The Star has compiled the most exciting new music from a wide range of established and emerging artists.
This week’s playlist includes new music from PUP, Beach House, Rich Brian, RealestK, FKA Twigs, Hot Chip and Earl Sweatshirt.
PUP: Robot writes a love song
Like many of us over the past year and a half, the four members of PUP have, in the words of their lead guitarist on Twitter, “lost our minds.”
It’s probably not healthy in terms of self-care, but it’s definitely good for the Toronto band’s music as we’re treated to a whole new roster of punk rock angst on April Fool’s Day (no fish d April here) with “The Unraveling of PUPTheBand”. ”
And to mark the release date of their fourth studio album, the band have shared new single “Robot Writes A Love Song”, complete with music video (look out for the Soundgarden Easter Eggs!). The track leans softer, but it’s still essentially PUP, with catchy melodies, intricate guitar licks and self-destructing lyrics on computers grappling with the complexity of human emotions.
And the band promises the upcoming LP will be their “most true to form” album to date. “You can literally hear the band unraveling,” PUP wrote on Twitter. “There’s nothing more PUP than a slow, inevitable descent into self-destruction.” — Justin Smilies
RealestK is a 17 year old R&B phenom from here in the 6ix. Earlier in 2021 Toronto’s secret became an open sound as he exploded on TikTok with his single “WFM” becoming a trending sound for everyone’s glowers.
With “Toxic”, the dark and dispirited aesthetic of previous releases is updated. Between quivering Hi-hats and bouncing 808s lay a moody western guitar and her angelic voice. Lamenting a lover’s toxic love, RealestK creates one of the four sweetest word hooks of the 2020s. It’s toxic, it’s vulnerable, and it’s super catchy, all in a frame of 2 minutes which almost always becomes a 10 minute frame.
The track has already racked up over a million views on YouTube, over 4 million streams on Spotify and there are no signs of it slowing down. While there’s no word on an upcoming album, in less than a year his music has already gone from an interesting TikTok track from an obscure artist to a required listen from a rising star. . — Demar Grant
Beach House: Masquerade
On an album with several tracks that maintain Beach House’s signature shoegaze sound of nostalgia, nostalgia and contemplation; “Masquerade” is a haunting departure from the norm. Church bells contribute to the gothic atmosphere in which we discover a girl whose apparent innocence is only a distraction from an inner malevolence.
“She comes dressed like a Sunday / Pearl necklace around her neck”, sings Victoria Legrand. “His eyes disguise, fade to black.”
The melody is still as hypnotic and cinematic as ever.
“Masquerade” is one of 18 songs from the upcoming album, “Once Twice Melody,” which duo Legrand and Alex Scally will release next month. So far, the Baltimore band has released 13 songs in three different “chapters.” The first came out in November. The fourth and final volume will be released on February 18.
“Our intention was for there to be enough space to get lost; in every chapter, and also in every song,” reads a recent Instagram post. “We hope that each chapter imbues a mood and that each song reveals more over time.” — Manuela Vega
Jenny Hval: the year of love
Moonlit Norwegian singer-songwriter Jenny Hval brings a distinct literary edge to her experimental music, combining poetry and storytelling to explore eclectic topics, from feminism and radical politics at vampires and menstruation.
Hval’s latest single, “Year of Love,” tells the true story of a marriage proposal that happened in front of her while performing – an experience she found “disturbing” as a artist whose work espoused anti-patriarchal values. “It confronted me with the fact that I’m also married,” she said in a statement. “What does this detail from my private life say about me as an artist? Do my private actions betray my work and my voice? »
“But the year of love / I made a deal with the patriarchy,” Hval intones casually, leaping gracefully through waves of percussion. “Year of Love,” a remarkably in-depth self-reflection track, will appear on Hval’s upcoming album “Classic Objects,” which will be released March 11. – Richie Assaly
Rich Brian: Lagoon
Out of the blue, 88rising’s Rich Brian is back. After ruling the internet summer with his joint hit “Edamame” with Vancouver’s BBNO$, he released a surprise EP “Brightside.”
Spanning nearly three minutes, “Lagoon”‘s dreamy synths provide an interstellar backdrop for some of Rich Brian’s funniest raps with bizarre “I just took a test, it sounds like my shit was getting stupid” and “These hoes tripping like banana peels rain down the road.
His ratatat raps are only interrupted by a BROCKHAMPTON-style change of pace, making interstellar travel intergalactic travel. The contrast between Brian’s deep vocals and the spaced out production has always been fascinating, Lagoon’s quirky lyrics only add an exciting extra dimension. — CEO
FKA Twigs (feat. Daniel Caesar): Carefree
In the age of streaming, the distinction between an “album” and a “mixtape” can seem a bit arbitrary. More and more, great artists are using the “mixtape” label to lower the stakes when experimenting with new sounds or styles (think Drake’s “More Life”).
Indeed, FKA twigs’ latest mixtape bears little resemblance to 2019’s “MAGDALENE” – a sublime, heartbreaking album that sounds like it was recorded by an alien version of Kate Bush. Titled “CAPRISONGS”, the tape features a wide range of collaborators – The Weeknd, Rema, Jorja Smith and others – and dips its toes into various genres, from afrobeats to trap to British drill and hyperpop. .
One of the many standouts is “careless,” a sultry, downtempo duet with Toronto R&B crooner Daniel Caesar. Floating to a stripped-down beat, the two singers find perfect balance at the end of the track – with Caesar’s hurt cries providing a perfect foil to the twigs’ heavenly falsetto. — AR
Young T & Bugsey (feat. BLXST): “Nice”
Track “Nice” from Young T & Bugsey’s latest mixtape “Truth Be Told” is quite simply a vibe. In the dead of winter atop Omicron, it’s easy to forget that things can be free, warm and windy, but the British duo managed to capture the aesthetic.
The smooth dance hall beat with watery synths easily transports us to the islands where Bugsey daydreams “I want an African girl/With Italian taste/Put her in those shades/She gon’ love my world.” The vocals loosen up and the melodies are carefree enough to feel ethereal yet catchy enough to never really leave.
“Truth Be Told” is filled with a ton of easy grooves and levity, but “Nice” is summer personified. — CEO
Nina Simone, Hot Chip: Be My Husband (Remix)
It’s a bold choice to remix the great Nina Simone, one that usually degrades an original recording (no more “Sinnerman” remixes!) to psychodrama”blood on the leaves. »
Suffice it to say, I don’t have the highest expectations for the upcoming double album ‘Feeling Good,’ which combines Simone’s greatest hits with a collection of new remixes (yes, it’s already been done. )
But every rule has an exception, and I have a soft spot for the Hot Chip boys, who this week gave us a tasteful reimagining of Simone’s “Be My Husband,” the acapella opener to the 1965 classic “Pastel Blues”. The English band’s expansive seven-minute remix reinvents the sparse blues track into early electro-pop, with a bouncy bassline and waves of lush synths. More importantly, the remix leaves plenty of room for Simone’s otherworldly baritone to do the heavy lifting. — AR
Earl: Lye Sweatshirt
On this airy standout from Earl’s excellent new album, “SICK!”, legendary producer The Alchemist flips a sample of an obscure track from 1974 by British prog-rock band Riff Raff. As usual, Earl and Alchemist go together like wine and cheese. — AR
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