We unfortunately cannot begin to dig into this week's best new songs before mentioning the arrival of BROCKHAMPTON's new album iridescence. As any music journalist will tell you, the fervor surrounding this release has been a central talking point all year long. Now that it's finally here - was it worth the wait? So far, all signs are pointing toward a 'holy hell yes,' but more on that in a moment.
Also on deck this week, we have two odysseys equally epic in scope and length, one from Lana Del Rey and the other from Lil Uzi Vert. While nothing like the other, both demonstrate an enormous sonic pivot for their respective artists. And if that weren't enough, we've been additionally blessed with delicious new material from the likes of Little Simz, Open Mike Eagle, and Jimothy Lacoste.
All those and more make this edition of Best Tracks of the Week.
BROCKHAMPTON - "BERLIN"
iridescence has finally arrived in all of its metallic rainbow glory. Obviously, the entire record is straight fire, so picking a favorite song from the bunch is like picking your favorite member of BROCKHAMPTON - downright impossible. I decided to opt for “Berlin,” because it’s pretty cool that they were inspired by the city I’m lucky enough to live in, I’m a sucker for a blown-out bassline, and all the boys’ bars are on point - exhibit A: Matt Champion rapping: “Pessimistic, I do not hang ’round them boys / Metaphysics, need another dimension I can enjoy.” - B
Charly Bliss – “Heaven”
Grungy love songs will save us all from the impending dark days ahead. This marks the first single since Charly Bliss dropped their 2017 album Guppy, and it's a slight departure from their previous work in terms of the song's theme, because frontwoman Eva Hendricks veered away from writing it as a coping mechanism. Happiness is something worth singing about too! - S
French Montana - “No Stylist” ft. Drake
We don’t need another song that lists off the names of European luxury brands. That’s a fact. However, we’ll give it up to producers Hector Chaparro and London On Da Track for that Spanish guitar. It goes hard. Overall, French Montana and Drake are doing their thing just fine and we respect it. - B
Jimothy Lacoste - "Fashion"
I'm not sure I understand Jimothy Lacoste or what he's playing at – is he real or is he a bit character from someone's sketch show? "Fashion," for the first time, has silenced my inner turmoil of trying to 'get' him and let me simply enjoy him. Over ultra-retro, squeaky clean synths, Jimothy spits in a seriously enviable deadpan about having fun with his pals and dressing with class. Who can't relate to that? - J
Lana Del Rey – “Venice Bitch”
Can you smell the seasonal depression in the air? There's also a dash of denial! Even if you've never set foot in Venice, California, this multi-layered song really takes you there as Lana's sweet, swooping vocals accompanied by a smooth electric guitar tell the story of another expired romance from a past life. Given the intensity of the socio-political climate in the US right now, there's something deeply disturbing when she coos the line "You're beautiful and I'm insane/ We're American-made." It's been interesting to observe Lana's personal evolution as a figure for patriotism over the years – she went from being a symbol of Americana culture to a vocal opposer of Donald Trump and the version of the America that he and his followers stand for. God bless, Lana Del Rey. - S
Lil Uzi Vert - "New Patek"
If everyone could perform good deeds for one another with the same chutzpah as Uzi when he utters his first exclamation of “New Patek on my wrist,” the world would be a better place. Eternal Atake can’t come soon enough, if this emo-friendly production and virtuouso-level rhymes spilling out the end of each verse are anything to go by. - B
Little Simz - "Offence"
One of the UK’s best exports is back and we’ve ‘been’ ready. The aggression of the distorted guitar paired with steady drums, the strings that float in, the cartoon sounds - it all works - and we haven’t even mentioned Little Simz’ bars, which go hard. If you need to get some anger out in a healthy way, may we suggest the two minutes and 48 seconds of Simz’ latest. - B
Majetic – “Bloodbrunch”
Everything associated with this single took me by surprise in the best way, from the pulsing beats and hypnotic vocals to the out-of-the-box visual with outfits that are bursting with personality. Seriously, what's not to like about this aesthetically pleasing piece of art? The single is fresh off Majetic's forthcoming album Club Dread due out on November 2 via Winspear. - S
Open Mike Eagle - "Relatable (peak OME)"
Amid the ocean of generic trap that comprises most of today's rap, a track like Open Mike Eagle's "Relatable" is a genuine shock; this song keeps you on your toes. A menacing, drone-like bass buoys Mike's musings on "expectations of form, anxiety, middle age and middle class." Not exactly light material, and just when you feel like you've begun to digest it all a horn solo arrives, a jarring insertion of organic instrumentation in the otherwise imposingly artificial beat. It's a bold choice, one that denotes this beauty as a track of pure inspiration. - J
Petite Noir - "Beach" ft. Danny Brown & Nukubi Nukubi
Petite Noir and Danny Brown are not a musical duo that one would naturally think of, well, ever, but the powerhouse vocalist and manically berserk rapper clearly have more than a few things in common. The latest entry in their collaborative history is coming off of Noir's upcoming album, which, if "Beach" is anything to go by, is going to be as dramatic as his rich baritone. It's a solid song, but it has handily earned a place on this list thanks to Brown's one-of-a-kind guest spot; truly an MC like no other. - J
Be sure to check out last week's edition of our Best Tracks right here.