Playlist 11.24.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Playlist 11.24.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 11.24.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 11.24.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Beck has announced the release date for his fourteenth studio album, Hyperspace, and also dropped two brand new singles. The album arrives November 22, and the new songs, “Hyperlife” and “Uneventful Days,” are both available to stream now. The songs feature glistening, atmospheric production, though the latter is bouncier and more fully formed.

Beck has also shared the complete Hyperspace tracklist, and revealed that Chris MartinGreg Kurstin, and Sky Ferreira all contributed to the record, and that Pharrell Williams co-wrote and co-produced seven of the eleven new tracks.

In a recent interview with NME, Beck spoke about receiving some canny advice from Pharrell: “I was not expecting the songs to come out how they did. I was going in thinking of songs like ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, y’know? … He felt very strongly that spending a little time with me, that ‘You need to be doing singer-songwriter type of songs’. So that was more of the direction we went in.”

Though the Hyperspace songs we’ve heard so far—”Hyperlife,” “Uneventful Days,” and “Saw Lightning,” released back in April—bear little resemblance to “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” there may still be a few hip-hop-inflected surprises buried in the album. Find the tracklist below, along with “Hyperlife” and “Uneventful Days.”

Read the rest of this article at Spin

OOFIE is the surprise release from New York rapper Wiki. It dropped last Friday – his latest full-length solo album following 2017’s spectacular No Mountains in Manhattan (a record I gave 10/10 in a review in this very publication, an assessment I stand by two and a half years later). It’s a travesty that album, which I still listen to at least once a month, never blew up like it should have done. Indeed, Wiki appears world weary at the start of OOFIE, questioning his place in the music industry on ‘Downfall’, but nonetheless determined to show us he’s still king (“Even when I’m down I got a crown on my head” he spits, as if we’re the ones doubting him).

OOFIE of course retains the sound that made No Mountains so compelling – Wiki’s distinctive voice, characterised by a kind of sexy nasal indifference with electric undertones, is what really carries the energy of the record. It holds together a somewhat chaotic soundscape, the result of an eclectic set of collaborations with producers including Micachu, Faze Miyake, Tony Seltzer, NAH and Wiki’s old Ratking buddy Sporting Life.

If the collaborations contribute to OOFIE emerging as a somewhat less coherent project than No Mountains, Wiki’s willingness to work with other people also delivers some of the best material on the record. Appearances from Lil Ugly Mane and Denzel Curry on ‘Grim’, and Your Old Droog on ‘Way That I Am’ are particular highlights. I also love the playful ‘Pesto’, where Wiki raps about green things with all the rapper’s joy in wordplay and verbal dexterity fully on display. There are some odd additions too: I’m not sure if his determination to “commemorate the ladies that made me” on ‘Promises’ works entirely, or adds a needlessly saccharine edge to an album that can sometimes veer into self-pity. Still, when the closing ‘Freaks’ reminds us of his dedication to the craft (“I did it for the freaks…”), you can’t help agreeing that whatever Wiki’s given to his art, it’s been worth it.

Read the rest of this article at Fader

When DJ Shadow released his last record, The Mountain Will Fall, three years ago, he explained that he came up with the title when contemplating how intimidating a prospect he finds starting out on a new full-length to be – ultimately, he said, you pick away at it piece by piece and, eventually, the proverbial mountain comes down. The follow-up, Our Pathetic Age, is sprawling enough to suggest that he might have considered it a personal Everest when he first started out on it, but the fact that its back half is littered with blockbuster cameos means it was not a lone construction job.

After the runaway success of ‘Nobody Speak’ last time out, it’s no surprise to see Run the Jewels return on ‘Kings and Queens’, but the hip hop highlight here is the colossal ‘Rain on Snow’, which sees Shadow enlist a heavyweight Wu-Tang hat-trick in Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. Not all of these hookups are successes – the chaotic ‘Drone Warfare’ squanders the might of Nas and Pharaohe Monch, whilst Paul Banks of Interpol continues to baffle with his incursions into the genre on the forgettable ‘Small Colleges’. In truth, Shadow does a better job of speaking to the highs and lows of the technology age on the early electronic tracks, which run like powerful mood pieces: at one end of the spectrum there’s soft menace to ‘Intersectionality’, and at the other, ‘Beauty, Power, Motion, Life, Work, Chaos, Law’ is a glimpse at future jazz. Not a flawless expedition, but a diverting one.

