Along with Disclosure, British producer Duke Dumont is one of the guys responsible for bringing house sounds onto the pop charts. He’s got two UK #1 singles under his belt already, and he still has yet to drop his debut full-length. “Mumble Man” comes not from his forthcoming album but from For Club Play Only Vol. 3, the third installment of a four-part series of EPs. Hilariously touted by his label as “possibly the best scat track since Scatman John,” “Mumble Man” is a tech-house track full of synth and manipulated vocals that, as suggested by the EP’s title, seems built for club play. Hear it below.
YG’s debut album My Krazy Life remains, for my money, the best rap full-length of 2014 by a whole lot, and one of the great things about it is the way it weaves its big, obvious singles into its rich tapestry. The Compton gang-slang headknocker “Bicken Back Being Bool” feels more like an album track than a single, but like so much of what this guy does, it’s catchy as all hell, so maybe it’s not a surprise that it’s got its own video now. Director Alex Nazari starts things off with a long spoken-word fire-and-brimstone sermon, and he piles on the local Compton atmosphere before everything explodes into a gun battle. It’s a gripping video, and you can watch it below.
Lorde’s “Tennis Court” already had a bass-heavy weight to it, and now Diplo has only added more in his “Andrew Agassi Remix,” (mis)named for the all-time great tennis player Andre Agassi and released with a photo of Agassi as artwork. Whether Diplo is implying it is he or Lorde who is on an Agassi-level in music isn’t really clear, but it’s a remix that doesn’t mess with the song too much, simply amplifying the track’s already present strengths. Listen below.
Future seems to be on a mission to make videos for every one of the songs on Honest, his very good sophomore album. And the new video for the miasmic, thudding “T-Shirt” follows in the footsteps of the low-budget clips for “Blood, Sweat, Tears” and “Side Effects.” This one is a day-in-the-life sort of thing, and it follows Future from an airplane to a drug house, a shoe store, his house, and the stage at Birthday Bash, Atlanta’s biggest annual rap show. There are a few rapper cameos in there, too. Watch it below.
Lucki Eck$, an 18-year-old rapper from Chicago, released his debut mixtape last year. “Ouch Ouch,” produced by British singer FKA twigs (about to drop her own debut album), comes from his forthcoming mixtape BODY HIGH. FKA twigs also directed and starred in the video, a creepily hypnotic clip of what looks like either a séance or demonic possession shot on glitchy, grainy VHS tape. Watch it below.
Earlier this year, Johnny Foreigner released their slept-on fourth album, You Can Do Better. For whatever reason, the British four-piece never completely gained a foothold on this side of the pond in the way that contemporaries Los Campesinos or We Were Promised Jetpacks did, but it’s about time they were recognized for putting out consistently enjoyable and well thought-out punk. Their signing to Philadelphia’s Lame-O Records in the US should help. To celebrate the new relationship, the band is releasing a mixtape of reworked B-sides and demos from their archives, and “Candles” is a propulsive highlight in that collection. Listen below.
“Tied Up, Tied Down” was one of the best songs off TEEN’s recent album, The Way And Color, and now it has been paired with a music video, directed by Jordan Michael Blake, which approaches the tropes of teen love with the same surreal, psychedelic twist as the band gives to R&B. It follows a trio of identically dressed teen girls and a trio of boys who pair off and do things that teens do like make out, smoke cigarettes, drink milk (?), beat each other up in boxing matches until they vomit blood (??), and eventually turn into portals to outer space (???). The video tumbles further down the rabbit hole until the summer day shifts to night and things come to a haunting conclusion. Watch it below.
David Courtright, the Atlanta one-man experimental pop band known as Suno Deko, releases his Thrown Color EP tomorrow. Courtright brings a unique and compelling perspective to modern indie rock, one that bears traces of horizon-spanning works by global heavyweights Radiohead and Sigur Rós as well as the intensely personal, layered pocket symphonies of American auteurs such as Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox and Mutual Benefit’s Jordan Lee. Those are some fucking great influences, ones that have inspired lots of imitators over the years. Yet from the moment you hear Courtright’s mannered tenor quivering amidst the guitar-driven atmospherics, it’s clear he’s got something fresh and powerful to communicate. That much was clear from the title track and “Bluets,” and the rest of Thrown Color only affirms it. Listen to the full EP below.
The Brooklyn trio Bear In Heaven specializes in a form of synth-rock that finds room for grandeur and drama in all its bloops and twinkles. Time Is Over One Day Old, their new album, finds them deep in their groove, combining dance-music textures with huge and blown-out festival rock. We’ve posted the early tracks “Time Between” and “Autumn,” and now you can stream the entire expansively pretty, emotionally satisfying LP at NPR.
Time Is Over One Day Old is out 8/5 on Dead Oceans.var chartbeat_zone = "misc";
Kimbra is gearing up for the release of her second album, and the songs we’ve heard so far have run the gamut from the gloriously weird “90s Music” to the funky “Love In High Places” and slinky “Nobody But You.” The latest is “Miracle,” and the song sees the New Zealander experimenting with yet another new sound, this time going for a soulful disco vibe. With a song like this up her sleeve, it’s no wonder she was once enlisted to tour with Janelle Monáe Down Under. Listen below.
