Anyone else have déjà vu? It’s “Unreleased Bicep” all over again. “Atlas” is the first new single from the duo since the 2017 blockbuster album that made Bicep mainstage headliners, and it has a lot in common with “Aura,” that LP’s first single. Fans salivating over pre-release clips? Check. Breakbeats? Check. Swooning trance synths? Of course. A nagging sense of melancholy? Yes, even that. “Atlas” is so on-point it feels like the duo have set out to make an archetypal Bicep track. It’s hard not to feel instantly pleased by the result.
“It would’ve been unthinkable to foresee the circumstances this track would be released in when we were making it,” Bicep said. “Our frame of mind was so positive then, fresh off the back of our live tour, full of excitement for the next phase.” They also describe “Atlas” as “euphoric.” But that’s not quite right: this is house music with a worry rumbling in its gut, music that commiserates with you while you try to dance out your anxieties. What better track to drop in the midst of a crisis?
Experimental producer Dean Blunt is best known for his work with Inga Copeland as Hype Williams and for his appearance on A$AP Rocky’s album TESTING, but he remains a prolific and essential solo artist. His catalog is vast thanks in part to his online presence, where he’ll upload (and frequently delete) entire albums’ worth of new material to YouTube. Today, Blunt returns with Roaches 2012-2019 and Stalker. Roaches collects previously released songs as well as new material, and Stalker is an hour-long loop of “Stalker 7”, an episode of his video art series.
The Avalanches’ comeback motors on with “Running Red Lights,” a new single featuring the vocals of Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and L.A.-based rapper Pink Siifu.
Its accompanying music video was shot by three-time Emmy nominee Greg Brunkalla and dedicated to the memory of late Silver Jews frontman David Berman, with whom the Aussie electronica act recorded “A Cowboy Overflow of the Heart” and “Saturday Night Inside Out,” the latter appearing on The Avalanches’ LP Wildflower.
“Running Red Lights” didn’t start out “as a defining moment; ‘a single’ as it were,” The Avalanches’ Robbie Chater explains in a statement. “But Rivers responded to our fuzzed-out Spacemen 3 inspired jam with such open heartedness, that we soon dropped all pretence and got down to the heart of the matter… loss. We love that wide eyed, elated, almost evangelical Los Angeles sense of possibility that he tapped into.”
The Avalanches Return With Cosmic ‘We Will Always Love You’: Stream It Now
Erik Cavanaugh, a dancer who competed in the 2016 season of America’s Got Talent, owns the promo as he gets juiced on the words of a psychic and dances his way through the streets of Hollywood, wearing high heels and flapping a bouquet of flowers. His mission to see his lover doesn’t go to plan.
“Running Red Lights” follows the release last month of the track “We Will Always Love You” featuring Blood Orange, the Avalanches’ first new music since 2016’s Wildflower.
It wasn’t long ago when the idea of an Avalanches return wasn’t just overdue, it was improbable.
Their sample-stuffed debut LP Since I Left You dropped in Australia in 2000 and in the U.S. and the U.K. the following year. It had critics and fans craving for more. But they had to wait. And wait.
More than 15 years on, the enigmatic outfit emerged with a changed lineup and a new LP Wildflower, which immediately bowed atop Australia’s albums chart.
Mick Jenkins has returned with two new songs since dropping off his latest EP, The Circus, in January. The Chicago MC offers up distinctive sounds through the new tracks, which are dubbed “Frontstreet” and “Snakes” respectively, linking up with Kaytranada and Kojey Radical along the way.
Kaytranada’s signature electronically-backed production makes for a mellow background on “Frontstreet,” though Jenkins delivers intensive energy for an amped-up lyrical performance. “Snakes” featuring Kojey Radical delivers a bit of a harder punch, as the two artists trade bars about watching out for your enemies over more traditional hip-hop sounds.
It’s hard to get fresher; ‘Glovebox’ is Montell Martin’s first track, but the sound flows like it’s effortless. Martin comes from the UK, based in London, and part of this debut release’s soul is mixed up in the home-grown vibe that fills up each second held up by the emerging artist.
Submissions with such a central vocal element aren’t generally the focus for ADSR Collective, but the balance between electronic foundation and lyrical rhythm is pulled off with talent, each complementing the other in a partnership, as opposed to the relationship of primary and secondary in most lo-fi hip hop. The chorus hits at the same level as the beats which starting melt through the sound, vocal elements carrying the same honey through a cozy pop vibe. The drum beats hit an essential pulse taking precedence and receding to generate a rhythm that stays chilled.
You can find the genuine personality of start-up SoundCloud hopefuls here, but Martin seems past the point of looking for a personality in his sound, instead looking to explore the potential that’s evidentially already present. The video delivered alongside this gives off the same sense of community, and music for the sake of music.