Read the rest of this article at Loud and Quiet

When we first met Norwegian trio SASSY 009, they were three friends with a knack for hyper-slick, trance-indebted electropop. Much has changed since they released their debut EP Do you mind back in 2017, and today, SASSY 009 is solely the project of Sunniva Lindgård. Next month, she’s propelling forward with KILL SASSY 009, pushing the project in its steeliest direction yet while always keeping the groove paramount. She’s already shared the first single, “Thrasher,” and today she’s offering one more, a skittering kiss-off titled “Maybe in the Summer” that jettisons all negative energy toward the sun.

“‘Maybe in the Summer’ is a song about realizing you’re being taken advantage of by someone you thought had good intentions,” Lindgård wrote to The FADER. “The fast BPM and the intense movement in the song is a symbol of wanting to move on quickly, while also trying to understand how and what you feel towards this person and yourself as a result of this confusing behavior. Basically the sound of a confused mind and an eager will to shake this destructive pattern off.”

Read the rest of this article at Fader

New single ‘Ain’t Over Yet’ is out now and the band tell us that “Ain’t Over Yet is the vague existential subconscious between the rest of our tracks. It’s the fear and the hope, the innocent childhood and the corrupted adult, a ghost in the astral plane. We stripped away all the noise of modern life, the distractions and clutter that litters the rest of the record. “Ain’t Over Yet” is the spirit or the soul or something like that.”

An adventure island surrounded by waves of nostalgia and built on a foundation of blissful, retrocentric rock, Some Bodies shape a world over the course of ten impeccably produced pop nuggets that’s distorted yet inviting, told from the point of view of a band looking back at their youth.

The melancholy nature of ‘Sunscreen’ bares all the markings of a half-forgotten summer of freedom before life happens and we’re forced to look at the world without the rose-tinted glasses of adolescence. As such it’s both unforgettable in its melodies and delicately playful, but boasts some hefty modern subject matters such as virtue signaling, climate change, dead-end jobs, celebrity, religion, shame, social media and mental health.

“There are a lot of questions and no answers on this album” we’re told by guitarist and lead songwriter Fred Hickey, “It’s fairly soul searching. Personally I was just shedding all the disguises of my early twenties and writing about them. It sounds like someone giving themselves a good talking to to me. The “grand conceptual idea” Tom and I would keep coming back to when we’re talking about the lyrics and imagery was this “shit holiday resort desert island”. We were just laughing at all of these characters being cooked by global warming surrounded by an ocean of plastic. But I guess we were those characters and making this record is all we had to protect ourselves from getting cooked. Hence “Sunscreen”.

The album pulls in sounds from every corner of rock history, from the dulcet lo-fi harmonies of The Beach Boys and Sparklehorse to the contemporary psychedelic leanings of Tame Impala and Beach House.

Opener ‘Tired All The Time’ recalls lazy, hazy afternoons before the poignant ‘TV Show’ hits harder with an aggressive krautrock riff and smoky delivery. Elsewhere album highlights like ‘Higher Self’ and ‘Sunshine’ revel in their unabashed love for The Beatles, and if these tracks serve to lead you on a journey through the bands surreal fictional funfair then ‘Escape’ plays the role of haunted house, with its dark edge, jagged guitars and sinister garage-rock rhythm. Towards the end on ‘Aint Over Yet’ we’re given a healthy slice of Pixies charm, without cutting too close to the bone.

Recorded by Stew Jackson at the legendary Rockfield Studios, the LP offers gloriously crafted indie-pop that at times feels vintage in its presentation but Some Bodies have taken everything they know from these timeless eras and twisted them into something quite unique. In a similar fashion to bands like Foxygen or The Lemon Twigs, their music aptly reflects this generation’s sentimentality for the past and for escapism.

Starting to make some waves locally in Bristol, the band have recently shared stages with the likes of FUR, Champagne Superchillin and Sugar Candy Mountain, played Liverpool Sound City and their first London shows include those for Huw Stephens and George Godfrey.

Read the rest of this article at Circuit Sweet

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