Friday, May 22, 2015

TGIF: Drake + Beyoncé Team Up on "Can I"

Following Drake and Beyoncé's brooding back-and-forth on 2013's "Mine," the two superstars are at it again on the Drake's latest leaked track, "Can I." 

Expected to appear on the rapper's forthcoming album (I know, I know - how can he keep pumping out music at this rate), "Can I" is sonically similar to "Mine," in that it's smooth and relatively vulnerable. But, in terms of sharing duet duties, this one is a little lopsided; Queen Bey plainly chants "Can I?" and "Baby" throughout the short, moody track, while OVO teammate Sal Houdini sings the hook and Drake hollers  things like, "Before I turn the lights out, tell me who the fuck you wanna be?" overtop the metronome beat.

Needless to say, although incredibly sexy, the track could use way more Beyoncé - in the form of, you know, singing or something.

Have a listen over at Rolling Stone.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

TBT: Wolf Alice's "Blush"

London quintet Wolf Alice have been making major waves with their most recent single, "Bros" (which I wrote about here), almost as if... they're a brand new band.

Don't get me wrong, in the grand scheme of things, these Brits are most definitely new(er) to the scene - but, they've been putting out solid indie-rock for over three years.

For instance, the self-titled track from their 2013 EP Blush always comes to mind whenever I hear someone rave about the breakout band, or see their faces recently plastered across a trendy publication.

As one of those songs that I like to think would have blown up had it nabbed a cameo during a dramatic scene on The OC, "Blush" might have been written a few years too late. The haunting alt-rock ballad is equally carried by Ellie Roswell's pure and tiny croon, and some echoey, Band of Horses-reminiscent guitar chords. It's less upbeat than what they're doing on their forthcoming release and wasn't even a single, but deserves a shout-out for being one of the gorgeous songs that started it all.

Look out for My Love is Cool on June 23 via RCA.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Best New Album: Hot Chip's Why Make Sense?

Over fifteen years into their career, Hot Chip have released Why Make Sense? their most dynamic, energetic album yet - filled with more instruments and dance floor swagger than ever before.

Whether on the electric "Cry For You," late night anthem "Dark Night" (best track, in my opinion) or the thundering title track/album closer - Hot Chip has broken down quirky barriers and found a way into unequivocally likeable, funk-riddled dance territory. Sort of as if... LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk had a lovechild. 

It could be towards dancing, it could be towards tripping, it could be towards romance - but, either way, there's no doubt that this album will move you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A$AP Rocky Collabs with Miguel, Rod Stewart and Mark Ronson

After a wild weekend in the windy city, I think I need a bit of a banger to keep me awake. Cue the A$AP.

Although his album was recently delayed three weeks, Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky just dropped "Everyday" - a moodier effort that features red hot vocals from Miguel, production touches from all-powerful Mark Ronson, and of course (?), a Rod Stewart sample.

Rocky's rhymes are dark and banging on the gloomy new track, which is the second leaked from his sophomore album At.Long.Last.ASAP, out June 2 via RCA Records. Have a listen below.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Best New Album: Tallest Man on Earth's "Dark Bird is Home"

After a very long week, this is exactly the kind of album I wanted/needed to listen to.

Stemming from previously twangy, unplugged releases, The Tallest Man on Earth's newest album, Dark Bird is Home, is everything and more; I think it's his personal awakening, recorded.

The Kristian Mattson (AKA Tallest Man on Earth)/Bob Dylan similarities are still here - fluttering and reminiscent - but with more brio and dimension than any of his other work I've heard.

While I'd hate to base this review off comparisons, I can't help but note that this album is reminiscent of everything (other than Dylan) I've grown up with and adored - so much so that Dark Bird feels like it's 20 or 30 years late. I hear Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Paul Simon, Dire Straits, Tom Petty and more of the timeless sounds that make every song inexplicably classic.

Thank goodness, there's no shortage of wistful, plucked ballads (the album opener "Field of Our Home" shook me from the get go) and Darkness on the Edge of Town-style piano odes like "Nowhere Towns." But beyond those, there's robust, multi-instrumental folk-rock anthems that deserve a car with open windows; namely, "Darkness of the Dream," Timothy" and "Slow Dance."

This is exactly what I needed, and I bet you'll feel the same once you take a listen.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Best New Track: Tame Impala's "Eventually"

OK, Tame Impala. We get it. Your new album is going to be one of the best of the year.

At this point, I feel like the Aussie psych-rock outfit have already released Currents, their ridiculously anticipated third album. They've been dropping single after single - read: addictive, trippy hits - for the past two months, painting a picture of how outstanding this potentially seminal album will sound.

Yesterday, we were gifted "Eventually," which, in my opinion, is the golden track of the four they've leaked. Decorated by waves of heavy reverb, "Eventually" hops between those growly, distorted moments and twinkling psychedelia - all obviously led by Kevin Parker's unmistakably woozy falsetto.

Judging from what my fellow critics have said, I'm the only one who believes this one stands alone as the best leak yet, but sue me - I think this hazy lullaby is so dreamy.

Look out for Currents, via Interscope Records, on July 17.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

New Future Islands EP: The Chase

Following Future Islands' (long overdue) commercial success after releasing their fourth album, Singles, the quirky Maryland synth-pop band have quietly released a new EP, titled The Chase.

While only two songs, the EP sounds perfectly Future Islands. Samuel T. Herring saves the thundering croon and instead opts for more subdued vocals - leaving something to be imagined for their fifth album. On "Haunted By You" (my favourite of the two), there's that melancholic sweetness heard on On The Water's ballads, but, with "The Chase" we get the upbeat retro-pop that made them (namely, Herring's Letterman dance moves) finally go viral. In fact, the guys stopped by Letterman recently to do it all again. (See below.)

When it comes to Future Islands, I like everything, but this pace agrees with me. It'll make a great soundtrack for laid back summer nights. The Chase is out now, via 4AD.