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.
Dominic Griffin is nightcrawlin’ to…
“Royalty” (Featuring Big Sean & Future)
Late Nights: The Album
Ever since 2012’s reinvigorating mixtape Late Nights With Jeremih, fans of the “Birthday Sex” crooner’s unique brand of cosmic-noiR&B have remained parched, perpetually thirsty for the full-length follow-up that refused to come. This week, whether by magnanimous design or careless fuck up, the internet has been gifted not one, but two new Jeremih tunes.
The first, “oui” (as in we, as in you and I) feels more like the real single, a somewhat straightforward love song that serves as more of a reminder of Jeremih’s strengths than a reinvention. The skittering drums and the buoyant tone feel as reliably infectious as you might expect, but it’s packed with adorable little flourishes that promise this track will have legs beyond this initial rush of new music euphoria, particularly the excursion into Shai fanboyism that bolsters the song’s last act.
“Royalty” is the lowkey, feature-heavy banger you’d expect to be a big gambit for radio play, but this one doesn’t appear to have an official release as of yet. Anchored on either side by Big Sean and Future Hendrix, two rappers who’ve both had a solid 2015 in their own right, “Royalty” feels like it’ll bang just as perfectly in the club as it will in the Lyft ride there and back. There’s something cavernous about these lurching sci-fi synths that makes me wish there was a TRL ready video featuring these three performing on a Farscape-esque spaceship, with Jeremih himself whisper-cooing from the cockpit. Here’s hoping these two tracks aren’t all we’re getting before the year is out and the album is finally on the way.
Joe Stando is spooked and intrigued by…
“Swallow at the Hollow”
Halloween may be over, but this semi-seasonal mix from Animal Collective member Panda Bear is still more than worth checking out. It’s a long one (twenty-six minutes, or “an entire episode of Everybody Loves Raymond”), full of cast-off riffs and melodies cut from his last album, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. It’s also an interesting glimpse into progress, as the various components come together, sometimes smoothly, sometimes not. It’s not overtly Halloween-themed, and it’d work well as a track for some sort of insane rave, but it’s also got some very listenable, fun passages about 5:00 and 20:00 minutes in. Some of it’s good, some of it’s rough, but all of it’s fascinating.
Julian Ames is changing costumes to…
“Flesh without Blood”
After several years of “I’m working on it”s, “something’s coming soon”s and a couple false starts in the form of “Go” and “REALITI,” Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) finally announced her second album. Titled Art Angels, it’s the followup to Grimes’s widely popular 2012 record Visions. In the past, Grimes relied primarily on electronic music; Boucher is a very inventive producer and all of her songs were interesting, catchy and a bit left-of-center. On Art Angels however, Grimes decided to utilize more live instruments. With a driving guitar riff as the main feature of the song, her first single “Flesh without Blood” immediately reflects Boucher’s style change. It’s a pop rock song but with the twist of Grimes’s trademark ghost-child vocals. She had been teasing this change of style for a few months, but since it’s Grimes, you never know what to expect; she previously experimented with live instruments on the track “Entropy,” a collaboration between her and Bleachers that featured acoustic guitar heavily.
The end result that is “Flesh without Blood” feels surprisingly natural, which, again I think speaks to her prowess as a producer. According to the Art Angels press release, Boucher plays piano, guitar and violin on the record, as well as writing, producing, AND illustrating her album cover. Art Angels is out digitally November 6 and physically December 11; it’s 14 tracks long, and as evidenced by this track, the other one featured in the video, “Life In The Vivid Dream,” and “SCREAM” a track released this week with Vietnamese rapper Aristophanes, it’s shaping up to be quite an intriguing late-quarter release.