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Passion Pit – ‘Hey K’
Michael Angelakos’s electro-pop outfit have, in recent days, been dropping enough tracks to soundtrack an entire awards show on Grammys night. We’ve already heard “Inner Dialogue,” “Somewhere Up There,” “I’m Perfect,” and “Moonbeam”. “Hey K”, released this week, is the strongest of these releases for my money. Angelako’s piercing, heavily produced warble may be a bit of hump that some listeners will have to get over, but behind it there’s a radiant groove that would brighten any dingy dance floor.
Lana Del Rey – ‘Love’
Fans of the artfully melancholic and pseudo-gothic can rejoice – Lana Del Rey has returned. Deeply moody and breathy to the point of an oncoming asthmatic attack, its sounds exactly how one think a Lana song called ‘Love’ would sound. What we hear recalls the atmospheric balladry of her Born to Die era, but there’s also a hint of the innovative flourishes we’ve seen in Ultraviolence. Another heart-on-sleeve, mascara running anthem maybe, but it has legs, this one.
Auxiliary Phoenix – ‘Night Light’ feat. Cannibal Ox’s Vast Aire & Gentle Jones
The Irish song of the week goes to to the transatlantic beats of ‘Night Light’. Auxiliary Phoenix is a Carlow based producer who has managed to garner the assistance of the Harlem Hip hop duo Cannibal Ox for the track. An exhilarating, old school dose of smooth funk, ‘Night Light’ is a groovy testament to the increasing power of global collaboration.
Calvin Harris – ‘Slide’ Feat. Frank Ocean and Migos
Say what you will about Calvin Harris, but getting arguably the two most exciting acts working in urban music today to appear on you track is already a feat impressive enough to make even the most EDM intolerant pay attention. It helps, too, that ‘Slide’ is rather excellent; a sleek, ultra-cool voyage into the sun-drenched coast that makes correct use of its diversely talented guest stars. This is a one listen or your money back.
Young Thug – ‘Safe’
I would open this blurb with the clichéd adage of saying Young Thug has returned, but truth be told, he never really left. ‘Safe’ is the eccentric talent’s first single since last year’s excellent JEFFREY, a good mixtape with an even better cover. The sounds maybe be surprisingly laid back and strangely alluring, but Thug’s croak sounds more paranoid than ever. “I spend more money on security than I make/ Just to be safe” he erratically croons.
Jidenna – ‘Bambi’
Jidenna’s uniquely eclectic album The Chief was just released, but this week he dropped a video for one of its strongest, strangest efforts. ‘Bambi’ is the sonic equivalent of a Bing Crosby track being blared over the music at a club in modern day, downtown Atlanta. It’s audacious to say the least and by god I must be crazy because it kind of works.
Michael Mayer Joe Goddard – ‘For You’ (DJ Koze Mbira Remix)
DJ Koze’e remix of the Micheal Mayer and Joe Goddard effort takes an already emotionally charged track to even more affecting, poignant place. To call it a remix is doing it a disservice, as Koze uses nothing but the vocals and some strings from the original song to make his melancholic mark. The kind of song that was made for looking out a rain drenched window on a particularly wistful day.
Happyness – ‘Through Windows’
Happyness are an English Indie Rock band who have done something that Indie rock bands never do anymore: make a soulful piano ballad. While there are some psychedelic woozy flourishes, the track is still a welcomingly sincere and sweet sounding effort. Evoking the straightforward ,heartfelt nature of the 70’s singer/songwriter, the band sound at peace with one another.