Sometimes it can all be as simple as a guy, a guitar, and an 8-track recorder. UK singer-songwriter Johnny Lloyd, formerly of the band Tribes, wrung some serious beauty out of those ingredients on “Happy Humans,” the title track from his upcoming EP. The song’s content is as simple and beautiful as its form, with a chorus that simply celebrates “happy humans in love.” Have a listen below and consider it a respite from all the violence, hatred, and tragedy in the news lately.
The two sisters in 2:54, the Irish-born and London-based duo, make grandly gloomy windswept rock music, something like the xx if they were more revved-up and shoegazey. They were a Band To Watch in 2011, and they released their self-titled debut in 2012, but they’ve been relatively quiet lately. So here’s their big return. They’ve signed to new label Bella Union, and they’ve got an as-yet-untitled new album coming later this year. First single “Orion” is dark and majestic and synthy, and it sounds more like the Cure than anything they’ve done before. Listen to it below.
Though Phantogram’s new album, Voices, came out this past February, it’s been almost a year since we first heard the highlight “Black Out Days,” and now Future Islands have given it the remix treatment. It’s a good reminder that although Sam Herring remains such an unbelievable frontman, there has always been way more to the Baltimore synth-pop band than just him. That gets emphasized when they are given the chance to play around with a another band’s music, and here they soften Phantogram’s sounds and create something heartfelt and dramatic. Listen to it below.
Last year’s debut from Atlanta’s Places To Hide was a quick, crisp half-hour of sturdy and studied punk. “Nowhere Bound” is the first song from their new EP and you can tell that the band is starting to stretch out and experiment a little bit. It starts off with some soft coos that sound like they could be from a ’60s surf jam before settling into smoky stoner rock, rounded out by mellow boy/girl vocals. Their lack of enunciation is part of their charm — indictments of suburbia are well-trod ground, but Places To Hide sell it because they sound completely over it. Listen and check out some tour dates below.
About a month ago, UK dance duo Basement Jaxx shared the towering disco-house track “Never Say Never,” the third single from their upcoming album Junto. Today, it’s been given a spectacularly insane video thanks to writer/director Saman Kesh. In a world where 72% of humans have stopped dancing, Jaxx Industries sets out to “stimulate the world to dance again” by inventing and perfecting the Bluetooth-enabled, iTunes sync-able TW3RK-BOT, complete with self-lubricating, machine-washable Jaxx Buttocks. Pre-order yours today! You can watch the appropriately dramatic video below. (NSFW-ish, depending on how acceptable robot butts are. There are also a couple of human butts in there, so watch out.)
“Weird Al” Yankovic specializes in broad, silly one-joke songs, whether they’re parodies or not, and he’s been releasing videos for them for the entire past week. With his new album Mandatory Fun out, Yankovic has shared seven videos in the past week, and some of them, “Tacky” in particular, have been great. But on the eighth and final day of the campaign, he’s shared a video for his most layered and pointed song. “Mission Statement” is a Crosby, Stills & Nash pastiche, but the lyrics are made up entirely of buzzword-heavy boardroom corpo-speak. And so the song works on the idea that the change-the-world ideas that the singer-songwriters used to sing about now take the form of tech billionaires figuring out ways to pile up more money. Pretty depressing! The animated clip is mostly a lyric video, made up entirely out of cartoony whiteboard drawings, and you can watch it at The Wall Street Journal, a media outlet that basically exists to bolster the kind of talk that Yankovic lampoons here.
Mandatory Fun is out now on RCA. Stream it here.var chartbeat_zone = "misc";
Blake Mills is a frequent tourmate and collaborator with Fiona Apple, and Apple shows up on his new single along with another creative partner of hers, Jon Brion. The tune, from Mills’ upcoming Heigh Ho, is called “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me,” and it’s an exceptionally pretty and expertly produced folk-rock tune about the fallout from a big mistake. Apple is relegated to background duties here, and Brion plays tiple, but both of them make their mark. Yet Mills is the star here, as he should be, providing a strong case that he’s more than just an ace sideman. It’s a lovely song, so listen below.
This past weekend, Pitchfork Festival went down in Chicago, and it included a great deal of excellent acts. We sent our photographer Max Herman to capture some behind-the-scenes portraits of artists around the festival. Above you’ll find photos of DIIV, Deafheaven, Giorgio Moroder, and more.var chartbeat_zone = "misc";
Kanye West is on the cover of GQ’s August issue. The Q&A is out in the world now, and it’s fantastic. He acknowledges that Drake has become the center of hip-hop but asserts that he could take it back if he wanted. He compares the second verse of “New Slaves” to Coming To America and Anchorman and quotes Step Brothers when explaining why he decided to get married. (Dude seriously loves Will Ferrell.) As usual, there’s great stuff about fashion and celebrity and marriage and fatherhood. But most importantly, there’s some information about Kanye’s next album, which he expects to release this fall:
After Eddie Vedder declared himself anti-war in an open letter last week, he covered the famously anti-war “Imagine” during a solo show in Portugal on Friday night. Before the song began, he said, “I think it is the most powerful song ever written. Which is why I have never played it. It seems like maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a light there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone.” Watch a fan video of the performance below.