From the pandemic that has swept through practically every continent on earth at this point, to the pain and anger, all of which is thoroughly well-placed and massively overdue that is currently resonating around the world as a reaction to the killing of George Floyd, seismic shifts in our everyday lives seem to be arising more readily now than they ever have done before.
A lot of feelings linked to these changes revolve around ideas of fear and loneliness, and this has been reflected in some of the music we have been supplied within these most trying of times. Whether they be fears for the future of our planet as expressed on the opening track of The 1975’s latest record or fears that the best years of your life are firmly behind you as expressed by Kevin Parker’s latest outing with Tame Impala, fear, caution, and a resounding feeling that you may be on your own after all seems to be bleeding through the pop culture of today, and resonating with the audiences that it finds.
On ‘Your Hero Is Not Dead’, Will Westerman finds hope among the debris of despair. Here, he recognises the state that we as a people are currently in, allows us to face it, but offers lights at the same time. On the album’s lead single, the exquisite ‘Blue Comanche’, Westerman strikes a daunting tone, addressing a cyborg and willingly following in their path. “Could not relate / wasn’t to know,” he continues, commenting on the social bubbles both online and off that we so readily build for ourselves nowadays that don’t allow for a fully-realised world view to come in.
The Weeknd has unveiled a new remix of his After Hours track, “In Your Eyes,” which features Doja Cat. The singer, aka Abel Tesfaye, released the cut at midnight on Wednesday.
Despite the song’s buoyant, synth-tipped melodies, the lyrics hint at the doubts and fears that can transpire when expressing vulnerable feelings within a relationship. The remix includes a sort of call-and-response to Weeknd’s lyrics. “You always try to hide the pain/You always know just what to say/I always look the other way,” the Weeknd sings. “I’m blind, I’m blind/In your eyes, you lie, but I don’t let it define you/Oh, define you.” Doja Cat continues the conversation with her sultry verse. “I never lied when I cried for you,” she croons. “And I know you cried, too … always had to say bye to you.” Later, she raps, “One day I’m giving you space, and the next day you’re giving me face” about the song’s push-and-pull emotions.
His collaboration with Doja Cat follows several other After Hours remixes, including a Lil Uzi Vert remix of “Heartless” and a Major Lazer remix of “Blinding Lights.” Released in March, After Hours spent four weeks at Number One on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart.
Hey, some good news! Freddie Gibbs is one of our greatest rappers. The Alchemist is one of our greatest producers. Both of them do amazing work when they can team up with someone else for a full album. And now the two of them have made an album together. We won’t have to wait long to hear it. Tomorrow, Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist will release the new collaborative LP Alfredo. This is a very good reason to be excited.
Last year, Gibbs and the Alchemist’s producer peer Madlib released Bandana, their second full-length collaboration. It was great. Thus far this year, the Alchemist has teamed up with the Detroit rapper Boldy James on the absolutely masterful album The Price Of Tea In China — which featured an appearance from Gibbs — and with Griselda rapper Conway The Machine on the very good EP LULU. Also, in 2018, the Alchemist produced all of FETTI, a collaborative EP from Freddie Gibbs and the New Orleans rapper Curren$y. There is every reason to believe that Alfredo will be great.
Alfredo features guest appearances from Rick Ross and Tyler, The Creator, as well as Griselda rappers Conway and Benny The Butcher. Today, Gibbs and the Alchemist have shared the Nick Walker-directed video for “1985,” the album’s opening track. The song is gorgeous, with Gibbs absolutely going nuts, namechecking Joes Exotic and Pesci, over a psychedelic guitar loop. In the clip, Gibbs and Alchemist meet up in the desert and discuss proper dead-body disposal, and Gibbs gets another chance to show off his comedy skills.
Run The Jewels have released their new album ‘RTJ4’, two days earlier than planned.
The duo, comprised of rapper/producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike, were set to share their first record in four years on Friday (June 5). But today (June 3), the pair made the album available in a bid to boost morale, citing the world as being “infected with bullshit” and concluding that their music might bring fans “some joy”.
El-P wrote in an Instagram post: “Fuck it, why wait. The world is infested with bullshit so here’s something raw to listen to while you deal with it all. We hope it brings you some joy. Stay safe and hopeful out there and thank you for giving 2 friends the chance to be heard and do what they love. With sincere love and gratitude, Jaime + Mike.”
Atlanta-based club titan Leonce returns with his 5th EP Nothing to Declare. This follow up to the snare frenzy Penetration Testing released last summer on his own Morph Tracks imprint, he’s back with more signature clangy percussion and eerie synth club anthems. An ode to international travel, it reflects his touring experiences over the last few years, playing many of the top underground parties across the globe, from New York City to Lima, Peru.
Aegis opens the release up with big creeping chords and serrated synths over a stocky, stuttering kick drum, a stripped down but ominous welcome to Leonce’s cache of sounds. Calamity is sci-fi tribal house madness, a buoyant dance of spaceship door percussion and throbbing pads. Hyperion puts slamming triplets and head banging shakers over a jolting bassline, taking some cues from the South African Gqom influence he employed on Penetration Testing. The EP closes with Sunrise, a perfectly paced soundtrack to a 6am rooftop afterparty with slowly ascending strings and a Detroit leaning techno palate.