We're basically halfway through the year, can you believe it? In case you missed it, we broke down the Best Tracks and the Best Albums of 2018 (so far), but none of those picks are featured here. Instead, we're bringing you 10 brand new songs, never heard prior to the past seven days! Wild, right?
The madness of G.O.O.D. Music season has finally subsided (slightly), and it feels like the first time in eons we haven't included a Kanye West-produced track among our picks. Fear not! There are still rap vibes this week courtesy of GoldLink (featuring Miguel) and Jay Rock (featuring Kendrick Lamar) from his excellent new album Redemption. Since the World Cup of Sportsball has officially begun, let's get geographical. The U.K. is repped nicely with fresh cuts from Mura Masa with Octavian and singer-songwriter NAO, the U.S. is definitely in there, and even Sweden pulls through with R&B up-and-comer Cherie!
All these and more in this week's best tracks below.
Alice Glass - “Mine”
As her solo career blossoms, Alice Glass seems to become more and more vulnerable, letting her voice be heard in both her music and the difficult situations she's endured. On “Mine”, she doesn't let us forget that vulnerability means strength - the sound of sharpening knives alongside her angelic voice reminds us of that fact.
Cherrie - “Känns Som 05’”
Unfortunately, we do not speak Swedish, but we know a good song when we hear it, and “Känns Som 05’” will get you lost in the sauce. Cherrie has been an artist to watch ever since she broke out with “163 För Evigt” last year and proved that the feelings that R&B evokes are so strong that language barriers don’t exist. Cherrie’s new album ARAWEELO just dropped today, stream it while it’s hot.
Chromatics - “Blue Girl”
We all know what to expect from a Chromatics song at this point, but just because the band with one of the most instantly recognizable sounds working today can’t surprise us doesn’t mean they can’t still wow us. The latest offering from the historically-delayed Dear Tommy album is a spellbinding affair, heavy on crisp percussion and cascading keyboards - just the ticket for your detached heartbreak vibe.
D33J- “On My Side”
The emo revival is still going on strong and whether or not D33J intended to be a part of it, he has officially entered the arena with this new single. “On My Side” casually blends indie rock and electronic in a way that never seemed possible until now.
Girl Unit - “WYWD” Remix ft. Kelela
The dynamic duo of Girl Unit and Kelela have reunited once more on a strong contender for song of the summer 2k18. On the production side of things, Girl Unit looked back to his UK Funky roots on “WYWD”, and although the term "tropical house" gets thrown around more than a frisbee in the summertime, you can't get much more tropical than actual bird noises. Kelela adds yet another handy abbreviation to our flirting lexicon while soaring above sunset clouds with that vocal performance.
GoldLink - “Got Friends” ft. Miguel
GoldLink enlists the lowkey king of the summer jams Miguel for a dramatic, samba-influenced slowburn that utilizes a… harpsichord? The duo manage to wring groove - and more importantly, sex appeal - from an instrument that screams uptight Baroque stuffiness. That they make it work speaks measures on their undeniable sonic chemistry - these two are so smooth they could literally sell anything.
Jay Rock - “Wow Freestyle” ft. Kendrick Lamar
Jay Rock one hundred percent delivered on the promise of his suddenly star-making tracks that arrived earlier this year with his new album Redemption. Aside from “King’s Dead” (which we’ve been bumping since February), a clear standout emerges in “Wow Freestyle”, a track whose beat sounds like it came out of a doctor’s office waiting room in Miami circa 1986. Of course that’s just necessary for Jay and K-Dot to eviscerate their bars over, which by song’s end become gut-bustingly funny.
Mura Masa - “Move Me” ft. Octavian
Mura Masa always seems to have new tricks up his sleeve while managing to compliment the impressive artists featured on his tracks. Starting off with gently blown out drums and an entrancing bassline, the sunny afrobeat rhythms he's cooked up on “Move Me” are perfectly suited to Octavian's bouncy flow.
NAO - “Another Lifetime”
U.K. singer-songwriter NAO makes a triumphant return on this immersive track that was born out of a tumultuous period of conflict. If her piercing voice doesn’t penetrate the wall that’s blocking your emotions, the synths will succeed in giving you instant chills.
Troye Sivan - “Dance With Me” ft. Ariana Grande
Whether or not this collaboration exceeded your expectations, there’s no denying it’s status as a bop that sways with ease. Summer flings don’t stand a chance when this track is on rotation. Bloom, we’re ready for you!
Be sure to check out the previous edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.