This week’s most anticipated album came in the form of Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love! which made a valiant effort to re-awaken’s fans love as the follow up to the cult classic Kauai. For EDM fans Steve Aoki does what he perhaps does best, and made an Aoki track out of My Chemical Romance’s Welcome To The Black Parade, Wiz Khalifa took his turn at the mic for the Hamilton mixtape on Washington By Your Side, and deadmau5 launched his latest album with a little help from his Imaginary Friends.
Each new week brings surprises and tracks from all far reaches of genres of music; make sure you’re up on it and check out all 58 tracks via Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. As always we try to make it as funky for you as we can; check out our favorites from the last six months on Busted Wallet’s New Music Friday All Stars.
There’s nothing as dazzlingly romantic as rock track dedicated to a special PYT that’s put you under a spell, in the matter of Layla or Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Wild Flowers hits a little closer to the former, dedicated to a beauty with flowers in her hair and perfume that smells of a summer air (but still has that black hair Jet was so crazy about as well). It’s the band’s first follow up to 2015’s Blossom and will be a part of the new album, Modern Ruin, which will be here just around the bend on January 23rd 2017.
English hard rocking ban Lower Than Atlantis have a firm grip on that boiling point, ‘tried all that I can feeling,’ keeping it one hundred with growls of ‘The smile on my face is fake!/And the vein on my head suggests that you get running.’ The band might be at their limit, but things are just getting cooking, with a tour and new album, Safe In Sound, expected to be coming in hot in 2017.
It always seems that during times of uncertainty or trouble we can count on an updated rendition of Marvin Gaye’s legendary What’s Goin’ On. And that isn’t to throw shade at the reoccurrence, there’s still is so much power in “don’t punish me, with brutality” as there was in its original delivery in 1971. John Legend adds a certain bit of distinctiveness on his take for Spotify Singles; he’s not relying too heavily on either his voice and instrument, and as cozy as if he and Chrissy Teigen had invited you over for a night around the piano. A perfect way to unwind at the end of the day.
As we have had the chance to get to take in Awaken, My Love! in full this weekend, listeners quickly found that much like 2014’s Kauai, Gambino has given us performance also lacking in bars and punchlines (i.e. not outright hip hop) but rich in soul. If the vibe on Kauai was that of riding out the post vacations blue, Awaken feels like the dawn of facing real and burdensome responsibilities, or in Glover’s case, the dawn of fatherhood. California is a brief reprieve from all these heavy feelings, and feels like a track that would light heartedly be sang while bopping around the kitchen.
Showing that they’re the business today, tomorrow, and yesterday, RTJ is getting ready for the third album in three years (RTJ3 out January 13th 2017) and not showing a single sign of fatigue. Though they’re by no means formulaic, Legend Has It gives us exactly what we want – raps of rebellion and outrage over hard baselines – and still gives something we haven’t heard before. The track goes off at the 2 minute 15 second mark with rousing and life-giving chants from the crowd of RTJ!
The unlikely/unsung romantic hero of a song this week goes to iSpy, a lighthearted track that starts with a bad day and ends with eyeing a “curly haired cutie I could turn into my wife.” It’s a smash up of Kyle and Lil Yachty, Kyle sweating out all the details and Lil Yachty serving as hype man, and making sure that you not down on yourself, at least while the track is playing anyways. A good one to play when you’re in a dejected mood and in need of an easy lift.
All low-key indie tracks are not created equal, and week after week we still find it hard to put our finger on that je ne sais quoi that makes one stand out and others fade away. It could be intriguing opening lines like “If you poke/My glass eye/I’ll be the ghost/Into your Smile,” it could be the syncopated sound created with guitar strumming over guttural utterances, or it could simply just be the Nordic’s indie rich sound. Whatever it is that grabs you, whether you’re conscience of it or not, we’re confident this will be one you can’t stop listening to.
It’s no wonder that Nicki fans might be slow to trust any info that she put out regarding a new song or album, after that trick she played back in October with #PickMyFruitOut, which, after being retweeted 14,000 times, turned out to be her idea of a funny little joke. But proof is here that if it’s not the start of something, it’s at the very least a four minute original track to sink your teeth into. Black Barbies is laid-back Nicki, with Mike WiLL Made-It stamp all over it.
With 2016 on its way towards its ungrateful end, it’s astounding to realize that after all the hot releases this year, hip hop is not done just yet. Coming yet December is J.Cole’s new album, a new one from Kid Cudi, and of course Post Malone. After dropping White Iverson, it’s hard not to pay attention to the Dallas native. On Leave he’s exploring a very bluesy and roots side, but still keeping it ice cold with lines like “She said leave me so I left/Then I went to California and I ain’t never comin’ back.’
If you ever find yourself in the position of penning a track entitled ‘Come Through And Chill’ there’s no better recruit you can find than Miguel to back you up. And whatever you define coming through and chilling to be, there’s an equally laid-back and sexy vibe to the track, an ode to the end of the day where there’s even a formal request to putting your sweats on before you arrive.