Wow. The first 50 seconds of the latest single from Mackenzie Scott starts innocently enough before erupting into a chunky guitar-filled rocker that has all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer on the listeners ears. It’s an edge that Scott wears very well, even when her voice becomes increasingly intense by the end of the song. If the rest of her sophomore release Sprinter sounds anything like this, it should be quite the treat. Look for Sprinter to be released on May 5.
Also listen to: “Honey”, “Mother Earth, Father God”, “Moon & Back”, “Jealousy & I”
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Yes, in case you haven’t heard, everyone’s favorite animated band is back after a three year hiatus. Hard to believe but Gorillaz has now been in existence for 17 years, with this track in particular being released 14 years ago. Since then, the brainchild of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett has become something much larger than just a gimmick– as the side project has now spawned four full length albums and countless singles. Look for something new from them later this year.
Also listen to: “19-2000”, “Feel Good Inc”, “On Melancholy Hill”, “Stylo” (feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack), “Empire Ants” (feat. Little Dragon), “Dirty Harry”, “DARE”
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Coming on the heels of their incredibly popular reinterpretation of Future Islands’ “Seasons (Waiting on You)”, Canadian band BADBADNOTGOOD appear to have hit their stride with “Ray Gun,” the single from their upcoming collaboration album with Ghostface Killah. As BADBADNOTGOOD has largely built their career doing instrumental jazz covers of hip-hop songs, it seemed like a matter of time before a true collaboration would be released, and based on this single, Ghostface Killah makes for the perfect pairing. With a super cool video and a great guest spot from DOOM to boot, Sour Soul should be a fantastic album. Sour Soul will be released on February 24.
In addition to the recent influx of 70s style funk, the art of the 70s singer-songwriter is also making a comeback, with Tobias Jesso Jr. becoming the poster child. While “How Could You Babe” is a much more flushed out variation on the tried and true intimate piano ballad formula, the sincerity of his songwriting are what make the song worthwhile and Jesso Jr. an artist well worth watching this year. Look for his debut album Goon on March 17.
Every so often there is a new artist that will immediately make ones ears perk wildly, and such is the case for this song today from emerging band Marian Hill. The Philadelphia-based duo comprised of Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol inject a level of soul and organic energy into the slick electronic productions that is hard to come by with Gongol’s sensuous croon the icing on the cake. Marian Hill is currently on tour and hopefully there will be more coming from them this year.
Also listen to: “Lips”
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Chaz Bundick is back with a completely different sound for his new album What For? which will be in stores April 7 via Carpark Records. Instead of the chillwave or synthesized R&B that you might be used to when listening to Toro Y Moi, “Empty Nesters” is a much more forward rocker but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Bundick has always had a great ear for hooks and despite the change in sound, that has not been lost.
Also listen to: “New Beat”, “Still Sound”, “So Many Details”, “Say That”
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One of the better late show performances in recent memory, Sleater-Kinney smokes this Carrie Brownstein-led track, with the band sounding so impressively tight it’s as if they had never been apart. Look for their new album No Cities to Love on 1/20 via Sub Pop.
Also listen to: “Modern Girl”, “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone”, “Jumpers”, “One Beat”, “Oh!”
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You’re Dead! was recently ranked number six on the Top 25 Albums list for 2014, and today Flying Lotus came out with his new video for “Coronus, The Terminator.” Just as powerful as the previous video/single, “Coronus…” takes a more haunting approach rather than the redemptive afrobeat-jazz of “Never Catch Me.” Check it out above.
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In case you missed it, Bonnaroo announced its 2015 lineup last night through an oddly-conceived system where fans can dial a number, get an artist and then tweet about it. While that in itself led to a lot of misdirection, it turns out to be true that Billy Joel will in fact be a headliner along with Mumford and Sons and Deadmau5. If nothing else, there seems to be a pattern of “let’s give the parents something to do while their kids are off listening to [insert band here],” but frankly, even for a historically eclectic festival like Bonnaroo, Billy Joel seems to be a stretch.
That being said, one of the funnier promotional videos came courtesy of comedian Hannibal Buress and Danny Brown riding in a golf cart of all things. You can view the video here (NSFW language) and while it isn’t surprising that putting the two of them together results in some interesting antics, it’s an absolutely hilarious eight and a half minute clip and further proves that Danny Brown is one of the most eclectic and sharp artists around. So in honor of his madness, here’s the single “Grown Up” that was released just a couple of years ago.
Also listen to: “Dip”, “25 Bucks” (feat. Purity Ring), “Monopoly”, “I Will”
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Ghost Culture’s debut album hit stores in the UK last week but won’t be released physically in the US until the 20th. In the meantime, you can still enjoy this track along with his other singles from earlier EPs (“Guidecca“, “Mouth“, and “Arms“). All of the tracks mentioned are top notch, with slowly unfurling intriguing melodic layers, instead of an overall flattening of sound for an easier-to-digest bigger picture. It makes for perfect late-winter music so give it a listen today.
Also listen to: “Guidecca”, “Mouth”, “Arms”, “Lucky”
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