Playlist 03.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Playlist 03.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 03.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 03.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Orville Peck – Dead of Night

“Dead of Night” is stoic and understated, with hazy lap steel guitars transporting you directly to the heart of the Nevada desert. Peck’s self-branded “homoerotic cowboy pop” captures a dusty trail of memories, his expansive vocal range recalling the adventures of two young hustlers and their whirlwind romance. The chimes of rattlesnakes glide over the surface of the track’s sombre instrumental, warning the listener of the impending heartbreak.

The accompanying video follows Orville and his posse of companions as the jagged terrain entwines with the dusky wood-panelled backrooms of Nevada’s legendary Chicken Ranch brothel. Featuring many of the women who work at the brothel, the artist paints a picture of authenticity as he combines hypnotic harmonies with classic elements of American country music.

Observing from behind his fringed leather mask, the faceless crooner eventually turns the mirror onto his audience, casting a scene that is equally tender as it is devastating. But on reflection, there’s nothing but isolation in its wake.

Read the rest of this article at The Line Of Best Fit

Peggy Gou – Starry Night

For all its associations with clubs and warehouses, house music sounds best outdoors—at open-air parties, poolside get-downs, and beach raves. Peggy Gou’s “Starry Night,” her first single of the year, aims directly at that sand-between-the-toes vibe. It’s not exactly a new look for the Korean producer; much of her work falls squarely on the feel-good end of the club-music spectrum, from the breezy electro of “Han Jan” to the tropical disco-house of “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane).” “Starry Night,” from the inaugural release on her own Gudu Records, picks up the throwback sensibility of her previous singles and runs with it, propelled by gliding hi-hats, machine claps, and a staccato bassline with the faintest hint of freestyle. The glue holding it all together: bold, pumping piano chords, the ultimate signifier of house music at its balmiest. As if the point weren’t clear enough, Gou drives it home with the fragmentary images of the song’s spoken-word refrain, which bookends her trademark Korean-language verses: “Ocean! Starlight! Moment! Now! Us!” With summer just a few months away, the opportunity to encounter “Starry Night” in its natural habitat draws tantalizingly close.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

Chai – Fashionist

Japanese cosmetics is a multi-billion dollar industry; the cult skincare brand Shiseido alone earned over 200 billion yen in the last fiscal quarter. CHAI—the four-piece electro-punk group from Nagoya, Japan—describe their daily skincare routine on “Fashionista” as a meticulous art: “Too much make-up, just lips and eyebrows all set, glossy yellow skin/Have nothing more than this,” vocalist Mana sings (partially in English, partially in Japanese) with a flickering eye roll. In a vacuum, “Fashionista” could be a modern-day “Material Girl,” but CHAI never let things get too sugary. After a cheer-squad shout of “Here we go!” comes a low, buoyant bassline, like proto-punk Fred Smith’s bluesier chord progressions. It adds a layer of grit and funk beneath Mana’s vocal, a deadpan delivery soaked with irony and disaffection.

But then the chorus drops like a sack of confetti: “We are fashionista!” CHAI sing in harmony, like the Spice Girls at CBGB. This shift is jarring, but for a band who named their 2017 debut album PINK and are about to release its follow-up PUNK, they have their own musical context, one in which Devo and Sailor Moon exist in the same universe. “Fashionista,” similarly, is still dressed in a patina of femininity, even as resentment bubbles beneath the surface. Pitted against the capitalist behemoth of the beauty industry, CHAI know the best way to fight their enemy is from within.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

Tierra Whack – Only Child

After three years spent out of the spotlight and fostering new creative alliances, Earl Sweatshirt has returned with the music he was always meant to make. It furthers his progress from foul-mouthed prodigy to steady and confident auteur, a journey he began with the fittingly insular I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. The loss of his father in January of this year—shortly before they planned to reunite and have a “long-anticipated conversation”—has added a sense of gravity to his work. “Not getting to have that moment left me to figure out a lot with my damn self,” Earl said in a press release.

“The Mint,” the latest single from his third record Some Rap Songs, offers an experienced perspective of life, love, and death. Featuring ambling, understated production by Black Noi$e and a verse from New York rapper Navy Blue, “The Mint” contains ups and downs and observational asides. It is descriptive, not prescriptive—and it’s only obliquely about Earl. One moment Earl shouts his friend, Bronx rapper MIKE; the next he is decrying gentrification (“Crackers pilin’ in to rape the land”) and spitting the funniest and most concise summary of hip-hop I’ve ever heard: “Say I’m ballin’ out the hourglass/Grand total, it’s a whole lotta raps.” It’s the sort of reflection that can be achieved, it seems, only after realizing that tragedy is indifferent to your creative achievements. He’s not necessarily figured out himself, but on “The Mint,” Earl Sweatshirt takes in the world around him to find that it’s your surroundings that matter most.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

Flume – How To Build A Relationship (ft. jpegmafia)

Since their first foray into the world of empathic electronic music a few years ago, Melbourne duo Kllo has long-since established themselves as masters at instilling every one of their songs with a profound sense on sentimentality. Their latest is no different. Marking the Melbourne’s duo first release since their phenomenal debut album, 2017’s Backwater, “Candid” is a UK garage-scored mediation on the intrinsic power of words.

One of Kllo’s strongest features is the way in which cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam play off one another to build something that truly feels dynamic alive. “Candid” is a fusion of sounds emotions thanks to a chopped vocal sample one would expect to find on an XL Recordings deep-cut, a danceable UK garage-style beat, and Kaul’s wistful R&B-style vocals. The hybrid vision results in a meditative dancefloor hit that underscores very real emotional depth. As vocalist Kaul explained to Paper on the underlying meaning of “Candid,”

“It’s about understanding the power of my words, which is something new to me and the fundamental key to my happiness. Being as candid as I can and deserve to be.”

The downtempo sentiment is exuded simply yet beautifully in an equally candid accompanying video comprised of grainy intimate footage captured while on tour. The camera reticles that appear over Kaul and Lam’s faces throughout the video also speak to the other meaning imbued in “Candid” of attempting to capture an honest moment in time. And that is exactly what the Melbourne duo has done with “Candid.” Kllo has presented us with a sincerely honest sonic sentiment and made it danceable as well.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

P.S. previous PLAYLISTS & more by P.F.M.