Here is a weekly dose of the best releases from the past week.
Youth Lagoon - "The Knower"
Trevor Powers released his third album last month, continuing a tradition of introspective subjects and melodic electronica. Yet, Savage Hills Ballroom appears to be a collection of much more traditionally-composed and upbeat tracks. Probably one of the more radio-friendly songs on the album is "The Knower" - a dense tune, which gradually becomes a plethora of drums and horns, withstanding Power's vocal reflections on the inevitability of death. The corresponding CGI video was released last week.
Courtney Barnett - "Shivers"
Written by post-punk god Rowland S. Howard then later performed by band co-member at the time Nick Cave, "Shivers" is a stunningly grim classic filled with the poetic desolations of youth. So unassuming indie-rocker Courtney Barnett had her work cut out for her when she decided to cover what she claimed was "one of her favorite songs". But with the help of producer Jack White and her lowered voice pitch she really does this new wave ballad justice.
Bloc Party - "The Love Within"
Run The Jewels - "Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite)"
Run The Jewels has no doubt left a mark on today's hip-hop. A vital mark, that brings the slightly shifted focus of the genre back to social issues, community values, and political hypocrisy. "Rubble Kings Theme" is a raw, hard-hitting track, written for the soundtrack of the upcoming "Rubble Kings", a documentary about 1970s gangs in the Bronx.
Broderick Batts - "Wavey"
Broderick Batts comes from Tampa, Florida and is yet another love child of the marriage between electronic beats and R&B that is flooding the current music scene. Wavey is very, well, wavey.
Randomer - "Kids Play"
London-based producer Rohan Walder has never disappointed me with his multi-layered techno tracks. "Kids Play" is busy with percussions, bells, and an old phone ring.
DJ Earl - "Funk From 2905"
DJ Earl is a member of the production crew Teklife and he successfully experiments fusing footwork with other electronic genres and hip-hop. "Funk From 2905" is an ethereal, chill, very decelerated footwork-like track which seems more suitable for the afterparty.
Toro y Moi - "Want" (ft. Washed Out)
Another track perfect for a more intimate gathering is from the usually more upbeat US producer Chazwick Bradley Bundick. A collaboration with compatriot Washed Out, "Want" is a haunting dream-pop piece, oddly enhanced with a soundbite from the 2004 tissue-soaker "The Notebook".
Neon Indian - "The Glitzy Hive"
While others weep, Neon Indian keeps on exhaling cheerful, bubbly vibes. "The Glitzy Hive" has a groove reminiscent of the 1970s and is from the upcoming VEGA INTL. Night School, which is to be released this week.
Nicolas Jaar - “Fight (Nymphs IV)”
Continuing his nymphet period, the Chilean producer released another installment last week. Equally as good.
U.S. Girls - "Sororal Feelings"
I mean, the title alone. "Sororal Feelings" is a minimalist gritty piece from the concepual Meghan Remy, a.k.a. U.S. Girls. The DYI visuals were released last week and together with the song lyrics is apparently based on a character in a novel "Coming Through Slaughter" by Michael Ondaatje - a former prostitute whose husband had slept with all her sisters prior to marrying her. It all makes sense now.