New month, new tunes. The first week of April 2017 has provided us with another fresh bounty of excellent music. On this week’s menu we have yet another new jam from Gorillaz (this one with Pusha T along for the ride), a Popcaan track that will undoubtedly be a song of the summer and a number from Kevin Gates recorded and released entirely from his prison cell.
Take a listen to those and more below in our picks for the Best Tracks of the Week:
Actress—“Dancing in the Smoke”
Another banger from Actress’s upcoming full length dropped this week and it’s a smolderingly fierce dance floor-filler. Brilliantly described by the man himself as “that moment in the club, in the side room which is less habituated where the music is more diffused from the main club, smoked out and disorientating,” it immediately transports you into a world that is both intimidating and captivating.
Amber Mark—“Lose My Cool”
Freshly signed to Interscope Records, 23-year-old Amber Mark turned to singing and songwriting as therapy for her grief. In 2013, she lost her mother – an artist who traveled all over the globe with her young daughter. Following her passing, Mark wrote and recorded a 7-track EP through her record label, PMR, dedicated to each stage of mourning. “Lose My Cool” is a darkly beautiful reflection on the destructive nature of reactionary anger that is rooted in pain.
BOSCO—“Castles” ft. St. Beauty
Atlanta-based singer and songwriter Brittany Bosco is part of a new guard who are making the city a destination for young creatives. Her new single “Castles,” a seductive ode to pulling it together and moving on, sees her linking up with alt-r&b duo St. Beauty, who are signed to Janelle Monae’s Wondaland label. The music video may be all blue skies, bubblegum colors and retro styling, but there’s an underlying moodiness that hints at heartbreak beneath a smile.
Desiigner—“Thank God I Got It”
Going from “shooting at the Holy Ghost” to thanking God for his hyperactive charisma on the mic, this track finds the New York rapper experimenting with producer Mitus for another dose of youthful zest.
It was immediately clear when Feist announced her new album Pleasure and dropped the title track that things have changed drastically in the years since her last full-length. Her sound now is primal, full of a bare-bones rock n’ roll growl that is a far cry from her more iPod commercial-friendly work. “Century,” co-written with Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, pushes this point even further.
Gorillaz—“Let Me Out” ft. Pusha T & Mavis Staples
Another instant favorite on heavy rotation from Gorillaz, this time with the help of rapper Pusha T and legendary R&B and gospel singer Mavis Staples. Pusha T apparently wrote his verses about a hypothetical human Cheeto American Presidency, which is horrifyingly now a reality. Musically, the booming percussion and triumphant synths are hitting the melancholic sweet spot.
One listen to Jae Hall and you know he’s part of the generation of confessional R&B. “Hollywood,” a saturnine contemplation on whether love can be an achievement on par with material success, reads like the pages of a diary. “Hollywood became a place of desire for me. I used to see it as a metric system for success and even happiness until I found a woman who made me feel everything I thought being in Hollywood would make me feel. Ironically, the moment I reached Hollywood I came back to nothing so that’s what the song is about,” Hall shares.
Juls—“Bad” ft. Not3s, Kojo Funds & Eugy
Afrobeats producer Juls is angling to be the DJ Khaled of the genre. Following up his longterm work with Mr Eazi, the London-based producer linked with Not3s, Kojo Funds and former collaborator Eugy on a vibe-filled summer ode to women who are bad AF. The song premiered earlier in the week and has already been featured on Beats 1 host Julie Adenuga’s show.
Kevin Gates—“What If”
While many of us have often had great quandaries in regards to our faith, Kevin Gates may be the first to put it so deftly. In his words, ‘What if God looked for love in the club just like one of us?’ It’s an intriguing vision, and one that he executes across a beat so tight that it could not only murder but go on to resurrect.
Klein—“With U” ft. Kahlia Bakosi
South London’s Klein has been on the rise for a while amongst those that like their music noise-filled yet strangely soothing. She’s serving otherworldly X-Files meets The Matrix realness (except way better) in the video for the second single off her Lagata EP, and our obsession with her continues to grow stronger. Wrap yourself in Klein’s distorted violins and ruminations on reconnecting with a lost friend like a blanket and proceed accordingly.
Melody’s Echo Chamber—“Cross My Heart”
The debut from Melody’s Echo Chamber was a stunning LP of pitch-perfect psych-pop, one that evoked the genre’s heyday of the late ’60s with an expertly polished sheen. “Cross My Heart,” the lead single from her upcoming album Bon Voyage, may have lost Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker as producer, but it has lost none of Melody’s bewitching powers to conjure the sounds of history’s quintessential era of cool.
Mount Kimbie—“We Go Home Together” ft. James Blake
This is by no means either of these musicians at their best. Yet it’s still a whole lot better than most music out there at present and a very welcome return to form from two of the greatest artists of the new millennium in British music.
This week, we premiered the title track off DJ/producer Nightwave’s Wavejumper EP, out April 14 on Fool’s Gold. It instantly transports us to a sweaty Glasgow club at peak time – we’re obsessed with the throbbing bass, percolating synths, and post-apocalyptic bleeps ’n bloops. Get yourself in a rave mindset and check out our Q&A with one of Glasgow’s finest right here.
Yeah, you thought you had already picked out your summer jam, but then Popcaan comes along and throws your preference right out the window. “Stray Dog” is so summery you can practically taste the ocean and feel a hot breeze against the back of your neck. It’s so enveloping that its easy to forget the lyrical content is just a parade of clever insults, which inevitably makes it the shadiest song of the summer as well.
Slowdive—“Sugar for the Pill”
The shoegaze pioneers made a surprising return to music with “Star Roving” recently, but it’s on “Sugar for the Pill” that they really found their groove. Sparse, yet spectacular, candid yet catchy, this is Slowdive back to their very best.
Take a look at our picks for the best tracks and albums of March right here.
- Text: Jake Boyer, Jacob Davey, Bianca Giulione, Stephanie Smith-Strickland
- Cover Image: Gorillaz