Tuesday, June 21, 2016

5 New Songs (I Think) You Need To Hear Now

I'm back! These past few weeks have been nuts, and finding a free chunk of time to pen a post has been almost next to impossible. But I've still been listening very closely - so here are five brand new tracks I can't wait to pass along. Interestingly enough, you'll find very little hip-hop here today. Enjoy!

1. There Will Be Time (feat. Baaba Maal, Beatenberg and The Very Best) - Mumford & SonsOn Friday, Mumford & Sons released Johannesburg, an EP that digresses from their coined bluegrass arena anthems into lush, Afropop territory with the help of Enegalese singer Baaba Maal, South African trio Beatenberg and the electro-pop collective The Very Best. Thankfully, nothing about their latest musical venture feels constructed or lame; the big, rhythmic ballads glimmer from start to finish without the looming discomfort caused by Paul Simon's Graceland. Recorded over two days during the band's extensive South African tour, Johannesburg is an undeniably beautiful fusion of cultural influences.

2. Hello - Jaunt: Toronto-via-Hamilton quintet Jaunt popped on to my radar the other day with the premiere of this lighthearted neo-soul ditty, which clocks in at only two minutes. Sounding a little Mayer Hawthorne-meets-Mac DeMarco, "Hello" is one of six songs set to appear on their new EP Chat, due later this summer.

3. Time of the Blue - The Tallest Man on Earth: There's a huge amount of folk out there, and I certainly don't follow the genre as closely as I used to. That being said, I'll never not listen to a new track or album from The Tallest Man on Earth, seeing as the Swedish artist never ceases to reinvent and amaze me. I especially won't pass up folk when when it sounds like "Time of the Blue," a gorgeous piece that strips down the instrumental layers heard on last year's Dark Bird is Home to just a flurry of acoustic picking and Kristian Matsson's distinct vocals.

4. Solemn Oath - Band of Horses: I've heard a few complaints about the new Band of Horses album, when frankly, I can't find many things I don't like about it. This could be attributed to my fan girl status, or the fact that it really is just what you'd hope to hear from the BOH boys: melodic, back-road indie-rock that pulls from both their debut's orchestral moments and the janglier cuts heard on Infinite Arms. Also, I can vouch for this song sounding real nice on a hot summer walk.

5. Saint Pablo - Kanye West: Just when we thought one of the year's best, biggest and most controversial hip-hop albums couldn't possibly be modified any further, leave it to 'Ye to add one last track into the mix. And a beautiful, highly sought-after one, at that. When The Life of Pablo was released in February, R&B and hip-hop heads were disappointed to find that the Sampha-featuring "Saint Pablo," which had previously been debuted and uploaded to Apple Music before being ripped down, didn't make the final cut. But here we are, four months past TLOP's drop and probably not far out from G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Winter project, and the melodic, piano-backed confessional has thankfully been added as the official album closer.

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