My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.
If not the best album of Ye Season, then definitely the most consistent, Pusha T’s Kanye-produced Daytona is one of the essential rap albums of the year (even with that Drake feud aside). ‘Come Back Baby’ is a meld of old-school soul samples and low-end rumble with Pusha dominating the beat. Luscious.
Cops Shot The Kid
Continuing with highlights from Ye Season from the opposite end of the spectrum, with the much-hyped but ultimately disappointing Nas album. When Yeezy and Nas get it right, as they do with this urgently produced Slick Rick-sampling banger with substance.
Come and Get It
The Soulwax brothers return for yet another must-own in their Waffles edit series. Side A is apparently an edit of ‘Tokimeki’ Japanese artist Akiko Yano and has an immediate effect with its swirling synthline and bassline that ascends with its ‘why don’t you come and get it?” chorus.
Fuckin ‘n’ Rollin
Julia Jacklin is an Australian singer-songwriter whose 2016 album Don’t Let The Kids Win won her much critical acclaim. Emboldened by solo success and with clear ambitions to not to just pick one lane, Jacklin has teamed up with friends Elizabeth Hughes and Ryan K Brennan as the band Phantastic Ferniture, which they are describing as a “lighthearted project”.
It seems to have paid off. The album, comes out on July 27th on Transgressive records and the real excitement comes in the form of F—kin and Rollin’, a Warpaint-esque giddy indie pop song and one of the most immediately memorable of its ilk this year.
The surprise comeback we didn’t know we needed. Chaka is back and working with former Major Lazer producer Switch on her first album in 11 years and by the sound of the summer dance-funk of Like Sugar with those trademark soul power vocals, we’re going to want all of it. Khan is playing the inaugural All Together Now festival on the August Bank Holiday weekend in Curraghmore in Waterford.
Kids See Ghosts
The surprise hit of Yeezy Season / the Wyoming albums, was Ye and Kid Cudi’s emotionally-charged psych-rap album Kids See Ghosts album. ‘Reborn’ is typical of the album’s questioning shouldering spirit.
While ‘Ghost Town’ is clearly the hefty emotional highpoint on a scattered, flawed yet immediate album, ‘Yikes’ is the song on the album that encapsulates Kanye’s strengths in production and rap with his ability to write hooks while dropping clangers of lines (the titty shop line for example). Add to that the vulnerability and exploration of mental health (also the hook here). Maybe it’s that manic dragon energy he’s been going on about.
There won’t be a more definitive version of the Ye-produced K.T.S.E from Teyana Taylor it has emerged due to sample issues. The R&B singer’s album definitely suffered from the quick-fire way in which it was recorded and released. The album is also notable for this song – an outlier of shady 90s style drag electro-pop which featuring samples from the 1991 documentary about drag queens in Harlem Paris Is Burning and Mykki Blanco as announcer.
Street Fighter Mas
An easy highlight from the new jazz vanguard’s sprawling triple album Heaven and Earth. I still haven’t had time to hear it all yet.
Found My Feet
The based rapper and singer is back after a brief break with a bouncy number that further asserts him as one of Dublin’s best musical talents right now. Complete with an infectious afro-beat rhythm that renders it difficult not to dance to, ‘Found My Feet’ is a promising track from the artist that makes us excited for what’s to come next.
Trick Of The Light
Conor O’Brien returns with his anticipated single ‘Trick Of The Light’, taken from his upcoming album The Art Of Pretending To Swim. The song is the first release since 2015’s Darling Arithmetic and return to the more fully-arranged band style on previous records. It was all written, recorded, mixed, produced and mainly, performed by O’Brien in his Dublin studio.
Thinking About You (Lauer remix)
Pushing Movies is Jeffrey Sire and Dimitri SoEmotional and their collab dives into some of my favourite sounds – “Italo disco, synth pop and all things slick and 80s.”
My favourite take on this track is on the B-side by Lauer (Fort Romeau also offers up a take), which amplifies the energy and ’80s verve with an immediacy that drives the dancefloor even harder.
And the Sky Cracked For the First Time
J Colleran, formerly known as MMoths, has established himself as one of the most captivating experimental electronic composers in Ireland right now. ‘And The Sky Cracked For The First Time’ from his album Gardenia stands out as the highlight. The track gradually layers texture upon texture, building tension until the autotuned vocals send out a huge release. Haunting and emotive, the song is an example of contemporary classical music at its very best. He plays The Complex this July 21st.
The latest italo-inspired modern dance pop by the Italian artist based in the UK.