Run the Jewels – Blockbuster Night Pt. 1 [Atlanta/Brooklyn, US]

Hip-hop / Rap

Here’s what you’re gonna do: you’re gonna listen to this massively intelligent insight bomb Killer Mike drops on CNN’s Brooke Baldwin regarding Ferguson, which is a truly horrifying and disappointing (though tragically not surprising) blight on America’s already rocky reputation. After you do that, maybe read and share his Billboard op-ed piece where he attacks the fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Then, maybe after some of your own research, when you feel like you have a fully formed opinion and are satisfactorily upset over all the bullshit, press play on Blockbuster Night Pt. 1. Let the rap duo that are giving The Throne a run for their money’s uncut disses-upon-disses be directed at anybody who contributed to the ridiculous GoFundMe for the cop who shot a harmless 18-year old and provide catharsis. Let El-P‘s sinister and swaying, clicking and clacking beat on the track spread fear in the hearts of hate-mongers all around the world. Sure, it’s an inherently apolitical track, but it’s got an intensity that can be focused anywhere and will cause immeasurable destruction that simply cannot be denied. After Mike’s final line, “tell ’em fuck ’em, I never loved ’em and salutations” lands like bricks just after the beat drops out, you know exactly who has just passed through. Run the Jewels are back, and it’s looking like they’re here to do that voodoo that they do (so damn well) all over again. 

RTJ2 (sequel to last year’s fantastic self-titled debut) is out October 28th via Mass Appeal Records.

Rustie – Attak ft. Danny Brown [Glasgow, UK]

Electronic / Trap / Rap

Did you hear Side B (Dope Song) off of Danny Brown’s fantastic 2013 album Old? If no, go ahead and treat yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Wasn’t that great? Both as a song as well as an introduction to how  these two giants in their respective genres work together. Pleasant synthy intros lull you into thinking that you’re in for a luxurious pop song, until Danny’s killer flow comes in and completely stomps that idea out without remorse. Suddenly you’re hearing jittery drums coming in as jittery as machine gun fire and you’re trapped in the intensity of Danny Brown‘s words and Rustie‘s glitchy beat. They’re forgiving though, letting you up for a gasp of air when Attak retreats for a minute as it brings back the opening synth melody. It’s a trick that never fails though, as it’s actually just another build-up into the next pummeling drop. This track has got me all sorts of hyped for Rustie‘s next album Green Language, out August 26th via Warp.

Keep up with Rustie on facebook and twitter, and maybe Danny Brown as well.

Radiator Hospital – Please Thrill Me [Philadelphia, US]

Lo-fi / Indie / Pop

radiator hospital

As soon as I heard the doo-wop infected opener of most recent album, the aptly titled Something Wild, I knew that this band was going to be something fun. The friendly voice of Sam Cook-Parrott, the catch pop/punk-ish hooks, and general good vibes of it all–this Philadelphia outfit is simple and fun music with an emotional heft to it that hits without knocking you to the ground. Quietly releasing 6 track from TOTAL REQUEST, a split with Chicago friend Kyle Kaos, the tracks themselves are anything but quiet. Lo-fi, fuzzy goodness abound, the set ends with a straightforward acoustic piece Please Thrill Me about liking someone a lot. It’s cutesy in the most adorable way and doesn’t try to be anything other than an attempt to capture the excitement of a crush. A perfect addition to that mixtape for that special someone this upcoming Valentine’s Day. In the song, Sam exclaims over and over that he doesn’t want to slow down, and I can only hope that he never does, both in term of this project’s output and or feeling as strongly as this song makes me do.

Keep up with Sam on his WordPress or on Facebook, and maybe throw some bucks his way for TOTAL REQUEST (though it’s available for free!).

Copys – fisher-price i love you, don’t worry [Los Angeles, US]

Downtempo / Electronic

copys

Luke Kim, brain behind electronic project Copys, has a very soft touch. Exploring the more delicate side of electronic music, his songs often come across as snapshots of feelings and moments. Immediacy in a song is often confused for greatness, but there has to be consideration for music that strolls along, that gives you space to think and breathe along with it. fisher-price i love you don’t worry doesn’t push you into anything; its closer to a gentle hand tugging you along through a garden of nostalgia. A simple Fisher-Price piano part slowly opens the song, removing you from time and making childhood feel both impossibly distant and incredibly close. When the synthesizer suddenly takes over the part, it feels like a sudden maturation, but the youthful ambiance is not lost–that two minutes of the piano makes its echoes well pronounced for the rest of the song. Other parts come in and, though it’s a slow build, when the spoken word part lands, it hits. Mumbling and fading out, the stream of consciousness is an impressionistic piece of poetry, reading like a child trying to make sense of the strange world surrounding them. Understanding what’s being said doesn’t matter, the words that poke through communicate emotions clearly through the muddiness. fisher-price autumn reader in its entirety explores these themes of youth, adulthood, and that funny place in-between intimately and passionately, with or without lyrics. You can try not to lose yourself in it, but you’ll feel perfectly at ease when you do.

Hear the entire EP here, and stay updates on all of Kim’s projects here.

Dowsing – Meant to Shred [Chicago, US]

Emo / Pop / Rock

dowsingEmo is often stereotyped as being a way for sad boys to cry about their break-ups in public with a crowd screaming along to validate their feelings and is quite often accurate. That said, the genre doesn’t always take emotions as seriously as the name and stigma suggests. Illinoisian band Dowsing are particularly known for their willingness to ride on the goofy side, with their debut titled It’s Still Pretty Terrible which features the track Gengar! Gengar! Gengar! (and if that Pokemon reference doesn’t make you at least smirk, then I’m sorry your childhood was so bleak and empty). Meant to Shred, fourth track off of this year’s I Don’t Even Care Anymore (released by Count Your Lucky Stars Records) pops out clearly from the album with its shiny, pop hooks of pure gold and buoyant gang vocals. The topic is still a break-up note “meant to shred” at the newly single narrator’s dignity, keeping their face aimed sullenly at the ground, so it’s still very much “emo,” but when sad jams feel this good–that’s just a whole other level of music altogether.

Check out the band’s catalog here, or similar music on the CYLS’ bandcamp here.