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Animal Collective – ‘Kinda Bonkers’
Following the universal “meh” uttered by the world upon the release of their last album Painting With, Animal Collective have given us a track worthy of our attention. ‘Kinda bonkers’ was recorded around the same time as the previous LP, and it’s understandable why it didn’t appear on that cluttered cacophony. It’s no ‘My Girls’, but it is a South Asian influenced, atmospheric slow burner that features the childlike, campfire chanting which has influenced some of the group’s best music.
Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF – ‘Hypocrite’
CFCF is the moniker of Montreal’s Mike Silver, an electronic producer who, for the last 7 years or so, has been making film scores that filmmakers seem blissfully unaware of. That should change with ‘Hypocrite’, in which he teams up with neo-classical pianist Jean-Michel Blais. The result is a beautiful, bombastic and blistering fusion of contemporary and traditional styles than any director would be lucky to have on their soundtrack.
Thundercat – ‘Friend Zone’
Trust Thundercat to release a petty track about unrequited love on Valentine’s Day. It’s all especially ironic considering this is a such a sultry sounding release. While the lyrics have Steven Burner lamenting that the fact that “I’m your biggest fan / But I guess that’s not just good enough”, the pure seduction of the syncopated groove reminds the object of his affections just what they’re missing.
Hoops – ‘Rules’
A quartet from Indiana, Hoops evoke the lo-fi nostalgic pop gleam of Ariel pink along with the dreamy daze of a band like Diiv. ‘Rules’, a brief breath of a track, encapsulates these two elements in succinct fashion. The song is also set to appear on the groups debut album, Routines, out in May.
DJ Khaled – ‘Shining’ (Feat Beyoncé and Jay-Z)
DJ Khaled isn’t just a walking meme, he also releases music from time to time. Now he’s employed the worlds biggest power couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, for the bass heavy, shimmer of ‘Shining’. It was released the same day as the Grammys and although Beyoncé lost out on the big award, her sunny delivery here has the song ringing out like an IDGAF anthem.
Pixx- ‘I Bow Down’
The bewildering electro-pop musician Pixx is one of the most promising artists on 4AD’s roster, and this week she announced her debut album entitled The Age of Anxiety—isn’t it just—will be out later this year . Along with that announcement, she gave us the less airy straight up synth track ‘I Bow Down’.
Mount Eeerie – ‘Ravens’
Last July, Phil Elverum’s wife Geneviève Castrée passed away from pancreatic cancer, only a year after she gave birth to their first child. In fall of 2016 the man behind the monikers The Microphones and Mount Eeerie decided to document his gut-wrenching grief through a collection of songs. “The Raven” is one of those songs. The track draws its sucker punch power from nothing but Elverum’s guitar and the nakedly honest diary entry lyrics he sings.
Cashmere Cat – “Love Incredible” (Feat. Camila Cabello)
Apparently Camila Cabello used to be in Fifth Harmony, and apparently this is the first material she’s worked on since what must have a been much publicised split (I did not get the memo). Lending her voice to producer Cashmere Cats’ “Love Incredible”, it’s hard to say whether or not this will be the song that will kick-start her post breakup solo career a la Robbie Williams. It is however, a gnarly downtempo number and something of a miracle in the pop world—a track under 3 minutes.
Hater – ‘Cry Later’
I’m sure the one thing missing from your life this week was some Swedish jangle-pop. Hater’s album You Tried is set to drop next month and the singles have been consistently solid. ‘Cry Later’ is a frizzy, spindly guitared frenzy that evokes bands like Blue Öyster Cult and The Byrds.
Flume – ‘Fantastic’ (Ft. Dave Bayley of Glass Animals)
This week Flume released the Skin Companion II EP, and as its name suggests, it’s the second companion release to last year’s middling Skin LP. It’s a an abrasive, unhurried and magniloquent release that features the likes of Moses Sumney and Pusha T. The standout track, however, is ‘Fantastic’, a bass-heavy dirge with Dave of Glass Animals taking over the vocal duties.