You know it’s going to be a good week if it starts off with a brand new Syd song, and that’s precisely how this one kicked off. But even a new tune from one of 2017’s breakout artists could have prepared us for the week of songs we had ahead of us.
Firstly, we have the return of King Krule, with Archy Marshall making his first release under the beloved moniker since 2013. Then we had more surprise numbers from industry veterans like Wu-Tang Clan and Beck, both of whom dropped singles out of the sky for us to savor. And that doesn’t even touch on the fact that Fergie teamed up with Nicki Minaj for a new song, or that Miguel pulled a similar surprise-collaboration with Travis Scott.
All of those and more make our picks for the Best Tracks of the Week.
Beck – “Dear Life”
Beck has been pushing around a pair of new singles for nearly two years, but the iconoclast has finally spilled the beans on the follow-up to his Grammy-winning Morning Phase. Colors will be here in October, but in the meantime, enjoy his most recent slice of retro-fitted, forward-thinking pop-rock-funk.
Brockhampton – “Follow”
Those doubting the claims that Brockkhampton are reinventing the notion of the ‘boy band’ should look no further than “Follow,” a single released mere days before their second album this year. It might be the only rap-posse cut in existence to kick off with a verse entirely consisting of someone bragging about how many boys chase his ass (yes, in a homosexual way). Listen carefully, this is the sound of the future.
Fergie – “You Already Know” ft. Nicki Minaj
After MILFing it up last year, Fergie is set to make a proper return to music with her sophomore album Double Dutchess next month. Although Fergie dropped two collabs last night including “Hungry” with Rick Ross, we’re loving the pop yin and yang of Fergie and Nicki Minaj. With some old school breakbeat vibes and yet another killer verse from Ms. Minaj, you already know this song is on point.
Jorja Smith – “On My Mind” ft. Preditah
Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly love Jorja Smith any more, she goes and drops “On My Mind.” Our girl Jorja ups the BPM from the soulful slow burners we’ve been accustomed to with a UK Garage banger in collaboration with Birmingham’s Preditah, singing about ridding herself of a wasteman.
King Krule – “Czech One”
Is there a working artist more enigmatic than King Krule? Making his first release as Krule since 2013, Archy Marshall is back in action to serve more not-quite-R&B, not-quite-soul, not-quite what have you. And of course it rules. His haunted vocals here smack harder than ever with such lines as “I can’t even look her in the eye.” Get hyped for the full-length.
Miguel – “Sky Walker” ft. Travis Scott
We’re not sure what Miguel found in the years since his last full-length, the dense (perhaps too dense) Wildheart, but boy is he onto something now. Perhaps it’s simply the addition of Travis Scott’s syrupy vocals, or perhaps it’s the production that is somehow both immensely foreboding and sparklingly sweet all at once. Whatever it is, Miguel is having more fun than he’s had in ages, and it is infectious. We are right there with him, dumb grin plastered on our faces while we Luke Skywalker over the haters.
Octo Octa – “Adrift (Avalon Emerson’s Furiously Awake Version)”
Octo Octa released her excellent album Where Are We Going? earlier this year, and one of our favorite DJ-producers Avalon Emerson took a stab at remixing the deliciously dub techno “Adrift.” While the OG version is well suited to a 3AM dance floor, Emerson’s sounds like a “furiously awake” sunrise, and we’re here for it.
Sam Dew – “Runner”
Sam Dew has quickly established himself as a producer with serious chops. This is, after all, someone who both Taylor Swift and Zayn felt comfortable turning to for mastering of their own track. Even with that in mind, Dew’s just-released single “Runner” is astounding. Such a concise, pulsating monster of a track rarely comes about with such little fanfare. Which is a shame, as this song goes in.
Syd – “Bad Dream/No Looking Back”
Despite dropping her debut full-length just six months ago, Syd is wasting no time springing back into action. And thank God for that. The Internet and Odd Future impresario’s latest treatise on the travails of a soured relationship remain as piercingly intimate and deeply thoughtful as anything found on this year’s Fin.
Wu-Tang Clan – “People Say” ft. Redman
A new song by the Wu-Tang Clan is far from something we would have expected to hit us in 2017, but now that it’s with us, hey, you won’t find us complaining. RZA’s production speeds by like clockwork underneath Method Man delivering classically witty lines like “I’m nutty with the bars / that’s a Pay Day” followed swiftly by an interpolation of a quote from cult classic film The Warriors. The Wu have literally none of their magic, even after all these years.
Be sure to check out last week’s edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.