Under The Moon” arrives hand in hand with the release date for her highly anticipated debut album, MODUS VIVENDI, set to release January 17, 2020. The new single is nothing if not a beautiful glimpse into the hypnotizing world 070 Shake is actively whisking into existence. Playing out like a moon-lit confessional through barren streets, 070 Shake calls out to sky above, “You drink too much, you know you drink too much, you know / Spirits in your blood and sippin’ through your soul / God I need some water, God I need some water / Look up to the sky and I feel closer to you.” 070 Shake lays not just her heart but her soul on the line.
There is a sense of animal magnetism that surges throughout the swells and quietest moments of “Under The Moon,” crafting a soundscape you cannot help but fall in step with. 070 Shake spoke further on what she hopes to accomplish with this next step in her artist career, sharing,
“I just really go with how I feel in the moment, and then that’s where the writing comes from. It’s like an ongoing disperse of words when I feel something. I want it to make a change in the world. The agenda is bigger than just music.”
The line between Dan Snaith’s different musical aliases has always been pretty clear cut. As Caribou, his main gig since 2005, he’s tackled an expansive mix of psychedelic soundscaping and wistful house music; as Daphni, he turns out stripped-down, sample-heavy club tracks. You’d be unlikely to mistake one for the other. But last month when Snaith dropped “Home,” the first new Caribou music in five years, it looked like maybe his wires had gotten crossed: Built atop a juicy loop of ’60s soul, the song sounded deeply informed by Daphni’s penchant for making funk and disco edits.
With “You and I,” though, the pendulum swings back to a sound and mood that’s quintessentially Caribou. The synths are pillowy and brightly colored; the crisp drumbeat toggles between ’80s new wave and a kind of slow-motion electro; and Snaith’s melancholy falsetto sounds better than ever. The whole thing is a feast of contrasting tones and textures, right down to an unexpected bridge that ducks into a sort of trap-adjacent side door for eight playful bars. The production is so vivid that it might take a few listens to recognize the hurt at the heart of the song. Snaith has sung about loss before, but on “You and I” absence assumes a stark new form as he grapples with the aftermath of a loved one’s passing. It’s the most vulnerable he has ever sounded. As he moves beyond the house-adjacent style of 2014’s Our Love, Caribou is entering new emotional terrain, too.
The most emotionally wrecked moments on Kali Uchis’ 2018 debut Isolation sound full of light. Telling someone they’re dead to you is a final rejection, but “Dead to Me” still resounds with pleasure. So does “Feel Like a Fool,” a jazzy ode to deceit that Uchis described as “really fucking dark but too personal to talk about.” On the new single “Solita,” her first since the album, personal tragedy feels similarly weightless. Over a reggaetón beat, Uchis’ pained vocals announce that she’d rather be alone than stay with someone who hurts her. Embellished with croons and synth echoes, the song continues to show off her omnivorous approach to genre.
“Solita” reprises “Loner,” the closing track of 2015’s Por Vida EP, on which Uchis sang with bleak resolve of neglect at the hands of a lover. “Solita” alludes to similar mistreatment, describing a relationship raw with “open wounds.” As long as she stays, she’s suffocating: “Rooted in your ways/You won’t ever know, you won’t ever see/Who I am today.” She switches to Spanish for the chorus, affirming that her decision to leave is the right one, even if it hurts: “Bailando aquí sola, como a mi me gusta” (“Dancing here alone, as I like”). It’s better, she says, than dancing with the devil. With each aching repetition of the word “sola,” she braces for a future where she’ll be able to rely on herself.
Leon Bridges and Khruangbin headed out on a joint North American tour last year, stretching from Los Angeles to New York. And now, the retro-soul singer and the instrumental psych-funk trio, both Texas natives, are teaming up again for a collaborative EP out in February called Texas Sun.
“We try not to have too much of an intention, because it gets in the way of what the music wants to do,” Khruangbin bassist Laura Lee says. “If you just let the music do what it’s supposed to do, it will reveal itself. We tried to take that same approach with Leon. For us, it was opening up our world to have another person in it. But all of it feels like Texas to me.”
“It all feels like a cross-country Texas drive to me,” she continues. “I hope that people can listen to it while putting themselves in that headspace. Some of my favorite moments listening to music are me by myself in a car — or preferably a truck — driving across Texas.”
Clairo cemented her position as an indie-pop star with debut album Immunity this year, but I’ve been an even bigger fan of her guest features with SG Lewis, Charli XCX, and especially Mura Masa. Today she adds another one to the pile, an appearance on the latest single from SASSY 009.
The Oslo producer, aka Sunniva Lindgård, released her KILL SASSY 009 EP just two weeks ago, and now she’s already back with another track called “Lara,” the aforementioned Clairo collab. It nudges her dreamlike club music into Claire Cottrill’s melancholy pop realm. “I just wanna know you better,” Clairo sings. “Pick me up, we’ll talk about the weather.” Later: “Used to play the game on my Microsoft/ Maybe we could go somewhere and just talk.” It is, as they say, a vibe.