Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire has been teasing his upcoming mixtape Kismet for a bit now. And while we’ve heard songs like “Noble Drew Ali” and seen his video “Nightfall At The Thames,” there was still no concrete information about if or when the full collection would actually come out. Finally, the project has an official release date and it’s 6/4. The tape includes collaborations with Danny Brown, Flatbush Zombies, Raider Klan member Key-Nyata, and a head-scratching production credit for Curtis Mayfield. To prep for the release, here’s shortie “Fat Fool,” produced by The Alchemist. No hook, no put-on flair, just eX lyrically bench-pressing 300 and an accompanying video that has him simply being chauffeured through Austin in a rickshaw. Kismet also includes a track called “Chains,” which I have yet to hear, but from what I have been told about the hook, it sounds like proto-”New Slaves,” at least content-wise. Watch the “Fat Fool” video and check out the full Kismet tracklist below.
Settle, the debut album from the brotherly British garage-revivalist duo Disclosure, is still a couple of weeks away, but I’m going to tell you right now that it’s one of the best albums of the year. Thanks to the excellent singles “White Noise” and “You & Me,” you’ve probably already heard one side of their sound: The sweetly melodic, R&B-derived slickness that they can conjure so well. But “When A Fire Starts To Burn,” which more or less works as the album’s opener, shows another side: The absolutely vicious riff-happy dance side. Even when they’re making ferocious instrumental tracks, though, Disclosure sound more euphoric and approachable than you’d believe. “When A Fire Starts To Burn” is an absolute jam, and you can hear it below.
The Halifax-bred producer Ryan Hemsworth has built his name on a form of twinkling, emotive cloud-rap music, though his take on the style is a lot smoother and more grounded than that of, say, Clams Casino. We’ve lately posted Hemsworth tracks like “Perfectly,” “Proto,” and “Colour & Movement,” as well as his remixes for Cat Power, Lana Del Rey, and Rhye. And now Hemsworth has released a free seven-track online EP called Still Awake. Check it out below.
When Earl Sweatshirt invited weed-rap superstar Mac Miller to the stage at Low End Theory to perform a new song a few months ago, the combination seemed weird as fuck. But Miller gets better and more interesting all the time, and a recent FADER cover story revealed that he and Earl are actually really good friends. And today, we get to hear the studio version of “Guild,” the song they performed together. After the staggering “Chum” and the goofy Odd Future group effort “Whoa,” it’s the third complete song we’ve heard from Earl’s rabidly anticipated forthcoming album Doris, which still has no release date.
“Guild” is a clinic in blunted rappity-rap, with Earl and Mac, their voices distorted and pitched down, going in over a twinkling and low-key beat. And I wouldn’t have guessed this would ever happen, but Mac kind of beats Earl on this song? He’s at Myrtle Beach in a purple fleece in hotel lobbies playing Für Elise? He’s at a prop shot in Montauk throwing tomahawks at civilians? I mean, he does really well. Listen to the track at FADER.
Where are you, Fiona Apple? After a banner 2012, the singer-songwriter recently cancelled her only scheduled appearance for 2013, at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival; she also torpedoed a slew of South American tour dates late last year with no signs of rescheduling on the horizon.
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised — disappearance is part and parcel of Apple’s career trajectory. Apple says she rarely ventures outside her Los Angeles home, except when visiting the L.A. club Largo, where she occasionally hops on stage with pal and resident performer Jon Brion. She doesn’t drive and claims there is no one she speaks to on a daily basis. She’s released only four albums in 17 years — 2012′s The Idler Wheel was her first in seven years; it was another six years between the prior one, Extraordinary Machine, and its predecessor, her second effort, When the Pawn …. She’s that especially rare public figure in the digital age — one who still cultivates an air of mystery and distance.
With the video for Starlight Girls’ noise-pop track “7×3,” we learn that the best way to prep for battle is to take a big bite out of a tomato. Dressed in matching throwback dresses and plastic pearls, two girls take to a Brooklyn roof to sword fight while the Xiu Xiu-produced track plays. I won’t tell you how it ends, but my money was on the girl with the red tomato. Gotta get that lycopene from red fruits and vegetables, guys. Check out the video below.
Daft Punk’s masterful new album Random Access Memories takes its time in getting anywhere, but this hasn’t stopped the French duo from getting their own formula one racecar. Columbia, the duo’s label, is a partner with Team Lotus F1, the British racing team, and a new YouTube video shows the robots walking toward a formula one car that appears to bear their logo. Hard to say from all this, but it appears that the Daft Punk racecar is racing in the Grand Prix De Monaco, an annual race that starts today. Watch the short and cryptic video below.
“U.O.E.N.O.,” the recent single from the Atlanta rapper Rocko, earned itself a ton of unwanted notoriety in recent months: It’s the song where Rick Ross bragged about date rape. So consider this a reclamation. All four members of L.A.’s furiously exciting Black Hippy supergroup — Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock — have teamed up for a spazzed-out, fired-up remix of the track. Download it below.
On their staggering new album Sunbather, the San Fransisco metal explorers Deafheaven fuse black metal to shoegaze, creating mind-warping 10-minute odysseys of sound that are vast enough to get lost in. It’s a hell of an album, and I don’t think Michael will mind if I tell you that it’s his favorite LP of the year thus far. (Michael’s off today because he’s on his way to the Maryland Death Fest, so his opinion on a metal album should carry some weight.) We’ve already posted the opener “Dream House” and the title track, and now you can, and should, stream the entire album at Pitchfork.
