Deadshirt Is Listening… Bringing you a rundown of our staff and guest contributors’ favorite new tracks released in the past week after they’ve had the weekend to blast them in their cars, in a club, alone in their rooms, etc.
Steph Salo is swaying back and forth to…
Disclosure feat. Sam Smith
I’m pretty sure at this point if Disclosure wanted to remake “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and have Sam Smith do the vocals, I’d be super into it. This is a no-fail pairing of talented artists. “Omen” is an ethereal, slightly disco-esque mid-summer jam. What’s Sam Smith’s deal? I haven’t heard a song of his that I haven’t liked, which is really rare for me and modern artists. I remember seeing him perform on SNL before I had any idea who he was and thinking “Holy shit. This is the next great vocalist of my generation.” I stand by that! I genuinely think he is going to stand out while other pop stars fade into obscurity. Disclosure in and of themselves have proven that they know what they’re doing as well. They are releasing the right kinds of pop at the right time. “Omen” celebrates modern sound while still having elements of 1990s house music and 1970s disco, all perfectly blended together with Smith’s velvety smooth vocals. The whole situation is *mwah.*
Joe Stando is rocking out to…
At first listen, I was generally just reassured by “Flamezesz,” the latest new track by Wavves. It’s brief, surfy and upbeat, all the things I like about the band. But upon a second play, it becomes clear that they are stepping their game up quite a bit. The track has more ambitious riffs and a heavier beat than I’ve come to associate with Wavves, and a slightly (ever so slightly) grungier sound. In terms of direction for the band, this is sort of an odd one, since Wavves are up there with Best Coast on my list of “extremely clear visions of a summery rock band.” But since the evolution seems so subtle, it’s probably not a bad thing, and when taken together with “Way Too Much,” their other preview track so far, it paints an interesting picture for the sound of Wavves’ follow-up album.
Dominic Griffin is vibing to…
“Why’d You Call? (Featuring Ty Dolla $ign & iLoveMakonnen)
It’s always a blast when a hip hop producer with a frustratingly recognizable style tries to mix it up, but the real treat of DJ Mustard’s latest, a big toe tip into the EDM pool, is how well it creates intrigue from contrast. Mustard deviates from his successful, well worn formula to noodle around with more brolectronic drops, but it’s still essentially a very crisp, very catchy banger. The decision to have Ty and Makonnen show up on such a raucous, lively track armed only with bitterness and lament is as confounding as it is surprising. Everything about this song, from the tempo to the intensity, is tailor-made for the club, but the hook and lyrics belong on a lonely Uber ride home. Ty spends two verses regretting a former lover, punctuated by Makonnen’s uniquely dejected cadence. It’s the dark side of the booty call, that nagging sense of self disgust inherent in being used late at night.
Why you’d choose to pair it with an apocalyptically bouncey excursion into party mechanics is beyond me, but the results are fascinating enough. Nothing wrong with injecting some feels into a twerking soundtrack.
Speaking of soundtracks, Drake gets a lot of credit for crafting the score to every millennial’s brown liquor-soaked late night texts, but his frequent collaborator PND has developed a silken strand of that particular brand of R&B. He’s been dropping some really interesting cuts since his last LP (most notably “Let’s Get Married” and “Girl From Oakland”), and this latest follows in the same line. Hazy, fuzzed out atmospherics lend a helping hand to some warm, nakedly honest lyricism. There’s a specificity to his ongoing narrative, moments and lines chosen with laser precision, placed against a nebulous churning of hard to place emotions, that hits the mass relatability of pop right on the button.
“Kehlani’s Freestyle” alludes to the alleged romance between PND and the titular R&B singer. The instrumental feels like the past melting away, a hobbled candle set too near the flame. There’s something confessional about the tone, but it doesn’t feel as Peeping Tom as the voicemail sampling Drake likes to do. You can just picture Party sitting at home with a hookah in one hand, letting these lines leak from his lips like Fred MacMurray’s dying narration in Double Indemnity. It’s sultry and intimate, but not in the cheap way some of his peers overindulge in. It feels honest in a way this generation’s manipulative over-sharers can’t quite match.