We’ve only just finished the first full week of the month but June is already shaping up to be full of some of the year’s best. This week, for example, we’ve been given another tasting from Vince Staples’ aquatic opus Big Fish Theory, a sublime collaboration between TDE buddies SZA and Kendrick Lamar, a smoldering ballad from Jorja Smith, a remix from J Hus that turns a golden track into a diamond track and even more goodies from the likes of Drake, Ariel Pink and Big Boi.
See below for our picks for the Best Tracks of the Week.
Ariel Pink — “Another Weekend”
Ariel Pink is back in action. The pop-rock provocateur has returned with his first major release since his sprawling 2014 album pom pom, and it does not disappoint. “Another Weekend” conjures all of the bizarre, fuzzed-out sound effects you’d expect from a Pink project and fuses them into a lazy, hazy ode to summer chilling. His timing could not have been more perfect.
Big Boi — “In the South” ft. Gucci Mane & Pimp C
SLAPPER ALERT. “In the South’s” undeniable sauce doth runneth over due to blaring trap sirens, a booming Cadillac-rattling beat and three of the best rappers of all time. Putting down Pimp C as a feature artist might seem a bit odd, but if you’re Big Boi and La Flare, anything goes. RIP.
DJ Khaled — “To the Max” ft. Drake
“What Khaled has done with ‘To the Max’ is forge a Jersey / Miami juke hybrid, via an underground (and distinctly British) music scene. Whilst the track was probably more likely inspired by Khaled’s love of Jersey Club, it’s not out of the question to imagine Drake playing Khaled T2’s ‘Heartbroken’ in a studio session – he’s certainly had previous experience with this sort of thing. ‘To The Max’ is a refreshing, incorporating two of the most overlooked scenes in world music.”
Read our review here.
French Montana — “Unforgettable” ft. Swae Lee (J-Hus Remix)
So French Montana and Swae Lee already have a certi summer anthem on their hands with “Unforgettable” – and then J Hus strolls in and makes it even better. Young Hustler injects some tropical lilt to the breezy hit, with his wry wit and infectious like-ability on the mic shining through on this banger of a remix. J Hus USA takeover pending.
Jorja Smith — “Teenage Fantasy”
Jorja Smith has quickly become one of our favorites – she continues to leave us speechless track after track. “Teenage Fantasy” is no exception thanks to its neosoul vibes, brimming with youthful teenage nostalgia, and her vocal prowess well beyond her mere 19 years. We can’t wait to see what she’ll bring us next.
Lolina — “Keep It Movin’”
Lolina has been quietly creating some of the most interesting music of the past half decade or so as Inga Copeland, just Copeland, and most notably as Hype Williams with Dean Blunt. On “Keep it Movin,’” she conducts a bizarre orchestra of echoing plucked strings and drum machines led by her deliciously deadpan voice that says things like “cash and carry on.” If you like what you hear, cop her latest EP Lolita on Bandcamp.
SZA — “Doves in the Wind” ft. Kendrick Lamar
Dusty drums, a warmth that sounds like your favorite vinyl record on the turntable for the hundredth time, the smooth vibrations of SZA’s voice, and a verse by Kung Fu Kenny, what could be better? The fact that “Doves in the Wind” is about vaginas – “pussy” is mentioned 25 times in the track’s four and a half minutes – and that it’s only one of 14 solid tracks on SZA’s debut album Ctrl which just dropped today.
TORRES — “Skim”
“Do you just hate him more than you love me?” rising rocker TORRES asks in her new single, her voice conveying every twitch of her bristling anger. “Skim” is rife with this energy, executed in the track’s first half with a synth that runs tremors through the earth and in the latter half with her miraculous, fuzzed-out guitar frenzy. Her ferocity and inventiveness with the instrument immediately places her within the lineage of forbearers like PJ Harvey and St. Vincent, but TORRES has a captivating swagger entirely her own.
Vince Staples — “Rain Come Down”
“Stacked against the barely-contained manic energy of the previous singles, ‘Rain Come Down’ could pass for a slow jam. This is largely thanks to a syrupy hook from Ty that coos hazily about that evening sweet-spot “when the sun go down, when the J go round.” But like everything else we’ve heard from Big Fish Theory, this normally jaunty sentiment is undercut by an ominous synth line, one that circles beneath like a shark patiently pacing its prey.”
Read our review.
Zola Jesus — “Exhumed”
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Zola Jesus does not make small-scale work. The singer with a maelstrom of a voice has made a career out of pairing her cataclysmic vocal chords with electronic melodies that could rupture the tectonic plates. Even with this in mind, “Exhumed” is a towering tidal wave of a comeback single, embodying the verb of its title to resurrect her titan strength.
- Cover Image: saintheron.com