Sunbather is out 6/11 via Deathwish, Inc.
Toronto’s Arts & Crafts turns ten this year and they’re doing a number of things to celebrate, including the release of X a compilation of collaborative tracks from artists throughout the label. The comp will feature tracks from Feist, Stars, Chilly Gonzalez, and this track, “Day Of The Kid” from Broken Social Scene and Years. The song is ascendent and immersive, warm and building, the kind of thing that endeared BSS to so many. While the band may be on an indefinite hiatus, one of the A&C10 will include at one-night only performance from the group at Field Trip Festival in Toronto on 6/8. There will also be performances from Ra Ra Riot, Bloc Party, and more. Check out “Day Of The Kid” below.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from Ernest Greene, the gloopy Georgia-based synth auteur who records as Washed Out. But his 2011 debut album Within And Without was one of the best things that came out of the whole chillwave movement (even if it did hit stores after that whole thing had already faded). And later this summer, he’ll follow that album up with a new one called Paracosm. On this one, he once again worked with Within And Without producer Ben Allen, probably best-known for Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion.
The album’s title refers to the idea of imaginary worlds that people create, and Greene may have created his own world with the album, using more than 50 instruments, as well as samples. The first single is called “It Feels All Right,” but we haven’t had a chance to hear it yet. There is, however, a two-minute album trailer with some deeply pretty music in it; check it out below.
An enthusiastic 1,200 folks danced at the sold-out Majestic Ventura Theater, soaking up a twenty-one song set by Arctic Monkeys who are doing a handful of dates across the States before their headlining slot at Glastonbury. They kicked off the show with a new song “Do I Wanna Know?” (watch below) before digging up older gems like “Fake Tales Of San Francisco” and “Dancing Shoes.” Check out the photo gallery above and the setlist below.
Andrew Cedermark, the former Titus Andronicus guitarist and veteran of the home-recording limited-cassette-tape universe, is about to release his new album Home Life, and the songs we’ve heard from it are bigger, fuller, and prettier than anything he’s done before. We already posted the luminous early track “Canis Major,” and now “At Home,” another track from the album, turns out to be a quiet and reserved anthem, with resigned lyrics about lost childhood and a combination of surging guitar and honking harmonica that recalls prime Springsteen. It’s a great song, and you can hear it below.
The New York indie-pop band Caveman rounded up a pretty impressive cast for their video for “In The City,” the first single from their self-titled sophomore album. The clip stars Julia Stiles and the Dollhouse actor Fran Kranz as a tourist couple visiting New York, and it looks like a fun visit before a creepy hotel bellhop gets involved and things take a darker turn. Philip Di Fiore directs; watch it below.
Last night, a night after they served as musical guests on Letterman, the National returned to TV, bringing their debonair and sophisticated gloom-rock to The Colbert Report. On Letterman, though, nobody expected them to sit for an interview. And on Colbert, the clearly nervous-as-fuck singer Matt Berninger had to speak on camera to Stephen Colbert, who proceeded to murder him for being a boring interview. (For the record, I’ve interviewed Berninger before, and I found him to be a delightful talker. But he probably wasn’t nervous to talk to me.)
The band got a chance to redeem themselves, though, when they played the stately, surging Trouble Will Find Me track “Graceless” and then, as an online bonus, also charged through the single “Sea Of Love.” The Colbert website is having some embedding issues right now, but you can watch the full episode here. (The interview is the third segment, and the song is the fourth.) Check out the “Sea Of Love” performance below.
“Holy Roller” was the first song that Thao Nguyen wrote for We The Common, her new album as Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. The jittery indie-folk tune was also the first song we heard from the album, and now it’s the first one to get a video. In director Mimi Cave‘s clip, Nguyen and a few friends lip-sync the song dramatically, and then special effects come in and mash up their faces in increasingly disturbing ways. Watch it below.
The National released their new album Trouble Will Find Me yesterday (5/21) and played two intimate NYC show to celebrate. They made an early evening stop at Brooklyn’s Public Assembly and closed out their night in Manhattan at Mercury Lounge. We sent intrepid photog Daniel Topete to check out their BK gig. You can also watch fan-shot videos of “Terrible Love” and “Sea Of Love” from the same performance below.
Stuff like this is the reason the A.V. Club’s “A.V. Undercover” video series exists: Louisville post-hardcore warriors Coliseum, who landed a recent Album Of The Week with their ferocious Sister Faith, covering “Shakin’,” a deeply silly piece of ’80s cheeseball-rock fluff by Eddie Money. You will not be shocked to learn that the band turned the song into a burly workout, and they get bonus points for taking advantage of the A.V. Club’s Chicago location and roping in Yakuza frontman and underground metal luminary Bruce Lamont to play saxophone. Watch the cover below.
TV Girl’s chugging “She Smokes In Bed” is cautionary tale. While it’s as upbeat as can be, its narrative is not so bright. The track’s protagonist, Mary, is keen on taking her cigarettes too close to bedtime and, well, you’ll have to listen to the song to see how things end for her. It comes from TV Girl’s upcoming Lonely Women EP, which they’ll have for sale digitally next month. Analog-heads can grab it via limited cassette tape via the group’s bandcamp.
“Alive,” the new single from Aussie synthpoppers Empire Of The Sun is as much a grand and absurd spectacle. as it is a song; the group made good and sure of that with the video. They’re all over the festival circuit this summer, which means they’ll play the song live a fuckton of times. And one of the first of those times came earlier this week at the House Of Blues in Dallas. The performance was heavy on lights and dancers and costumes, and you can watch a pro video of it below.