What I’m Listening To: Week 4

by Stephen

1. Nobody Speak – DJ Shadow (feat. Run the Jewels)

Everything that Run the Jewels puts out is fire. I’m talking Dylan I-spit-hot-FIYAH. Guest features are no exception in this case. Rip-roaring their way through DJ Shadow’s new single “Nobody Speak”, Killer Mike and El-P, the duo that makes Run the Jewels, deliver an all-cylinders-firing performance on a track that bumps, grooves and meanly growls until the very end. The Ennio Morricone influenced guitar riffs are also a nice touch, adding a casual lightness to this bass blasting track. “Nobody Speak” can be found on DJ Shadow’s newest album (of five years) called The Mountain Will Fall, to be released on June 24th.

Watch Run the Jewels and DJ Shadow perform “Nobody Speak” on Fallon below: 

2. Frankie Sinatra (Extended Mix) – The Avalanches

Danny Brown and MF Doom featured over a rag-tag calypso tune? God I am so in. The Avalanches are back with “Frankie Sinatra”, a showtime tune spliced alongside the DNA of Chicago Rap and Electro Swing. While I can’t figure out the specific reason, there a certain soothing quality to the repetitiveness of this song. There’s a cradle-like effect in which the chorus is sung. Then its Danny Brown and MF Doom with the punch-ups that add just enough edge to the song to give it it’s hook. “Frankie Sinatra” is the first single off of The Avalanches’ second studio album Wildflower (to be released July 8, 2016).

3. Love / Dead – Faces on TV

Bombastic yet soft, Faces on TV’s newest single, “Love / Dead”, plays like a classic Enya song; it features a vocal lightness that just barely hovers over the tune’s emotional crests. It’s a song meant to be contemplated with, as the words are so passive that they just barely form in one’s ears. It flutters about until the song’s final minute, where “Love / Dead” picks up the tempo and sound, leaving a lasting mark with its brash horns, plucky piano tunes and fuzzy electro beat.

4. Crazy Dream – Tom Misch (feat. Loyle Carner)

Let the manic pixie voice guide you here through the soft, vapory tunes in Tom Misch’s “Crazy Dream”, the first single off of his upcoming Reverie EP. “Crazy Dream” is effervescent and sweet; a summer song with an light electronica beat that’s not too assuming. Loyle Carner’s voice is subtle here, keeping in with the delicate balance set forth throughout the song.

5. Golden Days – Whitney

Like some obscure music track ripped off of a poignant coming of age flick, Whitney’s “Golden Days” reminds us of those standout tracks from films such as Garden State with “The Only Living Boy in New York”, Into the Wild with “Hard Sun”, and Juno and “Anyone Else But You”. In such a way, “Golden Days” seems like it is candy coated in an Americana based nostalgia. The last throes of senior year high school. One’s first kiss on the Fourth of July ferris wheel. Idealistic visions of 90’s middle-class America are put forth. Or maybe I’m reading too much into this one. I’ll let you listen and decide that for yourself.

6. Talk – DJ Snake (feat. George Maple)

There’s a pleading going on here as George Maple sings, “All you wanna do is talk, talk.” And it’s the nicest way I’ve ever heard someone ask their partner to please shut the fuck up. “Talk”, a new single released by DJ Snake, mixes a tropical flute, piano and electronic beats to come out with a song not so different from the tribal sounding ways of Kygo. All in all, it’s a casually intense song to enjoy in the midst of the warmer season.

7. West Coast – Junior Empire

“West Coast” vocalizes an pop-rock anthem meant for the new wanderers as the verse sings, “I feel like I’m losing you/I feel like driving, driving, driving.” It’s a typical break up song about self-discovery and journey. But ignore all the grand themes this song tries to cart out and what you’ll end up with is a breezy, catchy song that’ll help you map out that long-standing road trip you were always dying to go on.

8. BOSS (Radio Edit) – Disclosure

There’s no ramping up here to be seen in this song by Disclosure. “BOSS”, one of three songs off of the brotherly duo’s latest EP, dives in headfirst into the rapid beat and lyrics. The song invites its listeners to give way to it right from the start. There’s no escalation in the way their hits like “Latch” and “You & Me” bridge out. However, there is a certain smoothness in “BOSS” that seems almost too effortless. It rounds away all of those quirks and experimental bits that are found in their earlier works, especially in their debut album Settle. Nevertheless, “BOSS” plays extremely well as a radio hit, a mysterious and entrancing song that never quite unravels itself fully for its listeners to fully enjoy.

9. When It Rain – Danny Brown

Distorted, wailing, squawking, chaotic, messy; these are all classic tenets in the makings of a Danny Brown song. This drug addled single sprints through with the near-shouting delivery that the rapper gives. It’s phrenetic yet coherent, imbalanced yet enticing. Moreover, it’s prerequisite to listen to a Danny Brown song several times to allow each and every one of his screeched words to really settle into your mind. Only then can you truly appreciate his delivery of over-the-top metaphors and allusions to his hedonistic Chi-town existence. “When It Rain” is a classic Danny Brown song, one that his fans will embrace with open arms as it hits on notes of artistic familiarity. And for newcomers to this nutcase rapper, it’s a great litmus test for those who choose to press the repeat button versus those that don’t.

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