Back in 2013, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA revealed he was working on a record with Interpol’s Paul Banks. Last month, the two unveiled a name for their project, Banks & Steelz. They also shared the first track from their collaboration, “Love + War,” featuring Ghostface Killah, along with a video paying tribute to Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. On Wednesday, they announced their album will be titled Anything But Words, due out on August 26. Today, they’ve detailed the album and shared a new song called “Giant.” The song, produced by John Hill and Kid Harpoon, will be available via all digital retailers on June 10. Listen to it below.Anything But Words features Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch, Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man and Masta Killa, and Kool Keith. Along with previously announced appearances at FYF Fest, Life Is Beautiful, and Austin City Limits this summer, the duo has also announced a set of tour dates.
2016 has featured two rap projects that begin with a reference to the gospel staple “This Little Light of Mine.” On Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo the song was quoted by Chance the Rapper, setting the mood for a wayward album about using faith to reckon with temptation. On Vince Staples’ Prima Donna, the song is quoted as a final reckoning …
The first song on Summertime ‘06, Staples’ ambitious debut album, also ended with a gunshot, but the targets were varied. There, strafing between his past and his present, Staples wove a rich tapestry of adoration and alienation, a love letter to his hometown of Long Beach, California written in the blood that stains its streets. Prima Donna is much more narrow in scope. The brief EP finds Staples playing puppeteer to a rap star who finds fame to be unfulfilling. Nearly every song is appended by an acapella coda in which the forlorn rap star speaks directly, his voice heavy yet hopeful. It’s unclear whether the codas are song demos or confessionals, but that seems to be the point: the same art that gives the rap star life is slowly killing him.
Singer-songerwriter James Vincent McMorrow made his bones pumping out heartbreaking, folksy tracks recorded in the middle of nowhere, but 2016 has seen the Irish musician take his lovely falsetto in an entirely new direction, one that is more soulful, more R&B, and borne out of collaboration rather than isolation.
In July, McMorrow told The FADER that the new sound on his forthcoming album, We Move, could be attributed in part to the influence and style of Drake’s OVO label, which seems to have helped McMorrow tap into a part of his creative process he hadn’t explored before. “Everybody that knows me knows that my love [for music] was from hip-hop, and sort of that production background,” McMorrow said at the time. “I’ve never necessarily put that into a record before because it’s hard to explain where I come from musically to people.”
Melbourne singer-songwriter Alexander Biggs has been quite the indie darling since emerging from the Triple J Unearthed repository with “Out In The Dark”, his second-ever track. We were in awe of the beautiful simplicity of the self-produced sounds when they had arrived, and we are now willing proponents of Alexander as we premiere his latest release, “Tidal Wave”. Much like his previous single, “Tidal Wave” contains the same lo-fi vocals and DIY sensibilities that have continued to be endearing aspects of his. This time around, he does add a slight urgency of percussion to the mix, but it does not take away at all from it being another gorgeous offering of his bedroom-folk sound.