’ tails on fourth-quarter sales
I’m used to seein’ tears drop over enormous meals
The restaurant clears out, faint echoes of Lauryn Hill
I say, “We gotta talk about us,” I feel like Jordan Peele
Could tell I’m gettin’ under your skin like a orange peel
‘Cause your words don’t match your actions like a foreign film
And now it’s silence in the Lamb’ like the horror film
Fighting 4 Luv
The Irish R&B artist’s new EP At The End Of The Day…It’s Night is actually nine tracks and 26 minutes long so close to an album vibe. ‘Fighting 4 Luv’ might be the singer’s most sonically interesting song in the catalogue to date, bringing dual vocals and a minimal electronic soul production to a heater effect.
“I once heard this analogy by Aaron Doughty that really stuck with me. He said imagine you’re a tree that produces fruit. The tree doesn’t care if you eat the fruit and enjoy it, eat the fruit and hate it OR if you throw the fruit at someone’s head. The tree will still be a tree and bear fruit no matter what you do with it. The same applies to you and your art whatever it is that you do. Like a tree you should continue to bear your fruit regardless of who likes or dislikes it. Once you like it yourself external validation shouldn’t matter. That’s what I’m on because it’s never that deep. At the end of the day, it’s night.”
I hosted a talk at Ireland Music Week yesterday about music discovery and I asked the panel for the last song they discovered and where they discovered it.
The last song I discovered outside of my job that didn’t involve people sending me music, was ‘Tommy’, a song by UK musician Walker, who wrote the song after his twin went into a coma after an accident. It’s read by Irish poet Stephen Maguire.
The song features on the soundtrack to the new FIFA game, rebranded EA Sports FC, and falls somewhere between For Those I Love and Fred Again..
“My twin Tommy was found unconscious on the side of the road after a horrific motorcycle accident. As I sat in the intensive care unit that night, I was told that they might not wake up, and I had to contemplate the devastating possibility of losing my other half. This song is a letter that I wrote when Tommy woke up from a coma. It’s a celebration of Tommy’s survival, strength, and the community who have supported them so much.”
My dog passed away last year. Her name was Daffodil and she rocked. I already loved UK art rock band English Teacher a lot this year, but that’s an extra personal serendipity tick for me to love them a bit more.
“It’s a song about heartbreak and acceptance of unfulfilled potential. How, no matter how much you may want something, no matter how much effort you may put into something’s growth or development, no matter how beautiful you can envision its fruition; life is a bitch and about as unstoppable as a freight train.”
Lil Yachty, J. Cole
The Secret Recipe
It’s a long time since a 14-year-old Lil Yachty was blasting J Cole on the internet.
Earl Sweatshirt, The Alchemist
The Voir Dire album is officially out today, and this is a highlight on the collaborative album, with a beat that sounds like something MF DOOM would absolutely slay.
Enola Gay, Mount Palomar
A Northern Irish collaboration between post-punk band Enola Gay and electronic producer Neil Kerr aka Mount Palomar.
It’s a shoegaze-meets-electronic song in which the artists meet in the middle with kinetic energy and is from Enola Gay’s Casement EP out today.
“Lyrically the track reflects on the weight of the past, its effect on the present and the fleeting nature of time. It touches on how nostalgia can seem like a facade and how one should cease dwelling once they’ve learnt and grown from their experience.”
OMG, Amadou & Mariam, Vieux Farka Touré, Bassekou Kouyaté, Songhoy Blues & Tal National
Speaking of NFTs, the MySahel project attempts to do something good with it.
The project features 6 noted musicians from the African region of Sahel performing on a song – Vieux Farka Touré, Amadou & Mariam, Bassekou Kouyate, OMG Oumy Gueye, Songhoy Blues and Tal National, along with 15 visual artists who created work for the Dakar Biennale art exhibition in Senegal.
The My Sahel initiative that aims to raise awareness and funding for humanitarian action across West Africa’s Sahel region through Music, Visual Arts and Web3 Technology. The ‘My Sahel’ initiative is a ground-breaking and innovative project led by Conscious Music Group and TokenTraxx in support of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), aims to raise awareness and funding to address the urgent humanitarian crisis in the Sahel through a fusion of music, art, and cutting-edge web3 technology. The centrepiece of the initiative is the My Sahel song, a one-of-a-kind vocal and instrumental collaboration between some of the region’s most renowned musicians: With the significant of impact climate change, escalating conflicts, food insecurity and widespread poverty, the Sahel region is in urgent need of global attention and support.
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, hit up the Irish section for individual track features
For this and more Irish songs, follow the Nialler9 New Irish Spotify playlist.